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Thailand has been ranked 101st of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), dropping from 99 in 2018 and 96 in 2017.

Its score remained 36 out of 100 for a second year, a fall from the 2017 score of 37.

Thailand shares its ranking with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Panama, and Peru, while Denmark and New Zealand share first place, with a score of 87. Somalia ranks last at 180, with a score of 9.

In the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand ranks first, while Afghanistan ranks last with a score of 16. The regional average score is 45.

The 2019 report found that, “despite the presence of high performers” such as New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan, there has not been substantial progress in the region’s anti-corruption effort. It noted that the region “performs only marginally better than the global average” and that “governments across the region…continue to restrict participation in public affairs, silence dissenting voices, and keep decision-making out of public scrutiny.”

The CPI ranks 180 countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean,” said the report, which found that more than two-thirds of the surveyed countries score below 50, with an average score of 43 and that “despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively.”

“To have any chance of ending corruption and improving people’s lives, we must tackle the relationship between politics and big money. All citizens must be represented in decision-making,” said Patricia Moreira, Transparency International’s Managing Director.

The report, which observed that 137 out of 180 countries have made little to no progress in their anti-corruption efforts, stated that “to have any chance of curbing corruption, governments must strengthen checks and balances, limit the influence of big money in politics and ensure broad input in political decision-making. Public policies and resources should not be determined by economic power or political influence, but by fair consultation and impartial budget allocation.”

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