A senior police officer let it slip that traffic officers only salute people who show politeness.
Speaking at a recent training course on work ethics and attitudes for traffic police in HCM City, Colonel Pham Minh Tuan, deputy head of the Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, said that it was not necessary for policemen to properly salute everyone.
"Police officers just salute polite people," he said. "It's not necessary to salute those who have impudent attitudes or talk back to police."
Some people who are conversant to regulations have claimed that the colonel's arguments went contrary to the Ministry of Public Security's Circular 60/2009/TT-BCA issued in 2009 to regulate traffic police procedures. They cited the circular's Clause 10, which regulates that before checking documents, traffic police must salute the individual in question.
Wait for it! The regulation turns out to have an exception that the police officer can omit the salutation if he catches the violators red-handed in a crime – or he knows in advance that the violators has a committed crime and is under arrest.
So beware when you are on the road. If the police do not salute you, hmmm, check yourself. You must be impolite…or a criminal!
Ancient trees face the chop
A 200-year-old sua tree is being sold for VND50 billion (US$2.3 million) to collect money for "heritage preservation".
The tree is among three precious ones remaining in Dong Coc Temple in the northern province of Bac Ninh's Ha Man Commune. The other two are 400 years old and 50 years old.
Many people in Viet Nam believe that the sua tree's wood is used to make religious objects, while others claim that the wood can be processed to embalm bodies. Furniture made from the tree's wood has also been said to bring good luck and longevity to owners. Though the Government banned the use of sua for commercial purposes in 2007, high demand for the timber, which is mostly found in Viet Nam and China and more rarely in India and Africa, has driven the price sky-high.
Last year, the 50-year-old tree in Dong Coc Temple was chopped down by illegal loggers but they failed to take the tree away. The temple's management board at that time sold the chopped tree for VND350 million ($16,700) to get money to repair the temple.
They then planned to sell the 200-year-old tree for more money. The money was collected to further repair the temple, which was recognised as a national historical and arts heritage site in 1992.
Locals and scientists fear that the fate of the remaining tree will be the same.
Chairman of the Association for Natural and Environment Protection Nguyen Ngoc Sinh said that the old trees themselves were heritages so they needed to be protected and preserved.
However, old trees are not legally protected and the temple's management board insisted that the trees were the temple's property.
But which heritage should they really be concerned about protecting?
The wheels are falling off
The missing front wheel of Vietnam Airlines' ATR72 aircraft was finally found last Friday after four days of searching.
After the plane landed safely at Da Nang Airport last Monday, carrying 41 passengers and crew from Hai Phong City's Cat Bi Airport, it was discovered that a wheel was missing.
A team of up to 30 people was immediately assigned to search for the missing wheel up to 3km from the runway at Cat Bi Airport, while another 20-member team searched within 15km of Da Nang Airport.
The 15-kilo wheel was found undamaged nearly 1.2m from the runway of Cat Bi Airport. It turned out have fallen off directly after takeoff.
Phew! — VNS