Malaysia Ranks 61 amongst 187 Countries In UNDP’s 2011 Global Human Development Report

Nov 25, 2011

Kuala Lumpur, 25 November 2011Norway, Australia and the Netherlands lead the world in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI), while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi are at the bottom of the Human Development Report’s annual rankings of national achievement in health, education and income. The global report was launched in Malaysia today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The 2011 Report—Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All which showsMalaysia ranked 61 amongst 187 countries, argues that environmental sustainability can be most fairly and effectively achieved by addressing health, education, income, and gender disparities together simultaneously with global action on energy production and ecosystems protection.

The Report was launched by YB Dato’ S.K. Devamany, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department together with Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator, Malaysia and UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Mr. Malhotra said, “This report addresses a central challenge of the twenty-first century: simultaneously achieving equity and environmental sustainability by treating them not as independent issues, but as goals which are inextricably linked to continued human development progress. This perspective can inform the debate on sustainable development as the world prepares for the Rio+20 Summit, in Brazil in June 2012. It should also help guide our thinking on the post-2015 framework for global development goals and action beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

As the world community prepares for the landmark UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Report argues that sustainability must be approached as a matter of basic social justice, for current and future generations alike.

UNDP has published the Human Development Report each year since 1990, when its Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of health, education and income, first challenged purely economic measures of national achievement and called for consistent global tracking of progress in overall living standards.

The Human Development Index comprises three dimensions – income, life expectancy and education. The latter, in the refined index, is now measured by both adult years of schooling and expected years of schooling. From 2010, the Human Development Report also included three new indices: the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, the Gender Inequality Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index. Tables on various measures of human development are also available in the report, including demographic trends, the economy, education, health and more.

Mr. Malhotra added, “This year’s Human Development Index value for Malaysia is 0.761 which positions it at 61 out of 187 countries, roughly a third of the way down from the top, and places it in the high human development category. In this sub region of Asia, Malaysia’s ranking in the Human Development Index continues to lag significantly behind Hong Kong, China (SAR) at 13, Republic of Korea at 15, Singapore at 26 and Brunei Darussalam at 33. However, within ASEAN, Malaysia, at 61, is well ahead of Thailand at 103, Indonesia at 124 and Vietnam at 128.”

The 2011 UNDP Global Human Development Report contains 18 more countries in the Human Development Index table than were included in 2010, which accounts for a significant portion of the changes in rank. The ranking between the two years is, therefore, not strictly comparable. A better performance by some countries explains some of the changes as well. Nevertheless, the most significant explanatory factor is the revision to the indicators made possible by data providers this year which have affected the Human Development Index of many countries.

Commenting on Malaysia, Mr. Malhotra said that, “While it is crucial that the country’s responses to its likely future sustainability and equity challenges are climate resilient, dealing with a range of inequalities remains a major challenge for Malaysia which should be addressed in a more proactive and coherent manner. Environmental measures such as eco-labelling which enable consumers to make informed decisions on energy efficient products should not further skew access to such products in favour of the rich, further exacerbating existing inequalities. Likewise, low carbon, climate friendly housing should not disadvantage the urban poor by pricing such housing outside their reach while flood mitigation measures should not displace or disadvantage vulnerable communities.

It is hoped too, that innovative policies like the introduction of the Feed-in-Tariff for greater renewable energy adoption which UNDP’s work has directly contributed to, while it does not cover off-grid connections, will nevertheless lead to a greater investment in renewable energy and eventually indirectly benefit off-grid rural electrification, both by promoting more local players capable of such technology innovation and increasing the amount of clean energy finance available to benefit the poor and vulnerable in rural areas.”

UNDP Malaysia has been supporting the Government in the energy and environment sector through its UNDP country programme which covers the 2008-2012 period. UNDP Malaysia is also supporting the Government in its substantive preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20 conference which will take place next June in Brazil. During the conference, two priorities for discussion will be: strengthening the global institutional framework for sustainable development and the development of a green economy. The Rio+20 conference will clearly be one of the major platforms to take forward the discussion on sustainability and equity issues prioritised in the 2011 Human Development Report.

“UNDP is already implementing various projects to protect the biodiversity of Malaysia and address climate change issues in the context of the 10th Malaysia Plan and Malaysia’s global multilateral environment agreement (MEA) commitments. UNDP in Malaysia will continue to support a range of such environmental projects through the energy and environment component of our country programme. I am also happy to inform you that UNDP has recently initiated work on its next Country Programme with the Government of Malaysia which will cover the period from 2013 till 2017. Sustainable human development and equity issues will continue to be two of the key pillars of this new UNDP country programme in Malaysia.” concluded Mr. Malhotra.


HDI RANKING AND VALUES

Country

HDI rank

2011

HDI

value 2011

HDI

value 2010

HDI value

2005

HDI value

2000

HDI value

1995

HDI value

1990

HDI value

1980

Rep. Of Korea

15

0.897

0.877

0.851

0.815

0.776

0.725

0.616

Singapore

26

0.866

0.846

0.826

-

-

-

-

Malaysia

61

0.761

0.744

0.726

0.691

0.659

0.616

0.541

Thailand

103

0.682

0.654

0.631

0.600

0.581

0.546

0.483

Indonesia

124

0.617

0.600

0.561

0.500

0.508

0.458

0.390

Vietnam

128

0.593

0.572

0.540

0.505

0.457

0.407

-


Country

HDI rank

2011

Life expectancy

at birth (years)

Mean years of

Schooling (years)

Expected years

of Schooling

 (years)

GNI per capita

PPP USD1

Rep. Of Korea

15

80.6

11.6

16.9

28,230

Singapore

26

81.1

8.8

14.4

52,569

Malaysia

61

74.2

9.5

12.6

13,685

Thailand

103

74.1

6.6

12.3

7,694

Indonesia

124

69.4

5.8

13.2

3,716

Vietnam

128

75.2

5.5

10.4

2,805


For a full listing of the Human Development Index and other information contained in the 2011 Human Development Report, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org

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