The US-based Transparency International says Cambodia’s corruption has become “systemic,” where people are habituated to bribery that is now seen as “automatic.”
The executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, Preap Kol, says the classification is one of the most serious forms of corruption that will take considerable effort to reform.
The group rates Cambodia the 20th-most corrupt nation in the world, putting it in the company of Guinea, Kyrgyzstan and Yemen.
“People seem to have the automatic thought that they have to bribe,” he told VOA Khmer Monday.
To beat corruption, he said, requires political will and a strong rule of law, without exceptions. “We also need to have education regarding integrity, codes of conduct and promotions for people to love cleanness,” he said.
Cambodian corruption includes bribery on the street, as well as in high levels of government, in service sector exchanges, in false documents, embezzlement, nepotism and more, he said. It reduces state tax revenue, which hampers development, and it leads to extravagant waste of public resources.