About the Relationship Index

How do we keep our relationships growing in Malaysia?

Relationships are important. Close connections and intimate ties will always be vital to our happiness, well-being and longevity.

Given their perennial importance in our lives, Prudential seeks to delve deeper into the issues closest to our hearts – our personal relationships.

What are the dynamics? What weakens them? What makes them stronger? What do Malaysian seek from their relationships with partners, children, family and friends?

How do we measure the quality of relationships?

In 2016, Prudential launched the inaugural Prudential Relationship Index (PRI), bringing forward a greater understanding of personal relationships. We saw smiles and tears, laughter and fears, but most importantly, we saw love and respect. This year, the PRI returns with new insights from Asia.

9 markets were part of the region-wide study, including Thailand, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. The Prudential Relationship Index 2017 is the result of our latest research.

The PRI measures how satisfied people are with their primary relationships and suggests ways to improve them. Primary relationships include those with partners, children, family and friends.

What is the state of relationships in Malaysia in 2017?

In 2017, Malaysia has a PRI score of 68 /100, meaning that, on average, the primary relationships of Malaysians fulfil 68 per cent of their relationship needs – a three-point drop from Malaysia’s score in 2016.

How are our relationships in 2017?

  1. The relationship scores that Malaysians have with their partners, family and friends have weakened in 2017 compared to last year. The largest drop has been in relationship scores Malaysians have with their children.
  2. Malaysians want their relationships to be enjoyable and seek partners who are easy to get along with, by which they mean people who are fun to be around. Most want to be with someone who is easy to talk with, easy to understand and who makes them laugh.
  3. Malaysians also desire a healthy balance between independence and support in their relationships. They want partners who respect their individuality, but who still show commitment by being there for them in times of need.

What are some relationship challenges facing Malaysians in 2017?

  1. Pooling resources is associated with good relationships. However, only 32% of couples in Malaysia pool all their financial resources together – the second-lowest proportion in all nine countries.
  2. 37% of Malaysian couples say they argue most about money, followed closely by arguments over attentiveness (35%), and time spent on digital devices (34%).
  3. Almost all parents in Malaysia (96%) are stressed about their children’s future. A significant majority (67%) worry about their children at least once a week, while more than 1 in 3 (37%) worry on a daily basis.

What other interesting facts have we learnt about Malaysians in 2017?

  1. Most Malaysians say mealtimes would improve if phones were switched off (85%), while half of those surveyed feel that time spent on the phone adversely affects family relationships.
  2. Couples in Malaysia who plan their finances together are more optimistic that their family relationships will improve in five years’ time (76%) compared to those who plan separately (42%).
  3. Many Malaysians (63%) are concerned about their future health situation, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) expecting their health to deteriorate in the coming five years. Despite this, a majority (60%) say they are not active in maintaining their health.