Chief inspector of the Ministry of Transport, Nguyen Van Huyen, appeared nervous as he and three other high-ranking officials from the ministry sat in the same exam room on April 25 to compete for the position as the next general directorate for roads.
When a reporter asked if his wife had made him green-bean rice for breakfast, a so-called "lucky" dish Vietnamese people often eat before taking an exam, the chief inspector laughed and said: "I'm very confident. There's no need for that. I don't want to talk too much. It's all about action."
It was the first time high-ranking officials have been ordered to take a formal exam when seeking a higher position. Normally, these positions are appointments made by even higher ranking officials, which makes it interesting to see what it's like for officials to be exposed to the nerve wracking atmosphere young students are exposed to.
Along with the chief inspector, were the vice directorate of roads, the general director of a major public construction project - and the general director of a construction company under the transport ministry.
In the exam room, Transport Minister Dinh La Thang said the four candidates were quite brave taking the test since only one would be chosen. Many other officials did not dare to take the test, fearing failure could taint their reputation.
The board of examiners included five deputy ministers of the transport ministry and 10 other officials within the Ministry, but people are wondering how can the whole process can be transparent when the examinees know the examiners quite well.
Nearly 20 reporters and family members were invited to the event and monitored the exam through a large video screen. At least that should guarantee something.
Yesterday, the ministry announced that the chief inspector got the job. Well done chief. Now we wait for your actions, not words.
Pressing need for courtesy
A motorbike racer from Malaysia appeared like he was begging the crowd, praying for them to back off. The scene took place on Sunday as people swamped to Binh Duong Province for a motorbike race.
Thousands of people swamped the track area designated for the day's events. There were so many that one of the races had to be later cancelled.
Netizens (people on the net) expressed sympathy with the Malaysian biker, who can't speak Vietnamese and therefore was helpless as the crowd kept pressing forward. Many people were not surprised that some Vietnamese do not understand the need to stand back to let things can happen.
Similar pressing and pushing often occurs at airports, train stations and even in supermarket queues. Once, during severe food rationing, this tactic would have probably made good sense, even it is rather impolite
It is almost admitting that no one is in charge - or that no one really cares! — VNS