A watchdog group says corruption continues to be a global problem and the majority of counties are moving too slowly in their efforts to address it. A score of 70 and above is considered generally clean, while a score of 50 and above means not entirely corrupt.
TI's table is compiled by awarding countries a score of between one and 100, based on data from 12 worldwide organisations including the World Bank, African Development Bank and the World Economic Forum.
Malaysia has taken a beating in the latest global index on corruption released by Transparency International, dropping six places last year to be ranked 62 among 180 countries, its worst performance in the last five years.
"The increased exposure of corrupt activities can be attributed to a more vocal and active citizenry, but despite these mounting calls for accountability, the lack of prosecution remains a major obstacle in the fight against corruption", Khaas said.
At the top of the list are New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland, while Somalia, South Sudan and Syria perceived as the most corrupt.
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"Massive corruption scandals had negative effects on perceptions at home and overseas", the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission said in a statement on the CPI index, apparently referring to the scandal that led to Park's ousting.
"As indicated above, the real spiral in the country began at the end of 2016, the year in which the survey was completed, when there was a marked escalation in revealing corruption, primarily through a robust civil society and media".
The report also added that on average, a journalist is killed in a country with a low CPI ranking every week.
"Countries where rule of law is respected, freedom of expression is respected, freedom of the press is respected" topped in the rankings, Ferreira Rubio said.
The watchdog said South Korea's ranking is still low in light of its worldwide and economic status. It is based on at least three independent surveys of the perceptions in each country.