By the Numbers: Corruption Perceptions in Southeast Asia

The data driving Asia

Transparency International on July 9 released its 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, which measures citizen’s perceptions of corruption and experiences with bribery in 107 countries. Respondents from six ASEAN countries—Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—participated in the survey. Many Southeast Asian countries suffer from endemic corruption and, as a result, governments across the region have launched various anti-graft efforts. We look at how Southeast Asians view corruption by the numbers.

2

The number of ASEAN countries in which people feel corruption has decreased over the past two years. More than a third of Filipinos and 40 percent of Cambodians believe corruption in their countries has decreased, at least a little, since 2011.

54%

The percentage of Indonesians who believe corruption in their country has increased significantly over the past two years, despite high-profile efforts by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to bring cases against government officials and others involved in graft. The Indonesian government has increased funding and staffing for the KPK every year since 2008.

A U.S. sponsored anti-corruption film competition in Indonesia.

A U.S. embassy sponsored anti-corruption film competition in Indonesia during 2011. Source: U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

3.5%

The average percentage of Malaysians who reported paying bribes for various government services within the past year. Malaysia is the only ASEAN country with a bribery rate of less than 5 percent. More than three quarters of Malaysians believe ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption, making them the most optimistic in Southeast Asia in this regard.

41%

The percentage of Vietnamese who do not think ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption, making them the most pessimistic within ASEAN. The majority of Vietnamese are also ambivalent to government actions in fighting corruption.

5 out of 6

The number of ASEAN countries among those surveyed in which people feel that the police are the most corrupt institution. Cambodia is the only country where respondents feel that the judiciary is more corrupt than the police, with 65 percent reporting paying bribes to both within the past 12 months.

6 comments for “By the Numbers: Corruption Perceptions in Southeast Asia

  1. Mark Winkel
    August 1, 2013 at 21:46

    Very interesting numbers.
    After diving into the methodology and seeing that — within ASEAN — Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, and Singapore (after many years) were not surveyed, I suggest that statements such as “Malaysia is the only ASEAN country with a bribery rate of less than 5 percent.” are misleading on the surface. “… only country among those surveyed in ASEAN” would be clearer.
    Larger question might be why Singapore was not included this year.

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