The Problem of Corruption Runs Deep

OPINION Letter to the Cambodia Daily
Published on June 05, 2006
BY: CHAK Sopheap

Corruption exists in all countries but it is in the developing world that is most destructive (Report: Firms See Judges as Most Corrupt”, Thursday, page 1).

In a poor country like
Cambodia, it threatens democratic institutions and fundamental rights and freedoms; it undermines socio-economic development and deepens poverty. It also provokes irrational decision-making and disrupts the development of the private sector, and undermines the environment for sustainable development. I was shocked that an Interior Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying that “corruption is not such a big problem”.

Corruption continues partly because it is seen as normal by too many Cambodians. There is a lack of political commitment to encourage people to speak out about corruption and to hold authorities for it.

Though Prime Minister Hun Sen has declared “war” on corruption and an anti-corruption law has been proposed, there is still a question of when it will be enacted and whether it is effective.

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