Malaysia can now add another amazing title to its name, that of being one of the safest Asian nations and a capital city ranking 32nd out of 60 major cities in a global Safe Cities Index 2021 carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
In a global assessment of safe cities, Kuala Lumpur (KL) came out ahead of cities like Dubai, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, and Manila, with an overall score of 66.6 out of 100, which is somewhat higher than the average. Copenhagen topped the ranking with 82.4 points out of a possible 100, followed by Toronto (82.2), Singapore (80.7), Sydney (80.1), and Tokyo (80.0).
This is a slight improvement over KL’s score of 66.3 and 35th place ranking from last year.
The Safe Cities Index 2021 ranks 60 cities based on 76 variables that span digital, health, infrastructure, personal, and environmental security.
Tokyo led the category in terms of health security, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Osaka, while KL was ranked 38th. The EIU stated in the report that the COVID-19 experience demonstrated the need for a more holistic approach to health security and greater integration of health security into urban resilience planning.
Kuala Lumpur was ranked 10th in terms of environmental security, with Wellington, Toronto, Washington DC, Bogota, and Milan rounding out the top five.
Under the digital security pillar, Sydney led the category followed by Singapore, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Under this category, KL ranked 35th place.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government was asked to explore options of reopening Malaysia’s international borders both ways to help the tourism sector recover faster.
Former deputy international trade and industry minister Ong Kian Ming said the government could allow people in Malaysia to exit the country without having to apply with the immigration department, even if it was to go on holiday.
He said people could be limited to traveling to certain countries deemed safer pandemic-wise, as well as restricting this to only fully-vaccinated individuals.