Friday,  Apr 8,2016,21:09 (GMT+7)
Vietnamese economists have long voiced concerns about the country’s heavy economic dependence on China, alleging certain groups and individuals have got kickbacks from Chinese contractors. Many big-ticket projects have been awarded to Chinese firms even though Chinese contractors are notorious for delays, cost overruns and low construction quality.
Damage done
Friday,  Apr 1,2016,22:26 (GMT+7)
As Vietnam is working towards building a state governed by the rule of law, one of the popular ways for settling disputes is to go to court. But in reality, multiple businesses have chosen to not bring their disputes to court; they have resorted to improper methods, instead.
Dangers of scrap
Friday,  Mar 25,2016,20:41 (GMT+7)
The massive explosion in a residential area in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District last Saturday left five people dead and a dozen others injured, tens of houses heavily damaged and a growing sense of insecurity among residents in the area and elsewhere. People are anxious as the explosion took place at a house used for storing and dismantling scrap, including unexploded wartime bombs.
It won’t help
Friday,  Mar 18,2016,23:45 (GMT+7)
As drought and saltwater intrusion have left serious impact on crops and millions of people’s lives, Vietnam is seeking help from the international community. China announced on Tuesday that it would release water from a dam in the upper reaches of the Mekong River to help ease drought in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. China said that from March 15 to April 10, it would discharge water from Jinghong hydropower reservoir to help drought-hit areas in the lower reaches of the river, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
State of calamity
Friday,  Mar 11,2016,01:35 (GMT+7)
With a coastline of 3,200 kilometers, Vietnam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels. Scientists and administrators have once again sounded the alarm  over the issue as the nation has begun feeling the impact of climate change, especially in the Mekong Delta.
Crime crackdown
Friday,  Mar 4,2016,19:26 (GMT+7)
Mark Bowyer has been in Vietnam since he first came here in 1990. A story he shared with the popular local news site VnExpress.net is really food for thought. Since 1996 he has lost three phones in HCMC, the nation’s biggest city. The most recent incident which he encountered happened last October when his phone was stolen by a newsvendor at a coffee shop in the city downtown. He is wondering how many tourists in HCMC have faced the same fate and how thefts and robberies have tarnished the image of the country as a destination for tourists.
Degenerate festivals
Friday,  Feb 26,2016,22:11 (GMT+7)
The Vietnamese, especially in the northern part of the nation, are indulging  themselves in a festive atmosphere as the first lunar month has the most festivals in a year. Of note are Huong Pagoda Festival in Hanoi, Yen Tu Pagoda Festival in Quang Ninh Province, Lim Festival and Ba Chua Kho Festival in Bac Ninh Province, Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh Province, and Chua Keo Pagoda Festival in Thai Binh Province. While some festivals bring joys and teach youth history, others are real eyesores since they are plagued with chaos and violence but they are still held in the name of traditional customs preservation.
Getting it right
Friday,  Feb 19,2016,20:09 (GMT+7)
Traffic police can commandeer assets of organizations and individuals, including vehicles and communication devices, under Circular 1/2016 of the Ministry of Public Security. However, shortly after the regulation came out, it sparked a controversy over its legality and feasibility.
Contrast of bonuses
Friday,  Jan 29,2016,16:45 (GMT+7)
On the one hand, there are smiles, happy faces, dreams of new cars in the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet , and lavish vacations for those employees having huge Tet bonuses. But on the other hand, Tet is a big worry for those getting meager year-end rewards.
Speed traps
Friday,  Jan 22,2016,22:39 (GMT+7)
Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has had no other choice but to issue an ultimatum for the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to remove unjustified speed limit traps that have become a nightmare for motorists.
Friday,  Jan 15,2016,21:46 (GMT+7)
A new Ministry of Public Security rule that requires auto owners to equip their vehicles with fire extinguishers and other related equipment seems to be rational at first blush as prevention is better than cure. However, the regulation has drawn fire from vehicle owners who argue that it would be better to run away than stay to extinguish a fire in a car and that auto fires are rare.
A heavier burden
Friday,  Jan 8,2016,11:10 (GMT+7)
On Monday morning, many people blocked Quan Hau tollgate in the central province of Quang Binh by parking their vehicles there to protest against new toll charges. Needless to say, it resulted in heavy traffic congestion in the area.
Possible countereffect
Friday,  Dec 25,2015,21:49 (GMT+7)
With the new Law on Social Insurance coming into force next Friday, both employers and employees in Vietnam are seeing life tougher ahead. The new law compels them to pay more for social insurance. Policymakers have sought to appease them, saying the insured will have to pay a little bit higher premiums but their benefits will be greater in the long run. However, a majority of businesses and workers have brushed that off, saying the immediate impact of the new legislation seems to be unbearable.
Fiscal indiscipline
Friday,  Dec 18,2015,20:23 (GMT+7)
Ministries, agencies and provincial authorities in Vietnam have been repeatedly told to cut all non-essential expenditures and practice thrift as the country is grappling with soaring debt and budget deficit. Government, government-guaranteed and provincial debt is projected to leap to 61.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year from 51.7% in 2010. The Ministry of Finance has forecast public debt would hit the cap of 65% of GDP in 2017. Nonetheless, authorities at both central and local levels must have turned a blind eye to the emergence of fiscal imbalance.
Heightened alert
Friday,  Dec 11,2015,19:01 (GMT+7)
It is no wonder that consumers are on heightened alert over the safety of food they consume daily following a recent high-profile detection of banned substances in many food products, from dried to fresh food like fruits, vegetables and meat. However, it was not until recently that unsafe food, particularly meat containing bacteria and prohibited substances, had become a more serious problem.
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