Forbes Lists Cambodia in Top 10 for Corruption

A report released by the influential business magazine Forbes on Friday has placed Cambodia in the top 10 of the world’s most corrupt nations; more bad news for the country’s reputation following last week’s assessment by The Econ-omist magazine’s Intelligence Unit that rated Cambodia as a country at “very high” risk of social unrest due to factors related to the global economic crisis.

Forbes justified its decision to list Cambodia among the top 10 most corrupt nations by citing allegations that money put aside for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge trials was stolen by government officials.

“Funding for a 13-year effort to prosecute acts of genocide in a special United Nations court, has run out before trials could even begin,” the Forbes report stated.

Cheam Yeap, a CPP lawmaker in the National Assembly, said Wednesday that corruption is still a problem but he did not accept the findings in the Forbes report.

“I don’t know what they based their findings on to make this re-port,” he said. “Corruption in this country mainly occurs due to the living conditions, greed and interest in power.”

Cheam Yeap added that the government was doing everything it could to eliminate corrupt activities and that a law against corruption, which has been in the pipeline since 1994, was currently with the inter-ministerial committee.

“It will soon be sent to the Council of Ministers before being brought to the National Assem-bly,” he said, though he was un-able to provide an exact deadline for the introduction of the long-awaited law.

Pal Sam Oeurn, another CPP lawmaker said, “I cannot give any judgment on their [Forbes Maga­zine’s] evaluation. The most important thing is that the government is trying hard to eliminate it.”

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