SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia, one of the star emerging markets over the past year, was rated the most corrupt of 16 major Asia-Pacific investment destinations in a business survey released on Monday.
With corruption rampant at all levels, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s drive to fight graft has been hampered by the politicisation of the issue by those threatened by his efforts, the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy said.
“Corruption has become a charge being used by corrupt people to protect themselves and to stifle reform. The whole fight against corruption is in danger of being corrupted,” it said.
Indonesia scored 9.07 out of 10 as the most corrupt nation in the 2010 survey, up from 7.69 points a year ago. The survey polled 2,174 middle and senior business executives in Asia, Australia and the United States.
Cambodia was ranked second most corrupt, followed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, India, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Macao, Japan, the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and -- rated as the least corrupt in the survey -- Singapore.
The survey looked at how corruption affected different levels of political leadership and the civil service, and how major institutions fared in terms of corruption.
It also examined how corruption is perceived to affect the overall business environment, and how easy or difficult it is for companies to deal with the problem internally and externally when they encounter it.
Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Andrew Marshall