Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judiciary hampers TI corruption score

Judiciary hampers TI corruption score

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Judiciary hampers TI corruption score

Cambodia's public institutions are viewed as the most corrupt in Southeast Asia, according to the annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which was launched yesterday.

The latest CPI, which ranks the perception of state corruption across the world, showed the Kingdom scored the same rating as last year, 21 out of 100, making Cambodia the worst performer in ASEAN, falling behind Myanmar, whose rating crept up one point to 22 (with zero being “highly corrupt” and 100 “very clean”).

TI Cambodia chairman Ok Serei Sopheak said widely perceived corruption within Cambodia’s judiciary was a major reason the Kingdom failed to make any improvements.

“Justice is really dragging down everything,” Sopheak said, explaining that the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2015, in which Cambodia was ranked 98th out of 102 countries, was used to assess the country’s justice sector.

“The other indicators are either staying at the same level or going up . . . The justice situation is getting worse.”

Cambodia’s legal system is routinely criticised amid reports of widespread bribery and political influence.

A report by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute last year found “corrupt influence – political and financial – appears to be exerted at will over judicial activities”.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the findings would be taken into consideration, though added the index was negatively geared and narrowly focused. “It reflects one small part [of the system], but it is not completely true,” Malin said.

Among the rest of the ASEAN countries, Singapore scored highest with 85, followed by Malaysia, 50; Thailand, 38; Indonesia, 36; the Philippines, 35; Vietnam, 31; and Laos, 25.

Overall, Cambodia ranked 150 of 168 countries surveyed, tying with Burundi and Zimbabwe.

The Kingdom’s ranking improved in 2014, but only because fewer nations were included this year, which saw Somalia and North Korea tie for last place.

Scoring 91, Denmark was considered the cleanest country, followed by Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The index’s data come from surveys and analysis conducted by other agencies and institutions, which TI says represents the views of experts, business people and the public.

Anti-Corruption Unit chief Om Yentieng yesterday questioned TI’s data-collection method, claiming the information was “biased”, discredited and did not reflect reality.

Opposition CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay, an anti-corruption crusader, called the results troubling. “If we don’t improve our fight against corruption, investors will be afraid of coming to Cambodia,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group