Malaysia placed 26th out of 128 nations in this year’s International Property Rights Index (IPRI), the biennial index that measures countries’ protection of physical and intellectual rights.
Malaysia’s score in the index rose 0.2 from the previous edition to 6.8 in the current, its highest recorded. The latest score puts Malaysia seventh within the Asia and Oceania region.
The index, introduced by Washington-based advocacy group Property Rights Alliance, scores the protection of property rights based on three key components: legal and political environment, physical property and intellectual rights.
Malaysia’s score in the first area is now 6.1 or 0.3 better than previously; it also scored 6.6 in Judicial Independence, 6.3 in Rule of Law, 5.7 in Political Stability, and 6.0 in Control of Corruption.
PRA said the Legal and Political Environment (LP) component provides an insight into the strength of a country’s institutions, the respect of the “rules of the game” among citizens; consequently, the measures used for the LP are broad in scope.
“This component has a significant impact on the development and protection of physical and intellectual property rights,” it said in its report.
Malaysia’s physical property rights score remained at 7.7, based on scores of 7.3 in Property Rights, 9.5 in Registering Property, and 6.3 in Ease of Access to Loan.
The country’s intellectual property rights score increased by 0.1 to 6.4, with individual scores of 7.4 in Intellectual Property Protection, 7.4 in Patent Protection, and 4.6 in Copyright Piracy Level.
Neighbour Singapore remains far ahead, however, occupying the sixth spot in the global ranking with an overall score of 8.1, just 0.2 points behind Norway and 0.3 points under Finland, which tops this year’s ranking.
Commenting on the matter, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the government should be commended for the result.
“Malaysia has been steadily increasing its scores since 2011. In fact, its current score of 6.8 (up from 0.2 last year) is its highest score to date.
“This is something that should be commended as it shows that there is a sincere commitment from Government to protect physical and property rights,” he said in a statement.
But Wan Saiful was quick to caution against complacency, noting that there remained questionable government policies in areas such as the country’s legal and political environment.
“The scores are positive given the two-year lag, which means that reforms that occurred in the past two years have shown to be effective in protecting property.
“However, recent moves like plain packaging may compromise intellectual property rights and there is the consideration of the ‘legal and political environment’ component which unfortunately have been somewhat unstable in recent times”, he said.
The IPRI has been referenced by major financial media outlets and agencies such as Forbes, Financial Times, The Economist, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Malay Mail Online