March 09, 2010
Indonesia is Seen as Most Corrupt Nation in Asia-Pacific Region
Once again, Indonesian has made it onto a list of superlatives. Unfortunately, not for something the nation should be proud of.
The Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy put Indonesia at the bottom of its latest Asia-Pacific corruption perception ranking, issued on Monday.
While Singapore topped the list of countries perceived to be clean of corruption, with a score of 1.42, Indonesia fared worst out of the 16 countries surveyed with 9.27. Cambodia was second from bottom with 9.10, Vietnam and the Philippines scored 8.07 and 8.06, respectively while Malaysia was ninth, just ahead of China, with a score of 6.47.
The PERC study was based on perceptions, not reality, but perceptions do matter.
The absolute level of corruption in Indonesia, it said, might not be any worse than in any other Asian country, but the perception that corruption is especially bad here will make it more difficult for the country to attract foreign direct investment and toughen the terms of those investments.
That negative perception, it said, will also influence future elections. Indonesians gave President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a large mandate partly because of his anticorruption platform.
It certainly does not help that there is so much finger-pointing by those who themselves are seen to be corrupt. It only shows how corruption here is being politicized.