The prosecution and imprisonment of several high-ranking officials and lawmakers for corruption have done little to improve Indonesia’s ranking as one of the world’s most corrupt countries, according to the latest Transparency International report released on Tuesday.
The Berlin-based anticorruption group ranked Indonesia 111th among 180 countries surveyed, with a score of 2.8. A score of 10 is the cleanest possible.
Also receiving a 2.8 score were Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt and Mali.
Last year, Indonesia ranked 126th among 180 countries, with a score of 2.6.
However, Transparency International Indonesia secretary general Teten Masduki noted that the study was conducted before the arrests of three leaders of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on various criminal charges, which many see as an attempt to undermine the antigraft body.
“It’s possible that Indonesia would rank even lower than last year if the scandal had occurred before we conducted the survey,” he said. “Unless a serious anticorruption drive is carried out by the government, Indonesia will certainly get an even lower score next year.”
Teten said that since the first study conducted in 1995, Indonesia had only gained 1.1 point overall, but had shown a significant improvement since the KPK was established in 2003. The commission’s achievements, he said, along with reforms at the Ministry of Finance, were the only real contributions to the eradication of corruption in the country.
Haryono Umar, a KPK deputy chairman, said that corruption could be eliminated entirely if other government institutions implemented the same reforms as the Finance Ministry.
“All opportunities for corruption must be eliminated, particularly in areas prone to graft such as public services, procurement and policy making,” Haryono said.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said that part of her success in reforming one of the most corrupt institutions in the country was achieved by improving the welfare of the staff members as well as firmly sanctioning those who were corrupt.
Since she became finance minister in 2004, the ministry had dismissed 1,961 officials, almost half for graft-related offenses.
New Zealand was ranked as the cleanest country in the world, scoring 9.4 in the study. Indonesia’s neighbor Singapore came third with a score of 9.2.