Head of the Industry and Trade Department in northern Thai Nguyen Province, Dinh Khac Hien, was startled when told a local company had forged his signature and official stamp to promote the sales of its water filtering machines.
Last month, many people in Kha Son Commune, Phu Binh District, became concerned when a company known as Thang Anh Commerce and Investment Ltd Co visited their homes, checked their water sources and announced that all water samples showed contamination.
The company then offered to sell water purification machines for VND3.95 million (US$188) each. It also offered to deliver and install the machines, which it said, could be paid for by installments.
To reassure householders, the company provided a document apparently signed by the Industry and Trade Department chief Hien encouraging people to have their water tested in the name of safety.
When interviewed, Hien confirmed that he had no connection with the company and did not sign any of its documents. He said the company's action was illegal.
The province's Food Safety Division has advised people to take no notice of the so-called water testing results by the company because it said quick-test machines were not known for their accuracy.
But there are lingering doubts that the trade department has done enough to solve what amounts to brazen fraud. Many still wonder about signatures and stamps issued by "authorised officials" in the region. How can they distinguish the true from the false?
What a performance!
Many visitors to northern Hai Phong City's coastal Do Son District on April 30 attended a ceremony to mark the opening of the tourism season with the theme Do Son – The Call of the Sea.
Many are still smiling at the musical performance – a main part of the ceremony – because it featured lip synchronisation to words broadcast from tape recordings for most of the performance.
The show began and ended with a chorus of songs that dominated the chattering of the crowd and the sounds of waves coming ashore. However, the ridiculous thing was that not one of the choristers was holding or wearing a microphone.
The audience laughed loudly when their voices appeared seconds before their lips started moving. A sound technician at the performance admitted that all the songs were pre-recorded and that his job was simply to press "play" when singers appeared on stage, Thoi bao Kinh doanh (Business Times) reported.
On some occasions, people are tolerant of lip syncing as it can help to ensure the sound quality of a performance. However, for public events like the show at Do Son beach, it is better if the technique is not too blatant.
Flight of fantasy
During last week's busy Dien Bien Phu holiday period, more than 50 Vietjet Air passengers scheduled to fly from Cam Ranh International Airport to HCM City were actually placed on board a plane to Ha Noi.
The mistake was only discovered when the flight was about to depart for the northern capital, according to Tuoi tre ( Young People) newspaper. Fortunately, the check-in girls had placed all the luggage on the right plane, so things were quickly sorted out. However, one first-time air passenger is still shaken by the event.
The problem began when airport communications apparently gave out the wrong information to airport staff while passengers were queuing up to have their luggage weighed. — VNS