Singapore is the least corrupt country in Asia and the 5th least corrupt nation in the world, according to Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions.
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again cling to the bottom rung of the index. In these countries the lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption.
Among Asian countries, Singapore is the least corrupt, ahead of Hong Kong (14th), Japan (17th), Taiwan (37th) and South Korea (45th).
Underperformers in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 also include the Eurozone countries most affected by the financial and economic crisis.
Transparency International notes it has consistently warned Europe to address corruption risks in the public sector to tackle the financial crisis, calling for strengthened efforts to corruption-proof public institutions.
“Corruption is the world’s most talked about problem,” states Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International. “The world’s leading economies should lead by example, making sure that their institutions are fully transparent and their leaders are held accountable. This is crucial since their institutions play a significant role in preventing corruption from flourishing globally.”