Thursday, 9 April 2009

Indonesia Tops Graft List in Asia, Says Survey

April 8, 2009 The Jakarta Globe

Singapore. Indonesia is perceived as Asia’s most corrupt economy, an annual survey of foreign business executives showed on Wednesday.

According to the survey by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, or PERC, Singapore and Hong Kong remained the region’s least corrupt economies.

Despite the negative perception of Indonesia though, PERC noted “real headway in fighting the problem” under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was seeking reelection in July.

“To be sure, the absolute scores show corruption in the public and private sectors is still very high,” PERC told AFP.

“But our latest survey shows that residents in Indonesia are more favorably impressed with the determined way the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission] has been fighting corruption than any of the other countries graded poorly for corruption.”

The major question in Indonesia was whether the anticorruption efforts could be sustained.

The March results are based on more than 1,700 responses from 14 Asian economies plus Australia and the United States, which were included for comparison purposes, PERC said.

In a grading system with zero as the best possible score and 10 the worst, Indonesia got 8.32. A score greater than 7.0 indicates “serious” corruption problems.

Last year’s cellar-dweller, the Philippines, made a marked improvement, ranking sixth worst with a score of 7.0.

Thailand was seen as the second most corrupt country with a grade of 7.63, but PERC said foreign investors were more concerned about political stability.

“Very few expatriate executives find that corruption makes the country a less attractive place to live and do business,” it said.

Agence France-Presse