Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Singapore improves marginally in EIU’s Democracy Index

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s performance on a “democracy index” has shown improvement over the last four years, but it remains a “flawed democracy”, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which released the latest rankings yesterday (Jan 21).

Singapore improves marginally in EIU’s Democracy Index

Singaporeans casting their votes on the 2015 General Election. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s performance on a “democracy index” has shown improvement over the last four years, but it remains a “flawed democracy”, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which released the latest rankings yesterday (Jan 21).

The EIU’s 2015 Democracy Index showed Singapore moving up one spot from the previous edition to the 74th place. Singapore’s overall score on the index also improved to 6.14 points out of 10, from 6.03 points the previous year.

The EIU measures a nation’s democratic level based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Singapore scored relatively well for the functioning of government (7.50 points) and civil liberties (7.06 points), but was marked down by the EIU for its electoral process and pluralism (4.33 points). The Republic scored 5.56 points for political participation and 6.25 points for political culture.

In the first edition of the Democracy Index back in 2006, Singapore was labelled a “hybrid regime” and given an overall score of 5.89. Since 2012, Singapore’s score has progressively improved. Its status was lifted to a “flawed democracy” last year.

Last year, a Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, responding to the index, had told TODAY: “The index is based on a rigid, ideological position that ignores the fact that democratic governments around the world take different forms, depending on their particular history and national conditions. Singapore is a fully democratic state that pragmatically pursues policies to maximise the social and economic outcomes for our citizens.”

Regionally, Singapore came in ahead of most other South-east Asian nations, apart from Indonesia (49th), the Philippines (54th) and Malaysia (68th). Malaysia, Thailand (98th) and Cambodia (113th) all saw drops in their overall score, with their rankings falling by three, five and ten spots respectively.

The EIU cited a government crackdown on the opposition in Cambodia last year for the country’s sharp fall in the rankings. Meanwhile, Thailand saw a dip “owing to the prolonged and seemingly unyielding military regime”, said the EIU.

A total of 60 other countries, besides Singapore, recorded an improvement in their score in the latest EIU Democracy Index. Fifty-six countries recorded a deterioration and 50 retained the same score as in the previous year.

There was no change in the average global score last year, which remained at 5.55. However, four countries fell out of the “full democracy” category — Costa Rica, France, Japan, South Korea — bringing the total number of full democracies down to 20. The top three countries on the index were all from Scandinavia — Norway, Iceland and Sweden.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa