M’sia property rights score drops due to difficulty in registering physical properties

MALAYSIA’s score on the International Property Rights Index (IPRI) 2022 deteriorated by almost 6% due to “a slight worsening” of political stability and a “very heavy worsening” of physical property registrations.  

While the country continued to score fairly well in terms of its defense of physical property rights, its rank decreased to 29th globally from 18th place in 2021 – mainly because the score of the process for registering properties almost halved in one year. 

Malaysia is only ranked 41st in the world (out of 129 countries) for legal and political environments due to less than satisfactory rankings on the index for political stability, control of corruption and rule of law. 

But even as Malaysia’s ranking in the Asia and Oceania region went down by one position from seventh to eighth place, it maintained its global ranking of 29th place from last year. 

Centre for Market Education (CME) CEO Dr Carmelo Ferlito said while it was good to see Malaysia maintaining its overall rank on the IPRI, the deterioration of the score sends a message that the Government needs to “get cracking”.  

“In particular, political stability, control of corruption and the difficulties in registering properties are undoubtedly elements that policymakers need to take into account,” he said in a statement today. 

The slight deterioration in the country’s regional ranking should also be looked at as it signals that its neighbours are fighting to improve property rights, he added. 

Dr Carmelo Ferlito

The CME, a think tank in Kuala Lumpur that focuses on promoting a more pluralistic and multidisciplinary approach to economics, is the local partner for the US-based Property Rights Alliance, which publishes the IPRI annually. 

The IPRI is the only comparative global index that ranks the strength of both physical and intellectual property rights as well as the legal and political environments that contain them.  

This year’s index saw Finland, Singapore and Switzerland being listed as the top three countries that achieved the highest property rights protections. 

Commenting on the release of the index, Property Rights Alliance executive director and IPRI 2022 editor Lorenzo Montanari said innovation and intellectual property rights are important now more than ever, especially since they played a crucial role in discovering vaccines and finding solutions to COVID-19.  

“Property rights are not only one of the most important pillars of a free society but also human rights, as stated in Article 17 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he added. 

“The 2022 index will serve as an important tool for policymakers and business communities to understand how the three main components of the property rights ecosystem (legal and political environment, physical property rights and intellectual property rights) interact to attract investment and nurture healthy institutions.”

He added: “As Nobel Laureate Friedrich von Hayek stated, ‘The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom’.”

Echoing him, Ferlito said strong frameworks for property rights preserve human dignity, innovation and freedom while protecting against abuses of Governmental power at the same time. – Sept 20, 2022 


Main photo credit: The Edge Markets

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