BANGKOK — Thailand dropped three positions in the latest corruption index released Tuesday by a Berlin-based transparency watchdog.
Transparency International ranked Thailand 99th out of 180 countries in its annual index, which saw the kingdom fall two points to score 35. Zero represents complete corruption and 100 is complete transparency. The watchdog did not cite specific factors in Thailand’s decline.
However, Thailand’s ranking has wavered since the 2014 military coup that brought junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to power, improving to 76 in 2015 and dropping as far as 102 the year after.
Ranked jointly with Thailand were Albania, Bahrain, Colombia, Tanzania and the Philippines.
Elsewhere in the region, the general trend showed mixed results, with Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam ranking lower and other ASEAN countries improving their standings. Among them was Singapore, which jumped three places to rank third alongside Finland, Switzerland and Sweden, just behind New Zealand and first-place Denmark.
Globally, it was a poor year overall for transparency, with more than two-thirds of nations ranking below 50, something the watchdog said is linked to rising authoritarianism worldwide.
“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, Transparency International’s managing director.
In the rest of the world, the most notable improvements were by Turkey and India, while emerging economies such as Mexico and Brazil both dropped. World powers such as Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States regressed, with the states falling out of the top 20 for the first time since 2011.
Transparency International classifies countries based on assessments of corruption in the public sector. The results are calculated using data from 13 external sources that are standardized to calculate the final index’s score.