Malaysia ranked 38th out of 106 countries in terms of military strength according to a report published by Global Firepower (GFP).
Malaysia’s ranking placed it five places ahead of neighbour Singapore at 44.
According to the survey, Malaysia also outranked Norway (which came in at 39), Ethiopia (40) and South Africa (41).
In the Asean sphere, aside from Singapore, Malaysia also beat out the likes of Cambodia (at 82) and Laos (102), but lost to Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, which came in at 23, 24 and 37 respectively.
GFP’s 2014 survey concluded that the top five countries in terms of military strength are the United States, Russia, China, India and the United Kingdom.
GFP explained that over 50 factors, beyond technology and a nation’s standing arsenal, were considered in determining the final ranking.
Among the factors are available manpower and manpower fit for service statistics, as well as the oil production, oil consumption and proven oil reserves of a nation, calculated in barrels per day.
“Despite the advances made in battlefield technology, oil remains the lifeblood of any fighting force,” said GFP in explaining its survey criteria, which also assessed a nation’s consumption and use of its natural resources.
Additionally, logistics, such as how many major ports, terminals and airports a nation has, as well as the total road and railway coverage were also taken into account.
The analysis also considered geographical factors such as the square land area, coastlines, shared borders and waterways, which it said “primarily figure into a defensive-minded war i.e. invasion. Geographical factors influence every country’s ranking”.
However, the analysis did not consider a nation’s current political and military leadership, or its nuclear capabilities, stressing that “ranking does not rely solely on total number of weapons available”.
GFP did also caution that its survey was “for entertainment value and derived from publicly-available sources” including Wikipedia.