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Corrupt Image of South Korea on the Mend
Nation shows most improved CPI index in Asia for 2005; political instability in Nepal lowers score
Bikash Sangraula (vikaspost)     Print Article 
Published 2005-10-19 15:51 (KST)   
South Korea showed the greatest improvement among Asian countries in terms of the reduction of perceived corruption, according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), 2005, released Oct. 18.

On the other hand, Nepal saw a significant slump in the index ranking, due to the royal takeover on Feb. 1 and related political instability that gave rise to rampant corruption in the country.

The report, posted on the organization's Web site says that Bangladesh still remains near the bottom of the index. Asia contributes 13 out of the 25 countries faring very poorly in the index.

Meanwhile, Iceland has topped the CPI as the country with the lowest perception of corruption in the world.

With a CPI score of 4.5 in 2004, South Korea improved to a score of 5.0.

"(South Korea) has made significant progress in developing the institutions and laws to fight corruption, beginning with the launch of the Korean Independent Mission Against Corruption (KICAC) in 2002 and continuing in 2005 with the launch of the trademark K-PACT on anti-corruption and transparency, initiated by TI Korea and involving leaders in politics, the public sector and civil society," the report said.

Nepal dropped to a score of 2.5, down from its score of 2.8 in 2004.

"The poor performance of Nepal can be attributed to continuing political instability. The royal coup in February 2005, the sacking of an elected government in October 2002, and the bloody civil war have all weakened the country's governance systems and public trust in them. Despite constitutional protection of freedom of expression, in practice the ability of the media to report on corruption is curtailed and other democratic freedoms are severely threatened," the report added.

The 10 countries with the lowest corruption perception in East Asia, along with their world ranking, are as follows:

1. New Zealand (world ranking 3)
2. Singapore (world ranking 5)
3. Australia (world ranking 9)
4. Hong Kong (world ranking 15)
5. Japan (world ranking 21)
6. Taiwan (world ranking 32)
7. Malaysia (world ranking 39)
8. South Korea (world ranking 40)
9. Fiji (world ranking 55)
10. Thailand (world ranking 59)

Nepal ranks 17th in Asia and 117th in the world, along with Philippines.

The report lists the countries with the lowest corruption in the world as follows:

1. Iceland
2. Finland
3. New Zealand
4. Denmark
5. Singapore
6. Sweden
7. Switzerland
8. Norway
9. Australia
10. Austria
©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bikash Sangraula

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