- Published on Sunday, 12 March 2017 12:00
- Written by Saigoneer.
A new transparency report just revealed that more than a quarter of Asians had to pay bribes to get access to public services in 2016.
Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International carried out the research in 16 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, surveying more than 20,000 people on their country’s corruption situation, reports Channel News Asia. The results are alarming: based on the answers, it can be estimated that around 900 million Asian residents had to shell out “coffee money” to smooth over bureaucratic hurdles.
This happens most frequently in India and Vietnam: to get access to public education and healthcare, nearly two-thirds of citizens had to pay a bribe. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia are on the other the end of the spectrum, where instances of bribery are less rampant.
The report also pointed out that the most common offenders of corruption were police, as just under one-third of Asians had to give their law enforcement officers “coffee money”.
On the other hand, the poor are the most vulnerable to corruption, with 38% of low-income respondents reporting having to pay a bribe. This is the case for Thailand, India and Pakistan. In Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia, rich people are more likely to have to pay bribe.
In an accompanying press release, Chairman Jose Ugaz of Transparency International emphasized the role of the government in combatting corruption. "Governments must do more to deliver on their anti-corruption commitments," Ugaz said.
He added: "Bribery is not a small crime, it takes food off the table, it prevents education, it impedes proper healthcare and ultimately it can kill."
[Infographic via Channel News Asia]