Ethan Harfenist & Erwida Maulia
Berlin-based Transparency International has released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012, with Indonesia sliding in this year’s rankings despite increased foreign investment and a bigger global profile.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy was ranked 118th out of 176 countries polled, down from 100th out of 183 the year before, and tied with Madagascar, Egypt, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
According to Transparency International’s website, the index “scores countries on a scale from 0 [highly corrupt] to 100 [very clean]. While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem.”
Indonesia scored 32 on the scale. The anticorruption watchdog used nine surveys on the country to determine its ranking.
Transparency International Indonesia manager Franky Simanjuntak said on Wednesday that Indonesia performed worse than the Philippines this year, which ranked 105th, when it had traditionally ranked lower than Indonesia.
But Vietnam, which fared better than Indonesia last year, dropped to 123th position in the 2012 index.
Most other countries in the region, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, again performed better than Indonesia, at 5th, 54th and 88th, respectively.
Laos finished at 160th and Myanmar at 172nd.
Franky said this year’s score could not be compared with those in previous years, which used a scale from 0 to 10. Indonesia scored 3.0 in 2011.
“We use a different method now. And with this new method, starting from this year we can compare year-on-year scores,” Franky said, adding that the previous method did not actually allow comparisons of year-on-year figures.
“But with the 30-something score, we can say that Indonesia remains in the cluster of countries with significant corruption problems, relative to other countries surveyed,” he added.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand shared the 1st position in this year’s rankings, scoring 90, followed by Sweden and Singapore.
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia shared the bottom place, scoring 8 each.