Corruption is getting worse in Asia, report shows

Corruption Is Getting Worse In Asia, Report Shows
Cambodia’s anti-graft unit seems to be ineffective

With an average score of just 44 out of 100 for three consecutive years, the Asia-Pacific region is making little progress in the fight against corruption, Transparency International commented on its latest Corruption Perceptions Index which takes 0 as highly corrupt and 100 as corruption-free.

Compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific is on par with the Americas (average score: 44) in its lack of progress and behind Western Europe and the European Union (average score: 66), the report showed.

Within Asia, North Korea in 2018 was ranked as the most corrupt country with the closed communist nation receiving one of the worst scores in the index. Despite showing a slight improvement in its corruption score in 2017, it fell from 17 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.

This drop in score appeared across the board in Asia, with China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia dropping between one and three points from the previous year. Only Laos is able to say it isn’t getting worse. The country scored 29/100 for the second consecutive year.

The Philippines obtained a score of 36 in 2018 from 34 in 2017, jumping from 111th to 99th out of 180 countries. Vietnam was a decliner, scoring 33, down two points from 2017.

“Vietnam has taken a strong approach towards prosecution and punishment of corrupt individuals over the last few years,” the report said.

“Strong enforcement efforts are only part of a comprehensive and effective anti-corruption strategy. In addition, weak democratic institutions and few political rights cast serious doubts on the fairness of the arrests and prosecutions in the country,” the report added.

It cited recent scandals in which Vietnamese government officials were bribed by companies in return for development assistance or government contracts.

Corruption Is Getting Worse In Asia, Report Shows“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” said Transparency International’s chairwoman, Delia Ferreira Rubio.

Her comments could be applied to the situation in Cambodia, ranked 169th overall, with a score of 20, down one point from the previous three years.

In response to the report, the Cambodian Council of Ministers’ spokesperson Phay Siphan said that it disregarded Cambodia’s improvements in poverty reduction, economic growth, improved wages for civil servants and good investment environment.

He said Cambodia is working to stamp out corruption according to United Nations recommendations, not Transparency International’s.

“There are plenty of fake reports. This is a fabricated report, so we don’t accept it,” he said, adding that “as a government, we do not work for a good [ranking on a] report. We work based on our potential to reduce poverty and promote accountability and transparency. Let the people judge us,” he said.

For the entire Asia-Pacific region, the report said that with few exceptions like New Zealand and Singapore, most of the countries in the region were failing to effectively fight corruption.

The report recommended that a diverse strategy to tackle the problem would be necessary, because no single solution would eliminate it entirely, especially in areas where it is deep rooted.

“While some countries captured by an undemocratic political elite or institution may make small strides against corruption in the short-term, they cannot fight corruption effectively in the long-term,” the report said, suggesting that in the long term only democracies have the necessary checks and balances to effectively battle corruption.

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[caption id="attachment_32454" align="alignleft" width="300"] Cambodia's anti-graft unit seems to be ineffective[/caption] With an average score of just 44 out of 100 for three consecutive years, the Asia-Pacific region is making little progress in the fight against corruption, Transparency International commented on its latest Corruption Perceptions Index which takes 0 as highly corrupt and 100 as corruption-free. Compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific is on par with the Americas (average score: 44) in its lack of progress and behind Western Europe and the European Union (average score: 66), the report showed. Within Asia, North Korea in 2018 was ranked as the most...

Corruption Is Getting Worse In Asia, Report Shows
Cambodia’s anti-graft unit seems to be ineffective

With an average score of just 44 out of 100 for three consecutive years, the Asia-Pacific region is making little progress in the fight against corruption, Transparency International commented on its latest Corruption Perceptions Index which takes 0 as highly corrupt and 100 as corruption-free.

Compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific is on par with the Americas (average score: 44) in its lack of progress and behind Western Europe and the European Union (average score: 66), the report showed.

Within Asia, North Korea in 2018 was ranked as the most corrupt country with the closed communist nation receiving one of the worst scores in the index. Despite showing a slight improvement in its corruption score in 2017, it fell from 17 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.

This drop in score appeared across the board in Asia, with China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia dropping between one and three points from the previous year. Only Laos is able to say it isn’t getting worse. The country scored 29/100 for the second consecutive year.

The Philippines obtained a score of 36 in 2018 from 34 in 2017, jumping from 111th to 99th out of 180 countries. Vietnam was a decliner, scoring 33, down two points from 2017.

“Vietnam has taken a strong approach towards prosecution and punishment of corrupt individuals over the last few years,” the report said.

“Strong enforcement efforts are only part of a comprehensive and effective anti-corruption strategy. In addition, weak democratic institutions and few political rights cast serious doubts on the fairness of the arrests and prosecutions in the country,” the report added.

It cited recent scandals in which Vietnamese government officials were bribed by companies in return for development assistance or government contracts.

Corruption Is Getting Worse In Asia, Report Shows“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” said Transparency International’s chairwoman, Delia Ferreira Rubio.

Her comments could be applied to the situation in Cambodia, ranked 169th overall, with a score of 20, down one point from the previous three years.

In response to the report, the Cambodian Council of Ministers’ spokesperson Phay Siphan said that it disregarded Cambodia’s improvements in poverty reduction, economic growth, improved wages for civil servants and good investment environment.

He said Cambodia is working to stamp out corruption according to United Nations recommendations, not Transparency International’s.

“There are plenty of fake reports. This is a fabricated report, so we don’t accept it,” he said, adding that “as a government, we do not work for a good [ranking on a] report. We work based on our potential to reduce poverty and promote accountability and transparency. Let the people judge us,” he said.

For the entire Asia-Pacific region, the report said that with few exceptions like New Zealand and Singapore, most of the countries in the region were failing to effectively fight corruption.

The report recommended that a diverse strategy to tackle the problem would be necessary, because no single solution would eliminate it entirely, especially in areas where it is deep rooted.

“While some countries captured by an undemocratic political elite or institution may make small strides against corruption in the short-term, they cannot fight corruption effectively in the long-term,” the report said, suggesting that in the long term only democracies have the necessary checks and balances to effectively battle corruption.

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