The Hanoitimes - It is rare that a Vietnamese politician makes a public apology. In this case, it may have been due to local media reports and harsh comments on social media.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has made a public apology for the inappropriate use of a state car for private purpose, a move that is rarely seen in Vietnam’s politics.
The apology comes after a story went viral on social media, describing a “blue-plate” (which is used for vehicles of state agencies) picking up Minister Tran Tuan Anh’s wife at the staircase of a plane at the Noi Bai International Airport late on January 4.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. Photo: National Assembly's Office
According to media reports, other passengers on the plane had to make way for Anh’s wife to get off the plane first. A car under the management of the ministry was already waiting for her at the staircase. Several National Assembly deputies were also on board.
According to Vietnamese legislation, a minister does not have the privilege to be picked up right at the plane’s door, not to mention his/her relatives.
“As the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and a family member involved in the incident, I am apologizing to the public for the mishappening,” the minister said in a letter posted on the ministry’s website on January 8.
He attributed the delay of the apology to being hospitalized in a centrally-un hospital in Hanoi.
“I consider this a painful lesson for myself, my family and the Ministry,” he noted.
The Ministry’s Office on January 3 had sent a dispatch to the aviation authority to get the permission to pick up Minister Anh at the VIP lounge of the airport. Anh was said to be landing in Hanoi after a flight from Ho Chi Minh City on January 4, but it turned out that he had several activities at the ministry’s headquarters in Hanoi that afternoon.
It is rare that a Vietnamese politician makes a public apology. In Anh’s case, it may have been due to local media reports and harsh comments on social media.