Hun Sen has an existential corruption problem

Ineffectual anti-corruption unit has ensured Cambodia’s consistent rank among world’s most graft-ridden nations.

This month’s collapse of another building under construction in Cambodia, killing 36 people including six children, underscored the government’s failure to prevent the endemic mismanagement and corruption that causes such tragedies.

While economists recognize that a certain amount of corruption helped to grease the wheels of the nation’s recent fast economic growth, it has now arguably become so pervasive that it represents an existential risk to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s de facto one-party state.

Last month, the US Treasury Department sanctioned two Cambodian businessmen suspected of corruption and illegal logging, accusations the Foreign Ministry said were based on groundless accusations, a source of “strong dismay” and an “ambush” on attempts to “restore trust and confidence” between the two nations.

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