The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has shown improvement in the 2015 global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) survey, released by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) on Wednesday, appearing in 88th position out of 168 countries surveyed and scoring 36 points compared to 34 in 2014.
The survey, which measures private sector perceptions of public services, recognizes a score of 0 as highly corrupt and 100 as very clean. The agency released results from the survey in 174 countries on Wednesday.
Although Indonesia only scored two points higher than last year, the feat helped the country to move up 19 notches in the 2015 CPI from 107th position in 2014.
TI Indonesia's program director Ilham Saenong said President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's extensive efforts to conduct reforms in state institutions had contributed greatly to Indonesia's good performance in the 2015 CPI.
'There has been a sense of confidence measured by the survey in the field of public services, for example in driving licenses and passport-making processes,' Saenong told a press briefing on Wednesday.
The survey revealed that in 2015 Indonesia performed better than neighboring Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, which saw their CPI scores and ranks drop compared to last year.
In the study, Indonesia was the only Asia-Pacific country that saw its score and rank increase.
In 2012, the country ranked 118th with 32 points, while in 2013 it achieved the same score but appeared in a higher position at 114. In addition, 2014 saw Indonesia score two points higher at 32 and appear in 107th position.
With a current score of 34, Indonesia only needs six and nine points to achieve the ASEAN regional average score of 40 and the Asia-Pacific average score of 43.
'We need to work harder in the future because our current score is still far from G20 countries' CPI average of 54,' TI Indonesia secretary-general Dadang Tri Sasongko said.
Dadang said that in previous surveys Indonesia's CPI score had fluctuated as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was engaged in a standoff with the National Police, but its dustup with the police did not prevent the country from achieving a higher CPI score.
'Jokowi's image as a businessman and his good track record very much give hope for business sector actors, in addition to the already good management of the current state of affairs in public services,' he said.
Dadang added that Indonesia could achieve a higher score if it managed to crack down on corrupt practices involving law enforcement agencies and political corruption.
'Despite the business community's confidence in public services now, they also want to see good progress in law enforcement and politics because what they want is legal certainty should they be involved in legal matters in the future,' Dadang said.
KPK gratuity director Giri Suprapdiono said Indonesia could have earned a better CPI score in 2015 if former KPK commissioners Abraham Samad and Bambang Widjojanto as well as KPK investigator Novel Baswedan had not faced police prosecution.
He added that politics had also hindered the fight against graft.
'I can say that we are already on the right track but we still need to work harder and harder. Because it is difficult to see this country free from graft because our politics costs a lot of money,' Giri said.
In the survey, Denmark came in first position with 92 points, followed by New Zealand with 91, Finland with 90, Sweden with 89, Switzerland with 86 and the Netherlands with 87.
At the bottom of the list were war-torn Somalia and isolated North Korea with eight points each as well as Afghanistan with 11 points.
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