Lack of transparency
The Saigon Times Daily
A controversy has heated up these days as alleged irregularities concerning the recruitment and placement of a young man into senior positions at State agencies in the Mekong Delta have unfolded. Having earned two Master’s degrees, the 26-year-old Vu Minh Hoang reportedly has a good command of five foreign languages. While his talent is not yet publicly proven and explanations by the agencies concerned are far from clear, the history of his employment sheds light on the privileges he may have earned owing to relationships and connections.
As reported by local media, Vu Minh Hoang was recruited as an intern in August 2014 without having to go through a qualification test at the Southwest Steering Committee, an umbrella body overseeing the socio-economic development of the entire Mekong Delta region. One month later, the organization allowed him to pursue a Ph.D. program at the Tokyo University that is scheduled to last until September 2017.
His internship, however, was declared accomplished a year later, in August 2015, although he did not spend a single day at the Southwest Steering Committee. In January this year, Hoang was named deputy director of the Economic Division of the Southwest Steering Committee, only to be transferred a month later to the new post of deputy director of Can Tho City’s Investment Promotion Center. Hoang’s latest appointment amounted to a scandal when officials at the Economy Division of the Southwest Steering Committee, including the director of the division, were stunned to hear that the young man used to be their colleague.
Given this controversy, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Southwest Steering Committee, has ordered relevant agencies to clarify all issues relating to Hoang’s recruitment and appointment. In explanations to leaders as well as to the media, officials at the Southwest Steering Committee say that all processes have conformed to the law, without irregularities.
However, such assertions are easily seen as clumsy and naive. The public is by no means convinced why a young man could be seen as having accomplished his internship without working a single day, and why he could be promoted and transferred from one position to another without any previous work experience. And explanations given by officials are also full of conflicts, one example of which is a letter of explanation signed days ago by Nguyen Quoc Viet, deputy director of the Southwest Steering Committee. This letter was claimed as inaccurate on December 11 by Son Minh Thang, standing deputy director of the committee.
Apparently, the country is in dire need of talent to serve the nation’s economic development and integration. Vu Minh Hoang can be a gifted person who is needed for the above-mentioned posts, but hasty moves by State agencies in recruiting and promoting a young man, and leapfrogging all normal processes, are the root cause of public disapproval. It is the lack of transparency.
The Saigon Times Daily