Vietnam shows no compromise in tackling official wrongdoing

Nguyen Thanh Phong
By Nguyen Thanh Phong
Tue, June 14, 2022 | 2:40 pm GTM+7

Recent disciplinary action and legal sanctions against two Party Central Committee members, Nguyen Thanh Long and Chu Ngoc Anh, reveal the Party and the State's determination to root out their rotten teeth.

For the first time in the Communist Party’s history, an extraordinary Central Committee meeting was convened with only one aim, to consider disciplinary action against cadres. The conference on June 6 proceeded in a record short time.

The National Assembly session on that day had no break in order to end early, giving time to legislative body members who are Central Committee members and other Central Committee members to be convened at 4:30 p.m.

Just two and a half hours later, at 7 p.m., the conference ended with an announcement on the highest disciplinary action against Nguyen Thanh Long and Chu Ngoc Anh, dimissing them from all Party positions.

The next morning, the National Assembly included an extraordinary item on its session agenda - procedures for dismissing Long from his position as health minister and National Assembly member.

In the afternoon, similarly, Hanoi People's Council convened an extraordinary meeting to dismiss Anh from his position as Hanoi mayor and Hanoi People's Council member.

Later that afternoon and evening, both men were detained by investigative police.

Their fall from power and prestige occurred in a mere blink of the eye.

The speed of associated procedures show that the Party and State's struggle against ideological and political degradation, corruption, and negativity has entered its most decisive and urgent stage.

To date, a total 60 officials have been detained by the Ministry of Public Security or local police in the Viet A Covid test skit scam. The case that has rocked public opinion involved the abuse of power and multi-level collusion across 62 provinces and cities for purposes of personal gain, at the cost of the state budget.

Phan Quoc Viet, CEO of Viet A Company, was arrested in December 2021. He then admitted he had inflated the price of a Covid-19 test kit by 45% and given huge bribes to corporate partners and leaders of provincial and city centers for disease control nationwide, asking them to distribute and use Covid-19 test kits provided by his company.

Lieutenant General To An Xo, chief of staff and spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, told a government meeting that Viet A earned up to VND4,000 billion ($172.47 million) illicitly, of which VND800 billion was spent on bribes.

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