Taiwan moved up one place on the corruption perception index ranking released by Transparency International yesterday, but still lagged behind some of its more economically advanced neighbors, such as Japan and Singapore.
“Taiwan received a grade of 6.1 [on a scale of one to 10] on the corruption perception index,” Kuo Yu-ying (郭昱瑩), executive director of Transparency International Taiwan, told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “It’s quite remarkable ... this is the first time Taiwan has received a passing grade.”
“While this is quite laudable, Taiwan still lagged behind some of its neighbors in the region, such as Japan and Singapore, hence the government needs to work harder to catch up,” Kuo said.
With a grade of 6.1, which was an increase from last year’s 5.8, Taiwan moved up one spot to 32nd place this year among 183 governments surveyed, information provided by Transparency -International shows.
While Taiwan leads China, which received a grade of 3.1, and North Korea, at 1.0, it trails Singapore’s 9.2, Hong Kong’s 8.4 and Japan’s 8.0, the survey shows.
In terms of ranking, New Zealand, with a 9.5, took first place, while Singapore came in second, followed by Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.
Since 1995, Transparency International has been releasing corruption perception indices for countries based on opinions of business leaders, political analysts and experts in different fields on corruption in the public sector, Kuo said.
“Although the ranking may seem good for Taiwan, if you take into consideration the political and economic conditions, I’d say it’s less than satisfactory,” Kuo said.
Asked how Taiwan could improve its corruption perception index and ranking, Kuo said that the -government must launch a long-term education campaign to raise citizen awareness of the values of clean politics and governance.
In addition, the government and the legislature must be more cautious in handling issues related to government officials’ special allowance funds, she said.
Transparency International Taiwan deputy executive director Hu Lung-teng (胡龍騰) urged all presidential candidates to come up with policy agendas on how to develop clean politics.