Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corruption Ranking - Malaysia and The Gulf States

I read two different news on the world corruption ranking yesterday.

According to Malaysiakini, Malaysia slips further in corruption rankings and Arabian Business reported, Corruption drops across Gulf.

Who are more corrupt among the Muslims? Malays or Arabs?

The Malaysiakini reported that:
There has been no improvement in the perception of corruption in Malaysia since 2001 despite the many promises by authorities to stamp out graft and bribery.

At the unveiling of the 2008 Corruption Perception Index, which measures the level of corruption taking place in a country, Malaysia scored 5.1 last year.
The mediocre score is little different from the 4.9 to 5.1 range it has been straddling since 2001.

"This shows that there are a number of countries that have progressed much better than us," said Transparency International (Malaysia) president Ramon Navaratnam.
Navaratnam was referring to Singapore, which topped the list in South East Asia with a score of 9.1. Overall, the island state was placed fourth among 180 countries assessed.
By comparison, Malaysia came out 47th in the overall list, compared to 36th placing it secured in 2001 when the index had surveyed only 91 countries.

However, Malaysia still managed to stay above other regional neighbours such as Thailand (3.5), Vietnam (2.7), Indonesia (2.6), the Philippines (2.3), Cambodia (1.8) and Burma (1.3).
While Arabian Business reported:

Corruption has fallen across the Gulf as governments strengthen oversight and accountability, Transparency International (TI) said on Tuesday, picking out Oman and Qatar as making "significant improvements over the last year".

The global anti-corruption organisation's 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) revealed that all Gulf states bar Kuwait showed improvement in the level of corruption within their societies compared to last year.

The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index drawing on different expert and business surveys.
This year the index was topped by Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden with a score of 9.3, followed immediately by Singapore on 9.2 - the higher the score, the lower the level of corruption.

Bringing up the rear was Somalia at 1.0, slightly trailing Iraq and Myanmar at 1.3 and Haiti at 1.4.

Qatar was judged the least corrupt of all Gulf states, jumping four places to joint 28th out of 180 countries with a score of 6.5, up from 6.0 in 2007.

Oman jumped a massive 12 places in the index to joint 41st with a score of 5.5, up from 4.7 the previous year.

The UAE - where Dubai authorities has launched a highly-publicised crackdown on corruption - dropped one place this year to 35th, but its score actually improved from 5.7 in 2007 to 5.9 in 2008.

Bahrain rose three places to joint 43th with a score of 5.4, up from 5.0 in 2007, while Saudi Arabia dropped one place to joint 80th, although its score improved to 3.5 from 3.4 last year.

Kuwait was the only Gulf state not to register any improvement, with its score staying at 4.3. The lack of progress saw its ranking drop five places to joint 65th.

TI said the challenge of reigning in corruption requires functioning societal and governmental institutions.

It said poorer countries are often plagued by corrupt judiciaries and ineffective parliamentary oversight, while wealthy countries show evidence of insufficient regulation of the private sector, in terms of addressing overseas bribery by their countries, and weak oversight of financial institutions and transactions.

“Stemming corruption requires strong oversight through parliaments, law enforcement, independent media and a vibrant civil society,” said Huguette Labelle, TI chairman.

“When these institutions are weak, corruption spirals out of control with horrendous consequences for ordinary people, and for justice and equality in societies more

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