KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has climbed up to rank 101 in the latest 2020 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Malaysia took home the biggest increase among 180 countries, topping the South-east Asian neighbors like it did in the 2019 Index, followed by Indonesia (119th) Philippines (136th) Myanmar (139th) Thailand (140th) Cambodia (144th) Brunei (152) Singapore (158) Laos (172) and Vietnam (175).
Malaysia’s score also went down to 33.12 this year, Lower score indicates a greater press freedom.
According to RSF, the big rise in Malaysia were attributed to the change of government through the polls and improving environment or journalists and combating self-censorship. Maldives followed Malaysia, jumping 19 places to Rank 79th. Haiti received the biggest decline which fell 21 places to rank 83rd. Violent nationwide protests where journalist were being targeted are cited as a factor.