Southeast Asia struggles with corruption
LAOS: Three Southeast Asian nations Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar rank among the 30 most corrupt countries in the world, while one -- Singapore -- is among the 10 least corrupt, according to Transparency International's annual survey. Two Southeast Asian countries -- Malaysia and the Philippines -- were seen as becoming more corrupt last year, while the others all improved or remained the same, according to the Corruption Perception Index released Wednesday.
"If there was one common challenge to unite the AsiaPacific region, it would be corruption," Srirak Plipat, Transparency International's regional director, said in a statement. "From campaign pledges to media coverage to civil society forums, corruption dominates discussion. Yet despite all this talk, there's little sign of action." The index tracks perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 nations and the watchdog says it's calculated based on expert opinions. Each nation is assigned a score in which less corruption gets a higher number. This year's survey puts Denmark on top with a score of 91 and North Korea and Somalia at the bottom, each with eight. The top scoring Southeast Asia nation is Singapore, coming in at 85, which ranked the island the eighth least-corrupt nation in the world. It scored 84 the year before.