Singapore ranks 7th in list of least corrupt countries; NZ, Denmark top chart

In the list that ranks 176 economies, Singapore was second only to New Zealand within the Asia Pacific region.

Picture for representation
Garden of Light is projected on the ArtScience Museum in Singapore Reuters

Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 has placed Singapore in the 7th position, after the country secured 84 points, which is higher than last year's 8th ranking. The list runs in a descending order with the most corrupt countries are placed at the top of the charts and the least corrupted country secures the 100th position.

According to Channel News Asia, the index takes into consideration the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide. The list is prepared after country experts and business people give their rating.

In the list that ranks 176 economies, Singapore was second only to New Zealand within the Asia Pacific region. The other countries of the region which secured higher positions are Australia (79), Hong Kong (77) and Japan (72). However, 19 out of the 30 Asia Pacific economies scored 40 or less out of 100.

While New Zealand and Denmark are tied at the same spot, with a score of 90, which is also the top place worldwide, Somalia (10), South Sudan (11) and North Korea (12) scored the lowest.

Meanwhile, the director of Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) of Singapore, Wong Hong Kuan, considers the results as a testament to "Singapore's continued vigilance, commitment and zero-tolerance" in the fight against corruption, according to Channel News Asia. "The CPIB will continue to battle corruption without fear or favour so as to uphold the highest level of integrity and incorruptibility in Singapore," said Wong, as reported.

According to the index, the most corrupted countries are being controlled by untrustworthy and inefficient public institutions like the police and judiciary. It is also said that even if anti-corruption laws are there, they just remain in pages and in reality is often disobeyed and ignored.

For the less corrupt countries in the list, the TI says that there exists press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials and most importantly an independent judicial system. However, it is also said that the good rankings do not mean that the countries are immune to corruption. closed-door deals, illicit finance, and patchy law enforcement are still there in such the countries.