Millions Inside Cambodia and Outside Subject to Corruption

posted Dec 11, 2012, 9:28 AM by Christina C.
"Cambodia ranked 157th of 174 countries, one of the worst in Southeast Asia, according to the index, which takes into account local and national governance, anti-corruption legislation and enforcement, access to government information, abuses of government ethics and conflicts of interest.

Cambodia’s poor ranking makes doing business difficult there, which ultimately harms development, Labelle said.

“If your competition can win a contract by putting a bribe and money under the table, then of course it’s very difficult for you to operate in a clean way in those circumstances,” she said.
Cambodia has also tried to remove under-the-table payments for investment and replaced them with official fees, he said. “For US companies, this won’t be an issue,” he said. “They have money, they can afford it, so long as we issue them a proper receipt.”

But critics say even if the laws are there, their implementation and enforcement remain weak, worsening the corruption.

“They have arrested some officials, which deserves our applause,” Pa Nguonteang, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, told VOA Khmer. “But it is not a systematic cleaning. So far this is more of a strengthening of one faction’s power base.”

This includes a new anti-corruption law and the formation of the Anti-Corruption Unit, he said, which “has so far cracked down on court officials and those who are close to the [ruling party president] Chea Sim,” Pa Nguonteang said. "