Cambodia remains most corrupt country in Southeast Asia

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Cambodia remained the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia in the Corruption Perception Index 2017, the annual global graft ranking compiled by Transparency International, and it ain’t getting better.

The country dropped from rank 156 in the previous index to 161 amid 180 countries globally, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo and behind Zimbabwe. It maintained a score of 21 out of 100 (on this scale, 100 means very clean and 0 reflects a deep-rooted, systemic corruption problem), but some African and Central Asian nations overtook the Khmer kingdom headed by an increasingly authoritarian ruler.

Other regional countries that dropped in the ranking were Indonesia, from to 90 to 96, and the Philippines from 101 to 111. Another big loser was Laos, dropping from 123 to 155, while Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei managed to improve in the ranking.

Malaysia’s ranking worsened to 62 from 55 in the previous year, putting it on the lowest position since the index was started in 1995. The drop was attributed by Transparency International Malaysia chairman Akhbar Satar to Malaysia’s failure to resolve major corruption scandals, namely the one surrounding embattled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or !MDB. He added unless this and other scandals are resolved satisfactorily, Malaysia’s ranking is likely to further deteriorate in the next few years.

Within Southeast Asia, Singapore remained the least corrupt country in the region and also moved up one position to rank 6 in the global ranking, just behind New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland and ahead of Sweden.

In entire Asia-Pacific, the picture of corruption is quite diverse. From top scorers like New Zealand and Singapore, to some of the worst scorers like Cambodia and North Korea, more than half of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region score less than 50 points on the index. In fact, on average, the region scores just 44.

Thus, corruption in many countries of the region is still very much present in daily life. Often, when individuals dare to challenge the status quo, they suffer the consequences. In some countries across the region, journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies are threatened, and in the worst cases, even murdered, Transparency International says, adding that the Philippines and meanwhile Cambodia are among the worst offenders.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia remained the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia in the Corruption Perception Index 2017, the annual global graft ranking compiled by Transparency International, and it ain’t getting better.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia remained the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia in the Corruption Perception Index 2017, the annual global graft ranking compiled by Transparency International, and it ain’t getting better.

The country dropped from rank 156 in the previous index to 161 amid 180 countries globally, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo and behind Zimbabwe. It maintained a score of 21 out of 100 (on this scale, 100 means very clean and 0 reflects a deep-rooted, systemic corruption problem), but some African and Central Asian nations overtook the Khmer kingdom headed by an increasingly authoritarian ruler.

Other regional countries that dropped in the ranking were Indonesia, from to 90 to 96, and the Philippines from 101 to 111. Another big loser was Laos, dropping from 123 to 155, while Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei managed to improve in the ranking.

Malaysia’s ranking worsened to 62 from 55 in the previous year, putting it on the lowest position since the index was started in 1995. The drop was attributed by Transparency International Malaysia chairman Akhbar Satar to Malaysia’s failure to resolve major corruption scandals, namely the one surrounding embattled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or !MDB. He added unless this and other scandals are resolved satisfactorily, Malaysia’s ranking is likely to further deteriorate in the next few years.

Within Southeast Asia, Singapore remained the least corrupt country in the region and also moved up one position to rank 6 in the global ranking, just behind New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland and ahead of Sweden.

In entire Asia-Pacific, the picture of corruption is quite diverse. From top scorers like New Zealand and Singapore, to some of the worst scorers like Cambodia and North Korea, more than half of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region score less than 50 points on the index. In fact, on average, the region scores just 44.

Thus, corruption in many countries of the region is still very much present in daily life. Often, when individuals dare to challenge the status quo, they suffer the consequences. In some countries across the region, journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies are threatened, and in the worst cases, even murdered, Transparency International says, adding that the Philippines and meanwhile Cambodia are among the worst offenders.

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