According to the findings of Transparency International, almost 70 percent of countries are perceived to have a serious corruption problem. Europe - in particular western Europe - is perceived as the cleanest part of the world in terms of corruption, supported by the Scandinavian countries that are all positioned within the top five on the list. Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the region that can be labelled as most corrupt.

Indonesia is also widely known as a corrupt country. In Indonesian media - whether television, newspapers or websites - corruption cases are frequently the center of attention. On the other hand, it is rather positive that Indonesia has free media that can discuss these corruption cases and even has an institution, the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, abbreviated KPK), that is envisaged to free the country from corruption by investigating as well as prosecuting cases of corruption as well as monitoring the governance of the state (for which it received extensive powers). Although the KPK is a government-financed institution (and thus not as independent as it would like to be), it did not refrain from catching various high- positioned politicians in recent years.

Despite the long road ahead, improvements are visible. Indonesia is one of the few countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index that has shown a steady and marked improvement, coinciding with the start of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration in 2004.

    1.   Denmark    9.1
     -   New Zealand    9.1
     -   Finland    8.9
    4.   Sweden    8.9
    5.   Norway    8.6
  Singapore    8.6
 114.   Indonesia    3.2
    2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013
Indonesia    2.0    2.2    2.4    2.3    2.6    2.8    2.8    3.0    3.2    3.2

Source: Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International

Further Reading:

Click here for a detailed account on corruption in Indonesia