“Systemic failure to address corruption”: Transparency Maldives

The Maldives has risen slightly to rank 134 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

The country scored 2.5 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean), placing it alongside Lebanon, Pakistan and Sierra Leone.

The score however is a mild improvement on 2010, when the Maldives was ranked 143th and below Zimbabwe. The Maldives still rated as having higher perceived corruption than many regional neighbours, including Sri Lanka (86), Bangladesh (120) and India (95).

Project Director of Transparency Maldives, Aiman Rasheed, warned that the ranking could not be compared year-to-year, especially in the Maldives where there were only a three sources used to determine the index (India has six).

“Corruption in the Maldives is grand corruption, unlike neighbouring countries where much of it is petty corruption,” Rasheed said. “In the Maldives there is corruption across the judiciary, parliament and members of the executive, all of it interlinked, and a systemic failure of the systems in place to address this. That why we score so low.”

Faced with such endemic and high-level corruption, it was “up to the people of the Maldives to demand better governance”, he said.

Addressing corruption would have political ramifications for the 2013 presidential election, Rasheed agreed, especially for young voters – 40 percent of the population is aged 15-24, resulting in thousands of new youth voters every year.

“Young people are hugely disillusioned by corruption in the Maldives. They have a vision of the type of country they would like to live in,” he said.

New Zealand, Denmark and Finland ranked as having the least perceived corruption, while North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan and Burma ranked last.


25 thoughts on ““Systemic failure to address corruption”: Transparency Maldives”

  1. We voted in the new government in the hope of change. But corruption and abuse of power seem worse now than ever before. Very sad indeed.

  2. At least in terms of corruption index, Maldives has sunk to the lowest of the lowest - to be with Sierra Leone.

    So does it matter if Maldives sinks by sea level rise in 50 years. Its at the bottom already.

    The soul and the sprit of the country has sunk to the bottom already.

  3. Nothing more to say. Case in point, the President and most of the MPs we voted in we a mistake.

    We can still turn the situation around. We need to vote Nasheed out of office and scrutinize parliamentary candidates more closely.

    I know even while writing this that the majority of the Maldivian can neither read and understand my comment or this article. I fear the situation is a long way from improving Aiman. Please step up awareness programs across the atolls.

  4. I like to know when this rating really started in Maldives and the method they used to figure this thing out.

    At least Rasheed knows the problems, now how about some solutions, if any.

    How come with all these figures there are no convictions?

    I suggest Adaalath party members to go on a fast on to death event like that person in India, until parliament pass a bill to do away with couple of limbs if caught.

    My mistake, dying on your own accord is not allowed in Islam, too bad AP, you just have to settle with breaking few more monuments and bash Pilley.

  5. So the current government is more corrupt than during Maumoon's rule. Sad indeed. We need a change again!!

  6. @Naeem

    Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Is measured by 13 different independent surveys and assessments from various sources like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, independent consultants, groups and bodies etc.

    A country goes on the list if 3 sources are available.

    CPI is mainly criticized because it does not use the same sources each year to measure corruption of a single country.

    Since it is hard to measure absolute corruption for obvious reasons, Transparency Int. measures a "perceived" value for corruption. It's qualitative, and not like the GDP of a country which is measured quantitative.

    Maldives has been on the list since 2008.

    Corruption in the Gayoom Regime was 3.3 (2008)

    In 2009 it was 2.8 and in 2010 it was 2.3.

    Not to be confused, higher the index is least corrupt, lower the more corrupt.

    "Corruption" according to TI is the misuse of public power for private benefit.

    I also agree corruption is now widespread and the opportunity to act corruptly across the 3 powers (judiciary, parliament and executive) is more now than in Gayoom's regime. This is only inevitable since the prevailing idea today is that of democracy (power to the people) and not a dictatorship. And the sudden freedom and access to government resources previously reserved for a select few does play with the minds of even the most altruistic people.

    But i don't quite agree with Aiman Rasheed on the appropriate use of "grand" and "petty" to compare yesterday and today.

    I would still call the Yamin's misuse of STO to haul over $800 worth of oil and the corruption that took place amongst the select few in Gayoom's regime "Grand" than the "petty" cut which a judiciary judge gets in order to one side a judgement.

    It is just a damn shame that Transparency was not around to measure it then.

  7. can they arrange a protest on 23rd Dec against corruption. I think its strongly prohibited in Islam and this is an anti-islam act.

  8. It's a perceived index, based on what the public thinks. It's bound to be prone to all sorts of biases and miscalculations. You cannot really quantify corruption so lists like these are not always exactly very accurate.

    Some countries are just better at hiding it and some democratic countries with very vocal opposition parties could sway the public opinion a lot regarding things like corruption, which I think is what is happening here now.

    I'm not saying there is no corruption now. Far from it, but this list doesn't at all mean we have more corruption now than before. Just that more are aware of it and more are talking about it, which obviously wouldn't have been possible at all under the previous regime as there wasn't much freedom given to the media and the public wasn't as interested in politics as it is now.

    In a sense, the fact we are even talking about it and trying to fix it is a testament to the progress which has been made, because there isn't a single government out there which isn't corrupt to some degree. It's is inevitable and the best we could hope for is to minimise it and make things as transparent as possible.

    Could anyone publicly accuse a high ranking government official of corruption and live a normal life under the previous regime? I rest my case.

  9. vote NESHEED OUT and who are we to put incharge?? MAUMOON??? YAAMEEN??? GASIM??? we've tasted their medicine as bitterly as we r tasting MDP's now but there is NO ONE here to vote for unless IBRA steps up

  10. Transparency Maldives is one to talk. TM likes to omit from their reports whatever they think is too sensitive for the Maldivians. Talk about corruption when you have the guts to properly do your job, Aiman.

  11. @aa. There are certainly corrupt individuals in this government. Reeko Moosa, Musthafa, Ali Waheed (houses in hulhu-malé), GMR deal, immigration system, etc. Also Anni as he is at best complicit by nominating them and supporting them in this government. However, I would not say that this government is more corrupt than Maumoon’s rule. Maumoon regime was more closed (Air Maldives deal while finance minister was away), Yameen (oil & alleged drugs), Bangaalha dhari & dealings, Illyas , Thasmeen (BML) etc. They are all corrupt but Gayoom was much better at hiding the deals and was more polished on the outside. I have steeped on lot of peoples toes. Well, this just an opinion. Let’s pray for a change..

  12. Corruption can only be eliminated in Maldives by establishing an Independent National Accountability Board and depoliticising our Justice System. Otherwise the country will always have this malignant problem within our government and the society.

  13. I agree there is rampant corruption but why is it people have a tendency to blame the executive only.

    For God' sake we have separation of powers and no one person is responsible for anything unlike the time Gayoom was there when he can call the shots in parliament judiciary media and what not.

    And how did Mr Rasheed come to this conclusion? Where is the evidence?

    “Young people are hugely disillusioned by corruption in the Maldives. They have a vision of the type of country they would like to live in,”

  14. To condone the MDP government's bad actions based on previous administration atrocities has been used over and over.

    The logic that that Maldivians only have an 'either or' solution (either Nasheed or Maumoon) has to come to an end. This is same logic used by military dictators in Egypt - either Mubaarak or Muslim brotherhood.

    Its time that Maldivains think broader than 'either Nasheed or Maummon' formula. There has to be more to Maldives than those 2 individuals.

  15. @ maldivinagist. Thats a pathetic attempt at smudging the corruption of the yellow gang ie reeko, maria, balak et al. This country was so currupt when it was under the blue gang. the only difference is that corruption of the yellow gang only increased.

  16. Getting rid of Nasheed isn't going to change the corruption level by one bit. After all, he leads one section of the state under our newly separated powers.

    We have put up all sorts of smoke and mirrors in this so-called "democracy". There's the mighty "Anti-Corruption Comission", which arguably is one of the most corrupt places. Then there's the whole of the judiciary which is still stuck somewhere on a camel ride from the middle ages in terms of effectiveness and ability.

    This is a bit like the Greek "democracy". On paper, it was certainly very democratic and wealthy until recently. Their smoke and mirrors are clear to see now. One of the most strking aspects was that the only guaranteed way to collect taxes in Greece is through the electricity bill! However, people simply don't even pay their electricity bills and there's no one to collect them even if you wanted to. Because the bill collectors are mostly on strike!

    The Maldives has not yet fallen to those levels, despite this corruption index, whatever it is. However, we are creating the facade for such an eventuality!

  17. Corruption perception index does not in any possible way confirm the level of corruption - it only measures how much people think the Maldives is corrupt - purely based on peoples perception. It is not a scientific survey. In a country where there is no independent media and which recently had their first multiparty elections, I think its understandable where the perception is coming from...For decades this country did not have proper auditing, oversight independent bodies. With the new constitution in 2008, sudden influx of the independent bodies now look into cases such as use of pets in the Presidential Residence. This is the state of affairs in the country. Lets not jump into conclusions who what corruption really is and what perception is. Unlike before, people are more free to talk about Govt, politics, rights etc. I am not a fan of the Govt and this report. TM should look into the judiciary and the parliament. Their Parliament Watch report was the shitiest report I have ever read from an NGO on their Parliaments...

  18. somebody should look into Transparency it self, the place reeks of corruption, recently they moved into a excessive, expensive new office building owned by Shaveed who has close to ties the fiance of Imma who runs transparency.

  19. Corruption is a huge issue in the Maldives. We can either blame each other or point fingers at those who bring the news. Either ways, it is here and it is here to stay. Sorry folks.

  20. the most corrupt government in the region - but we have performed better than Somalia

  21. Corruption is a worldwide disease. Spending time and energy discussing how corrupt a system is, just exposes the problem but does not cure it.

    However, acting boldly, punishing crime, sourcing out new ideas to combat corruption, just being honest... by these simple ways, you can measure how much is actually being done about it!...


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