Cambodia Ranked Poorly in Corruption Study

For the first time since rankings began a decade ago, Transpar­en­cy International, the leading international anti-corruption NGO, has ranked Cambodia on its Corrup­tion Perception Index, placing it at 131 out of 159 countries—better than Congo, but worse than Burundi.

Iceland is ranked as the least cor­rupt nation on earth while the most corrupt is Chad, followed by Bang­la­­desh, Turkmenistan, Bur­ma and Hai­ti. Thailand ranked number 60, Laos is 77 and Vietnam is 114th.

“Cambodia’s low score in its first appearance in the CPI reflects the perception of endemic corruption in the country,” the report states.

Transparency spokeswoman Sarah Tyler wrote in an e-mail from Berlin that Cambodia’s ranking is based on four previous surveys of the business environment conducted by the World Econom­ic Forum in conjunction with the Economic Institute of Cambodia, by the World Markets Research Center, by The Economist magazine and by the Mer­chant Interna­tional Group.

“Cambodia has yet to enact an an­ti-cor­ruption law after many years of de­bate,” the report states.

“Reforms to improve public sector transparency appear to have faltered, with a flawed National Ar­chive Law passed in August 2005 and a possible Freedom of In­for­ma­tion Act still under discussion.”

The National Archive Law was criticized for placing many documents under national security protection and for punishing those who leak information with 30 years in jail, while specifying no punishment for those withholding information that the public has a right to access.

Leng Peng Long, secretary of state at the Ministry of National As­sembly, Senate Relations and In­spec­­tions, said that he expects the anti-corruption law to be submitted to the Council of Ministers soon but did not know if the law would be passed this year as originally scheduled.

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