Watchdog says Cambodia public sector compromised by corruption

Corruption is seen as widespread across much of Southeast Asia, with Singapore and Cambodia’s public sectors respectively perceived as among the least and most corrupt nations worldwide, an international watchdog group reported.

The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, released 25 January by Berlin-based Transparency International, evaluates 180 countries and territories on a scale of 0 (very corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Cambodia earned 23 points, the worst among its ASEAN neighbours, while Singapore landed in fourth place worldwide with 85 points.

The drastic difference, analysts say, comes down to Singapore’s high salaries for officials, independent courts willing to rule against the government and the expectation of punishment for transgressions – factors standing in contrast to what many critics call Cambodia’s “culture of impunity.”

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