Some government and Hanoi leaders have done their job well and been well-recognized by the people, according to a leading civil society activist and dissident in Vietnam.
On April 2, Dr. Nguyen Quang A from Hanoi first commented on the appearance of some Vietnamese officials since the pandemic began to appear in Vietnam:
“There is a clear assignment, the reason that DPM Vu Duc Dam appears often is because he is the National Steering Committee on this pandemic, and the Prime Minister obviously has a lot of appearances and I think such appearances are their functions.”
Regarding the emergence of specific leaders at the local level, for example the case of Hanoi, or higher at the central level, concerned the senior leadership of the state and the Communist Party of Vietnam, Dr. A, who was once the director of the IDS Independent Policy Review Institute, commented “Like the appearance of Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung in Hanoi, he is the Chairman of the city People’s Committee, he was responsible for fighting the pandemic in Hanoi and his appearance is his function.”
“People speculate that their appearances aim to get public attentions before the party’s congress. However, I dont think so.”
“It is only one thing that Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, as the President, and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, he should have appeared a little, although the role of he was not that function, but people were sizzled for his long absence.
Commenting on the lackluster role of Mr. Trong, Dr. A added: “Trong appeared after long time but it was a meeting of the Politburo about the personnel matters of the 13th Congress and the people getting even more miserable.”
“Next day, Trong chaired a Politburo meeting to discuss this pandemic and from there I thought he was, because it was not that function, so he didn’t show up, but then he had a the letter.”
“Well, I think dealing with the pandemic is the works of the government and the executive agencies so Mr. Trong’s appearance is enough though he has no significant impacts on it.”
Commenting on public opinion on some members of the anti-pandemic leadership in the health sector, national level and in the Vietnamese capital, Dr. A said: “The public opinion is because these two people, one in charge nationwide, and one in charge in Hanoi and they are quite energetic to do this.”
“And for fighting Covid-19 alone, the people think the two men are very good about this,” A said about DPM Dam and Hanoi Chairman Chung.
Regarding the remaining positions in the leadership of the government and the Communist Party of Vietnam in the fight against pandemics, commonly known as the three pillars, or the four pillars in an informal way of calling, Dr. A added: “Like I said before, people complained about rare apperance of President cum General Secretary Trong.”
“Ms. Ngan, as chairwoman of the National Assembly, has no active role in the issue.”
People would question if Trong and Ngan appear too much, may accuse them of self-making PR.”
On March 23, during the 43rd session of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ms. Ngan made netizens talk when she thanked DPM Dam asked him “Sleep a little, bro.”
Earlier, the state media reported that Ms. Ngan appeared “to call for giving donations to help the government deal with the pandemics. People are asked to send their donations through the fund operated by the Vietnam Fatherland Front.
Dr. Nguyen Xuan Dien, Han Nom Research Institute in Hanoi, wrote on his personal page: “Mr. Ngan should conduct an auction of 200 of at least 300 dresses in her wardrobe to contribute to the fights against Covid-19 and the drought n the Mekong Delta, including her native Ben Tre. Her act would be very effective and hot which many ladies will follow.”
At the online meeting on prevention of COVID-19 in the morning of March 29, PM Phuc emphasized the anti-pandemic spirit as in the military campaign in early April 1975.
Prime Minister Phuc’s speech on the spirit of pandemic prevention related to the bad memory of April 30 caused people to react.
Ngo Nhat Dang, a freelance journalist, assessed how to appeal to the anti-pandemic spirit of Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the liberation of the South: “The war has receded for decades. Vietnam and the US have normalized relations and the US has greatly helped Vietnam. Keep repeating those things as if reviving wounds.”
April 30, 1975 was called by the North Vietnamese communists the day they liberated the South Vietnamese people from the grip of the US and its “puppet” government of the South Vietnam. The word “liberation” itself is understood to help some people get out of a bad situation. For most people in South Vietnam, their living conditions after being liberated were worsened with millions of people being pushed to new economic zones, sent to re-education camps, their properties and assets were robbed and millions of people were forced to flee to the sea to relocate in foreign countries… so they did not accept the phrase “liberating the South.” They are very sensitive to this phrase.
Mr. Ngo Truong An, currently living in Da Nang, has lived through two regimes, witnessed a change in the South after May 30, 1975, revealing his view: “He (ie PM Phuc) opposes the policy of reconciliation program that the Communist Party of Vietnam is implementing. I think, this old man has said stupid words many times. He spoke without knowing what he was saying, and maybe, he thought nothing of it before speaking in public.”
“Most of the leaders are like that. Stereotyping, dogma, propagating the same way. And their statements are full of contradictions. In fact, they should not repeat April 30 and should not celebrate annual celebrations. Those actions, deeply wounded the Southerners and it is difficult to reconcile the two regions. Certainly that. I think so!” An said.
Lawyer Pham Cong Ut said that he fully supports the current state’s anti-pandemic way to protect the survival of the people. But recalling history in such a lame comparison, he disagreed: “I am a Saigon citizen living through two regimes. Comparing the fraternal war with this anti-pandemic war is completely inappropriate, making the people who have faith in the government’s anti-pandemic lose their affection for the government. Phuc recalled the dissolution and separation of millions of Vietnamese people who had to sacrifice their lives and leave the country.
Why compare the elimination of Covid-19 with the liberation of the South? Is it possible to win against the flu ‘million happy and million sad?’”
Mr. Phuc’s speech about the spirit of anti-pandemic makes people feel he is very happy when he comes to Saigon to ‘liberate the South’ without understanding what people are thinking.
Poet Bui Chi Vinh said that now, if he could declare on VTV that “promoting the spirit of liberation of the South in combating the Covid-19 pandemic,” the poor people in the South are too hurt. In the end, after 45 years of not being able to heal, someone coldly ripped it off.
In 2005, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the “reunification of the country,” then Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet had an talk in the International Weekly, which is the press agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the memories of the day of taking over Saigon and the urgent matters ahead of time.
For the first time, Mr. Kiet acknowledged the April 30, 1975 incident that caused heartbroken for millions of Vietnamese when he said: “Our victory is great, but we have also paid the price for the war. Win with both pain and loss. History has put many families of southern people in the situation of having relatives on two sides, even my relatives.
Therefore, an event related to war, when recalled, has millions of people happy, but also millions of sad people. It is the common wound of the nation that needs to be healed instead of continuing to make it bleed more.”
Thu Thuy from Hochiminh city – Thoibao.de (Translated)