PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) -- Cambodia remains one of the world’s 20 most corrupt countries, according to a survey released Tuesday by German-based, Transparency International.
Rath Sophoan, chairman of Transparency International Cambodia, said that in this year’s index, Cambodia ranked 160th out of 177 countries regarding corruption with a score of 20 compared with 157th out of 176 countries last year.
He said, the 2013 ranking confirms that the public sector in Cambodia continues to be perceived as highly corrupt. However, the Royal Government of Cambodia’s renewed commitment to deepen reforms is commendable.
"This year’s result continues to indicate that corruption is a major problem that negatively impacts the daily lives of Cambodian citizens and has serious consequences for Cambodia’s economic competitiveness," Sophoan said.
"While it is encouraging to hear the highest level of Cambodia’s government reiterating their commitment to tackle corruption, corruption practices will continue and become even more entrenched unless rhetoric is matched by action. Acknowledgement and commitment are not enough. Substantial reform must be taken in order to fight this hideous crime," he said.
Sophoan also urged the government to pass and implement the Access to Information Law as a matter of priority.
Preap Kol, Executive Director of Transparency International Cambodia, said, "the government needs to undertake a holistic approach in order to achieve its effort to tackle corruption and ensure that future progress is irreversible."
"The approach needs to involve much more concrete actions including the implementation of anti-corruption preventative measures, strong law enforcement and effective integrity education," he said.
Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia and Canada are the top-ranked countries, while Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Syria are the bottom-ranked nations.