Tuesday December 14, 2010
Malaysia ranks 57th in human development index report
By LEE KIAN SEONG
KUALA LUMPUR: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has ranked Malaysia 57th out of 169 countries in its Human Development Index (HDI) report published last month.
Norway has regained its first position in the list, followed by Australia and New Zealand.
Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe are at the bottom of the annual ranking.
UN resident coordinator for Malaysia and UNDP resident representative (Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei) Kamal Malhotra disclosed this at the launch of the 20th anniversary UNDP Human Development Report here yesterday.
The HDI is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of “human development” and separates developed (very high and high development), developing (medium development), and underdeveloped (low development) countries.
Malaysia belongs to the high development category.
Kamal said Malaysia dropped two places between 2005 and 2010.
However, he added, this did not mean that Malaysia had regressed in human development, since its HDI value increased from 0.726 to 0.744 during the same period.
Kamal said Malaysia had shown good performance since 1979, with many achievements that should be maintained, sustained or enhanced.
The HDI has been used since 1990 by the UNDP for its annual Human Development Reports.
As this year represents the 20th year of the report, the 2010 version includes three new indices: the inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, the Gender Inequality Index and the multi-dimensional Poverty Index.
With regards to the Gender Inequality Index, Malaysia is ranked 50th out of 137 nations.
Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Noriyah Ahmad said the ranking was due to the low level of female participation in politics, where only 14.6% of parliamentary seats went to women candidates.
Regarding the other two new indices – inequality-adjusted HDI and multi-dimensional Poverty Index – she said no data was available for Malaysia to be included.
“We will make extra effort to rectify this situation and to ensure that from next year Malaysia will be able to know where we stand in the multi-dimensional Poverty Index,” she said.
Noriyah said Malaysia was confident it would steadily improve its HDI rankings as the nation works towards achieving high-income status, anchored closely on the six National Key Result Areas under the Government Transformation Programme.