More than half of the countries in Asia were ranked below the world average on Transparency International’s Corruptions Perception Index 2012, which was recently released.
Out of 21 Asian countries, twelve, mainly in Southeast Asia, had scores below the average worldwide score of 43 while nine scored above the average.
At the top end of the list was New Zealand, which was in a three-way tie for first place with Denmark and Finland as the world’s least corrupt nation. Other Asian countries in the “cleanest” ten percent of the rankings were Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.
At the bottom end were Laos, with a score of 21 and Myanmar (15).
According to a statement from TI, two-thirds of the world's 176 countries scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.
“Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making,” said Huguette Labelle, the chair of Transparency International, in a statement.
“Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people.”
The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries worldwide. It’s based on a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption collected by a variety of reputable institutions, according to TI.