Thailand dropped to 101st in 2016 Corruption Perception Index from 76th place a year earlier scoring only 35 compared to 38 in 2015, according to the latest report by Transparency International.

The report said that they drop in its score this year reinforced the link between perceived corruption and political turmoil. Government repression, lack of independence oversight, and the deterioration of rights eroded public confidence in the country.

Thailand's new constitution, while it places significant focus on addressing corruption, entrenches military power and unaccountable government, undermining eventual return to democratic civilian rule. Free debate on the constitution was impossible; campaigning in opposition was banned and dozens of people were detained.

The military junta also prohibited monitoring of the referendum. There is a clear absence of independent oversight and righteous debate.

Among the Asean 10, Thailand ranks No 5 in 2016 Corruption Perception Index after Singapore ranks No 1 scoring 84 points, Brunei ranks No 2 with 58 scores, Malaysia No 3 with 49 scores, Indonesia No 4 with 37 scores.

Those scored worse than Thailand are Vietnam with 33 scores, Laos with 30 scores, Myanmar with 28 scores and Cambodia at the bottom of the pack with 21 scores. The Philippines scored 35 like Thailand.

Secretary-General of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Mr Sansern Poljiak said he was disappointed by Transparency International's evaluation of Thailand's corruption situation because he had expected better score this year.

He said he had to find out what had happened to the TI's assessment.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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