Graft watchdog ranks S’pore 6th, M’sia 62nd for 2017

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Singapore has moved up one position to rank sixth in a corruption perceptions index by graft watchdog Transparency International (TI).

The Republic attained a score of 84 in its Corruption Perceptions Index for last year. The score is the same as the year before, though Singapore has now inched higher to share sixth spot with Sweden, The Straits Times reported.

Countries that took the top positions in the latest index are New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland.

In a statement yesterday, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) director Wong Hong Kuan noted that Singapore is recognised worldwide for its efficient and clean public service, and the incidence of public sector corruption here remains one of the lowest in the world.

The statement also noted that the corruption situation in Singapore remains under control.

Singapore was ranked the least corrupt country in the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy's 2017 Report on Corruption in Asia - a position it has held since 1995.

Similarly, in the 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index compiled by the World Justice Project, Singapore was ranked fourth for absence of corruption, coming out as the top Asian nation out of 113 countries.

In its index, TI measures countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index for last year is based on 13 surveys covering expert assessments and views of business people.

Countries are then scored on a scale of zero, for highly corrupt, to 100, for very clean.

Malaysia's failure to resolve major corruption scandals is one of the main reasons the country fell seven spots to its worst-ever position in the annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a TI official said.

It fell to No. 62 last year, compared with its ranking of 55 in 2016. This is the country's lowest position since the index was started in 1995.

"These scandals affected our score," said TI Malaysia chairman Akhbar Satar at the launch of the index yesterday, The Malaysian Insightreported.

Until these scandals are resolved satisfactorily, Malaysia's ranking is likely to further fall in the next few years, he said, referring to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and agencies such as Felda.