The Ineffectiveness of Cambodian’s Government on Dealing with Corruption Activities

The Ineffectiveness of Cambodian’s Government on Dealing with Corruption Activities.
Chheun Chantheary
Paññ?s?stra University of Cambodia

Author’s Note
This paper was prepared for ARIL 210 Academic Research and Information Literacy,
Prasat Lolei, taught by Instructor Phavine Phung
Contact Information: [email protected]
The Ineffectiveness of Cambodian’s Government on Dealing with Corruption Activities.
Corruption can be defined as the process of using public power in the wrong ways for any private gain (Transparency International, 2017). Corruption has variety forms: “bribery, nepotism, patronage, theft of state assets, evasion of taxes, diversion of revenue and electoral fraud,” (Vathanak, 2015) and it is also included in criminal offense stated (Norodom, 2010). Corruption became the serious obstacle of any sectors especially in developing countries. According to Transparency International (2016), Cambodia was ranked in most corrupt country in the region. In general, it can be said that corruption flourishes where the institutions of government are weak, or where the government’s policy have poorly enforcement (Vathanak, 2015). According to the results of survey from 1,003 Cambodian adults, the result shows out that 59 percent of respondents viewed the judicial systems as being the most corrupt and police force was seen as the second-most corrupt public institution in Cambodia, followed by government officials, the office of the prime minister and tax officials (Mayuri & Ven, 2017). Cambodia government should focus more on these three main institutions in order to decrease corruption activities in the country, because Cambodia continues to stay in high ranked corrupt country, many Cambodians keep complaining about briberies in public services and the ineffectiveness of Cambodian anti-corruption law enforcement.
What are the Ineffectiveness of Cambodian’s Government on Dealing with Corruption Activities?
According to corruption statistic released by Transparency International showed that Cambodia continues to stay in the high ranked corrupt-country in the region once again (TI, 2016). We received 21 points out of 100 in its annual corruption perceptions index, it means that the lower score we get the more corruption we perceive. It is such the worst possible score among Southeast Asian countries, and it ranked Cambodia in 156th out of 176 countries (Heang, 2017). In 2013, Cambodia was ranked in 160th of 175 countries in the report, with its index score a mere 20 out of 100 (TI, 2013). In survey, we can see corruption happened in all any sectors from the lowest levels of government to the highest official in power (Mayuri ; Ven, 2017), according to Preap Kol (2016) the executive director of Transparency International, has claimed that government needs to enforce the anti-corruption law without exception.
Furthermore, there has some views mentioned that illegal activities keep appearing in Cambodia because we don’t have the effective law enforcement (Lauren, 2014). Cambodia’s anti-corruption law, which was approved by the National Assembly (Norodom, 2010), “is in line with international standards”, but it still not active (GAN Integrity, 2016). Since there are respondents viewed that judiciaries, police officials, and government workers are most corrupt systems (Mayuri ; Ven, 2017) and we also see the real corruption cases which was often made by these head sectors. In case of judicial system, there were three children were killed by 23-year-old medical student who is a daughter of provincial health department. She spent just three months in the prison after having a lengthier sentence suspended (George ; Ouch, 2017). Another case for government employments, an official at the council for the development of Cambodia convicted in corruption case was arrested by the anti-graft unit and the penalty is to carry a maximum five as punishment in the prison (Aun, 2017). According to Cambodian government, the traffic police are allowed to get 70 percent of money that received from traffic fine (Charles, 2015). However, there are some cases in which public officials, including police officers, have kept all of nation money in their own pocket and some have accepted kickback to keep operating illegal businesses (GAN Integrity, 2016). For instance, there were employees of the National Police’s Public order department have accused their boss of abuse the power to keep reward collected from traffic fines in Phnom Penh and other offenses (Aun, 2016). Corruption has happened almost every day and the more corrupt cases occurring the more we can see how weak of law enforcement performed so that, government have to work hardier in order to concentrate on these issues.
In addition, bribery at the local level has run as a huge problem since the past until the present, and many Cambodians keep complaining about it specially in the public services. In particular, people have raised up about bribery request by government employments at the ground level that they tried to charge for constituent’s fees such as for family books and residency certificates (Vichey, 2012). According to Voice of America (2012), report about Chhay Sovuth’s speech, the body’s deputy director of Anti-Corruption Unit, talking about bribery that it has been occurring for over 20 years, he claimed that it should be time to cut out that bad culture, and the anti-corruption chief also warned the government workers and other individuals who involved in bribery, that they will face a strict punishment and prison sentences under Cambodia’s Penal Code. As the result, Cambodia’s corruption-fighting body is launching a new strategy to eliminate bribery that request by local government workers in any government sectors (Vichey, 2012). According to Kol Preap (2012), said that people also need to be educated more about any official payment so, that it will help them to avoid being threaten for illegal fees. He continued to encourage civil to participate in this new policy because the Anti-Corruption Unit can’t work alone to combat all illegal fees. However, we all can make a different, by starting from ourselves so, we have to work together for a better growth.
In conclusion, corruption in Cambodia is like chronic illness of the country which still be the main issue of development. As we noticed, there are three main institutions was included as the most corrupt sectors, which are judiciary, police official and government official. Even though the statistics of corruption in Cambodia during last 10 years is getting worse, Cambodia’s anti-graft law is working harder to eliminate corruption in the whole country. Moreover, in order to fight corruption successfully, government needs to improve investigating systems to increase responsibility, pay more attention in the public to put pressure on and report crimes of corruption. Last but not least, we need all of Cambodians to join together, because authorities are not able to work alone without contribution of citizen, so I would like to encourage all communities to fight against corruption together. It starts from us, no givers than no taker.
(Word count: 1050 words)

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