Three-quarters believe gov’t corruption a big problem . . .
In 2020, Transparency International, which seeks to eliminate corruption globally, focused its Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) on the Asia Pacific. Polling 20,000 people from 17 countries about their perceptions and experiences of corruption and bribery, they found that 74 per cent of Asians believe that government corruption is a big problem in their country. In Indonesia (92%) and India (89%), a significantly high proportion of people perceive corruption as a big problem. In South Korea (55%) and Cambodia (33%), considerably fewer people felt this way.
One in five admits paying a bribe . . .
While Cambodians perceive the least government corruption, 37 per cent of public service users in that country admit to having paid a bribe in exchange for a public service in the last 12 months, the second-highest after India (39%). The most likely public service to engage in bribery across Asia is the police (23%), and the least likely are hospitals (10%). Asians also experience corruption during elections. An average of 14 per cent of respondents said they were offered bribes in exchange for votes. This number rose to at least 28 per cent in Thailand and the Philippines and 26 per cent in Indonesia. Overall, Japanese, South Koreans, and Maldivians report the fewest experiences of bribery and vote-buying.
The good, the bad, and the wobbly . . .
Thirty-eight per cent in Asia feel that corruption has increased in the last year, and 32 per cent believe it has decreased. For example, majorities in Nepal (58%) and Thailand (55%) perceive an increase. On a positive note, Chinese (64%) and Filipino (64%) respondents are the most likely to believe that corruption in their countries has decreased since last year. Transparency International conducted a similar survey in the Asia Pacific in 2017, and since then, the reported rates of bribery dropped significantly for Vietnam, India, and Thailand. Overall, Asians are optimistic about the means to tackle corruption, with 63 per cent thinking that the national anti-corruption agencies are doing a good job, and 62 per cent believing that ordinary people can make a difference, mainly by reporting corruption and refusing to pay bribes.
- The Hindu: India records highest rate of bribery in Asia: Survey
- Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Asia, 10th Edition, 2020
- Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Asia Pacific, 9th Edition, 2017