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Mixed bag for country in report on 'failed states'

CAMBODIA continues to be "in danger" of a failure of state institutions, according to a new report by the US-based political magazine Foreign Policy, which said the country was marked by "endemic corruption" and a loss of confidence in state institutions last year.

The 2009 Failed States Index, released last month, rated Cambodia as the 49th least-functional of the 177 states surveyed between May and December 2008, rising slightly from 48th in last year's ranking.

But while the Kingdom's ranking improved, its aggregate score fell slightly. Twelve categories were used to formulate the "failed state"

ranking, with Cambodia rating highest in "delegitimisation of the state", which the magazine defines as "massive and endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elites", resistance of rulers to transparency and accountability and the "widespread" loss of confidence in official institutions.

Cambodia received the best ratings for its relative lack of refugee populations and benign security apparatus.

Foreign Policy noted that the rankings were only a general guide to a country's progress, saying that "the pace and direction of change, either positive or negative, varies".

Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Tuesday that it was Foreign Policy's right to compile lists, but made it clear the government was making efforts to improve the situation in Cambodia.

"It is their right to make rankings based on their research," he said.

"We are making efforts for our people to have [everything] that other countries have, including a strong democracy and respect for human rights."

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