As corruption in Thailand not only doesn’t improve but gets worse, the 2011 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is proving that point. The index, released today by Transparency International, has pushed Thailand two places further down its list from 2012, with the country finishing in 80th place out of 183 countries. Many in Thailand, particularly foreigners, would tell you they believe it should be lower.
Transparency Thailand Secretary-General (don’t you love that odd title?) Juree Vichit-Vadakan said Thailand is now in the same position as Columbia, El Salvador, Greece, Morocco and Peru, which have always been known as some of the world’s most corrupt countries.
In the Corruption Perception Index, Thailand received 3.4 points on a scale of 0-10. As 10 points means a country has a low corruption level, and equates to a high level of corruption, at 3.4 Thais and Thailand don’t have much to be proud of now, do they?
As for the top of the list, New Zealand came in first as the world’s least-corrupt country, followed by Denmark, and Finland (not surprising, as they’re all successful, developed countries and, to become that, you simply can’t be corrupt). North Korea and Somalia were dead last with zero points each.
But as Thai children continue to believe cheating in school leads to good grades, acceptance at a good university, and great opportunities in their careers, don’t expect corruption in Thailand to go away any time soon. From the police taking bribes for not giving traffic tickets, to politicians lining their own pockets with money meant for flood control projects, and others giving out contracts for the poorly-built-because-of-kickbacks Suvarnabhumi Airport, most segments of Thai socidety are involved.
In fact, don’t be surprised if, in the 2012 Corruption Perception Index Thailand has fallen even lower.