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A cash cow over-milked
Friday,  May 25,2018,16:52 (GMT+7)
Wastefulness in many circumstances is unfathomable, especially when it comes to using other people’s money. This proves right to numerous public investment projects, and a typical case study has surfaced this week when the State Audit of Vietnam delivered a report appraising public investment projects at the ongoing National Assembly sitting in Hanoi.
Great sacrifice of the people’s knights
Friday,  May 18,2018,15:44 (GMT+7)
Two people were killed and several others critically injured on May 13 when they tried to capture two robbers on a street in District 3, HCMC and they have been extolled by people from all walks of life for their heroic and bravery acts. The two who sacrificed their lives – one aged 28 and the other 42 – belonged to a group of so-called street knights who spend their time whenever possible to patrol the streets to fight evil-doers. Their titles are adorably conferred by people, although their positions as well as their acts have never been recognized by authorities.
Chaotic urban plan
Friday,  May 11,2018,20:53 (GMT+7)
Compensation and relocation have long been a painful process in the course of development, but rarely has there been any project that has stoked agony, protests and social chaos like the scheme surrounding Thu Thiem New Urban Area in HCMC’s District 2. Such distress erupted into multiple layers of indignation at a meeting on May 9 between the city’s National Assembly deputies and affected residents. The meeting, as covered in local media, was awash with numerous accusations of wrongdoing by local authorities that have stripped local residents of their properties and their livelihoods. And that ordeal has been two decades long.
Through a needle’s eye
Friday,  May 4,2018,18:14 (GMT+7)
Numerous questions have surfaced these days since the arrest of an illegal logging kingpin in the Central Highlands province of Daklak last week. There are rangers regularly roaming the forests, there are State-owned entities overseeing the country’s forest resources, there are police and military forces tasked with checking any suspicious logging and poaching, and there are grassroots authorities keeping a close watch – let alone all roads and trails to and from forests are closed and put under siege with numerous checkpoints – but the ring has still managed to transport thousands of cubic meters of timber out in broad daylight. Local media likens it to passing a camel through a needle’s eye.
Retirement age in suspense
Friday,  Apr 27,2018,20:19 (GMT+7)
The plan to adjust the retirement age gets stuck again when the issue is revisited this week. The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs submitted the plan to the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee this Monday, seeking approval to gradually extend the retirement age to 65 years for men and 60 for women. Though it is agreed that such a change is inevitable to keep the social insurance fund from going bust, there is no single viable way to do so, as seen in debates covered in local media these days.
Cruelty that knows no boundaries
Friday,  Apr 20,2018,18:18 (GMT+7)
The entire society is turned upside down when it is revealed that a coffee processor in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong has mixed harmful chemicals with coffee byproducts on an industrial scale for sale on the domestic market. The local media is awash with denunciations and indignation towards the unethical business owner for poisoning consumers en mass, and demands tough sanctions. Simply put, producing poisonous drinks in this case must be treated as a criminal offense, say local news outlets.
Victimized by greed
Friday,  Apr 13,2018,15:01 (GMT+7)
There are thousands of victims, who claim to have been cheated as much as VND15 trillion, or roughly US$650 million, by a virtual currency ring, but there is little sympathy. However, worries over social instability are awash, given the rampant development of cryptocurrency trading rings that are operating in broad daylight without being punished.
Blind driving
Friday,  Apr 6,2018,21:15 (GMT+7)
The visibility was blurred when smoke from haystacks and straw being burned on the field pervaded a section of HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway this Tuesday, causing a multiple-vehicle collision as drivers receiving no warnings rammed their autos into one another. The blame game ensued, as covered in local media.
Tip of a fireberg
Friday,  Mar 30,2018,19:19 (GMT+7)
The tragic fire at the Carina Plaza condo complex in HCMC’s District 8 last week that killed 14 people took the spotlight at the March press conference organized by the HCMC government on March 29, not only because of multiple irregularities at the building related to fire safety. Rather, it is because the fire sets off the alarming bell in the entire society, as fire prevention and fighting solutions at numerous high-rise buildings in HCMC as well as the entire country are a matter of grave concern.
Deadly right
Friday,  Mar 23,2018,22:18 (GMT+7)
A fatal traffic accident took place early this week when two vehicles – one fire engine and an inter-provincial bus – moving in opposite directions collided on an expressway in Hanoi. Traffic accidents are by no means abnormal in the country, but the case this time has stirred up heated debate, with many lawyers, experts, and the public entering a war of words over who or what is to blame for the accident.
Gambler-in-chief
Friday,  Mar 16,2018,21:48 (GMT+7)
The news came as a tsunami, sending shockwaves throughout the country when police busted a huge gambling ring this week, detaining a former major general at the Ministry of Public Security plus scores of others including entrepreneurs, and taking hold of trillions of Vietnam dong evidenced as gambling money. The case, now under extensive investigation, points to huge damages a high-ranking corrupt official can inflict on society, although it also mirrors the determination of national leaders to fight crimes.
Deaf ear
Friday,  Mar 9,2018,21:34 (GMT+7)
Loud complaints are still unheard, despite karaoke singing is spreading like an epidemic in the country, from megacities to out-of-the-way rural areas, wreaking havoc the normal life, affecting public health, and giving way to deadly conflicts.
Stressful environment
Friday,  Mar 2,2018,22:06 (GMT+7)
The proposed scheme by the Ministry of Finance to raise the environment tax on fuels from this July has been stiffly objected from far and wide, with many experts questioning the ministry’s wisdom in spurring State budget revenue disguised under the environmental cause. Under a draft Government resolution passed around by the ministry for public comment, the tax sum will rise to VND4,000 per liter of petrol from the current VND3,000, while the additional sums on other fuels range from VND500 to VND1,100 a liter.
Conflict of symbols
Friday,  Feb 9,2018,21:10 (GMT+7)
Many Hanoians had a chance to admire a flock of 12 beautiful swans roaming on Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the Sword Lake, in the capital city early this week. Now, however, all the birds are no longer there, as the tentative plan to beautify the scenery has been shelved due to strong criticism.
Ground to a dead halt
Saturday,  Feb 3,2018,00:03 (GMT+7)
Auto makers and traders have since late last year prepared themselves for a booming 2018, while consumers have dreamed and patiently waited for the right time in the New Year to buy a car at a much lower price as the tariff was due to plunge to zero from the previous 30% for autos imported from ASEAN countries. The preparations are in vain, and the dreams are shattered, as new policies have changed the market upside down, stonewalling all channels. And the brake is firmly on.
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