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Poll shows Thais believe corruption on the wane

The corruption situation in Thailand has been improving since the change in government, according to a survey released last week by the Thai University Chamber of Commerce, while another poll has shown that more than half of business executives contacted said they are ready to adopt anti-corruption policies at their companies. 
 
The Thai University Chamber of Commerce survey found perceived corruption at its lowest level in five years due in large part to a greater awareness of the problem and scrutiny on the part of society.
 
The survey of 2,400 respondents showed the general public has a better perception about the corruption situation in the country, the president of the university Saowanee Thairungroj said.
 
"People have acknowledged that the corruption situation in the country is getting better as they see more action on corruption cases by the government” and the public sector, said Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce's Economic and Business Forecasting Centre.
 
The survey, conducted by the university with the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand, found that the cost of bribes has dropped to 5-15 percent, or US$1.53 billion to $4.6 billion (50.25 billion baht to 150.76 billion baht), of the total budget.  That is the lowest level in five years.  Bribes had accounted for 15 -25 percent in June and even more in past years.
 
The lower bribes equal lower losses leaving more funds available to drive the economy up by 0.5 percent or more, according to the survey.
 
The survey also found renewed confidence in anti-corruption agencies with the index increasing slightly from 5.2 to 5.23.  The private sector's help in the fight against corruption increased from 5.1 to 5.38, and confidence in media anti-corruption coverage increased from 5.54 to 5.65.
 
Meanwhile, a Private Sector Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) survey conducted last October and November found that most firms are ready to institute anti-graft policies at their companies.
 
Along the same line, the survey of 425 executives and directors at private companies found that 54.5 percent of them are ready to push for internal anti-corruption policies at their companies.  Of the respondents, nearly 70 percent expect the private sector to participate more over the next one to two years in tackling corruption.  Nine percent expect to take a much more active role.  Of the remaining respondents, 3.7 percent expect the private sector’s role to decrease and only 1.1 percent expect it to play a much smaller role.  The remaining 16.2 per cent expect no change.
 
"The outcome of the survey clearly demonstrates the readiness and eagerness of the Thai private sector to join the fight against corruption and not leave the burden solely in the hands of the government," said Panas Simasathien, chairman of the CAC.
 
See the original article at Thailand e-Focus

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