S'pore is 5th least corrupt country in the world, says Transparency International

Singapore is also the least corrupt Asian country.

Hannah Martens | January 31, 2023, 04:41 PM

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According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International, Singapore has been ranked 5th among 180 countries for 2022.

This was mentioned in a press release by Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) on Jan. 31.

Lowest score in 10 years

The CPI scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, based on survey results by experts and business people. The scale ranges from zero to 100; the higher the score, the less corrupt the country supposedly is.

Transparency International is a non-profit organisation based in Germany.

Singapore scored 83 on the CPI scale, making it the least corrupt country in Asia.

Photo from Transparency Internation

Singapore trails behind Denmark (90), Finland (87), New Zealand (87) and Norway (84). The next Asian name on the list is Hong Kong, ranked 12th with a score of 76.

However, this is the lowest score for Singapore in a decade, reported the Straits Times (ST). In 2012, Singapore had a score of 87. According to the 2021 CPI, Singapore was ranked fourth with a score of 85.

In the report, Transparency International noted that out of the 180 countries, the average score is 43, with two-thirds of the countries scoring below 50.

Transparency International said that the top ten countries have solid institutions and well-functioning democracies, which led to them receiving high scores.


The report noted that the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and growing security threats worldwide are fuelling a new wave of uncertainty.

The report also stated that countries with high CPI scores play a role in corruption as "they have welcomed dirt money from abroad, allowing kleptocrats to increase their wealth, power and geopolitical ambitions".

The link between corruption, conflict and security made by Transparency International is that corruption is not only a consequence but also a cause of conflict.

"Corruption generates new grievances in society, or drives existing ones, by undermining defence and security institutions, and by eroding state legitimacy," the report wrote.

Regional outlook

According to the report, the CPI in the Asia-Pacific region stagnated for the fourth year in a row, with an average score of 45.

The report pointed out that while some governments have made headway against petty corruption, grand corruption remains common throughout the region.

Specifically for Asia, the reports state the governments in the region have placed their focus on economic recovery at the expense of other priorities while leaders in the Pacific renew focus to focus on anti-corruption efforts.

Statement from CPIB

CPIB said in its press release that the corruption situation in Singapore remains firmly under control.

According to the CPIB annual corruption statistics released in 2021, the number of public sector corruption cases has remained consistently low over the years. Singapore has also performed well across international indices for incorruptibility and clean public sector.

The results from CPIB's recent Public Perception Survey conducted in 2022 indicated strong public confidence in Singapore's corruption control efforts.

According to the survey of over 1,000 respondents, 96 per cent rate Singapore's corruption control efforts to be effective, compared to 94 per cent in 2020.

Political determination, heavy punishment for corruption offences, and a zero-tolerance culture for corruption with ranked as the top three most important factors that contribute to Singapore's low corruption rate.

Top photo from Unsplash