Combating street robbery: “Street knight” model still a concern
The problem of “street knight” model?
"Knights of the street" are the way people call men who voluntarily hunt robbers on the street. Some of them are members of social or government organizations but some of them do not belong to any organization, but all of them voluntarily do this dangerous task for the peace of society.
However, after 10 "knights" of the crime prevention club of Phu Hoa ward, Thu Dau Mot town, Binh Duong province were summoned by the Police Agency of District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, in early October, for suspicion of being related to a robbery, the skepticism about the weakness of the "street knight" model has appeared.
It is said that this model has been replicated throughout provinces, but it is not strictly controlled by local governments.
The “SBC Binh Duong" club (robber hunting club of Binh Duong province) with captain Nguyen Thanh Hai, is known as the first "street knight" club in the country.
Most of the members of this club are well-off and they consider hunting robbers as a passion. The club has significantly contributed to the reduction of crime in Binh Duong province.
Based on the model of this club, many crime prevention clubs have been established in Binh Duong and other provinces. These clubs are under the management of the local commune and ward authorities.
Regards to the case of "street knight" Nguyen Tang Tien, a member of the crime prevention club of An Binh ward, Di An Ward, Binh Duong province, who was attacked by a gangster gang, Colonel Nguyen Hoang Thao - Deputy Director of Binh Duong Police Agency, admitted that the "street knight" model has problems.
Thao said, in many cases, "knights" did not properly pursue the laws, but in the current situation, it is temporarily accepted and the local authorities would take measures to help "knights" understand the law and the limits of their job.
How is the authority of "street knights?"
Reporters of a provincial TV station said that whenever local “street knights" arrested robbers, they asked the local TV station to film and report before handing over the criminals to the police. Some "knights" have equipped themselves with cameras to take photos or film of their feat of arms to provide to reporters.
Just like that the media has taken up “street knights” as the social idols in the suppression of crime, which should belong to the police force.
The authorities of "knights" is still a controversy when the media sometimes reported that “street knights” raided an illegal gas producing enterprise or a prostitution network.
Lawyers said that if "knights" handle such illegal acts, they are considered to violate the law, because that is the job of the police.
"If knights are called in to support the police force, it is acceptable," a lawyer said.
In late August 2012, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court sentenced a group of three "knights" of 18-30 months in prison on charges of "consumption of assets obtained by criminal acts." In this case, three “street knights” arrested two robbers. But on the way to the police headquarters, two robbers suggested sharing half of VND120 million that they had robbed to the three "knights" to be released. The affair was discovered and the “knights” were sentenced.
Once the media reported that "knights" took a bribe. It is ridiculous because “knights” are not government officials or public servants to be called “taking a bribe.”
The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court recently trialed a "knight" for chasing a robber, who died on the way.
“Knight” Nguyen Tang Tien’s younger brother was sentenced to four years in prison for robbery. This man used to be a "street knight."
It is time the authorities should have strict regulations for the operation of "street knights," to avoid the "unfortunate incidents."
The case related to 10 "street knights" of the SBC Binh Duong club
On the afternoon of August 17, captain Nguyen Thanh Hai of the SBC Binh Duong club received a phone call from a man named Dinh Dac Loc, a resident of
In early October, Loc received a call of a stranger named Hiep asking him to redeem the car at VND240 million, otherwise Hiep would sell it to
After listening to Loc’s explanation and checking the car registration documents, Hai mobilized 10 members in his club to help Loc.
On the night of August 17, the ten “knights” followed Loc to the meeting place where Loc gave money to Toan. “Knights” then pursued the two people (a man named Nguyen Van Hiep, from
After receiving Loc’s phone call, in which he said that his car was replaced with some faked spare parts, the “knights” arrested Hiep and his wife and took them to the office of
After that Hiep accused the “knights” of identifying themselves as policemen to take VND240 million from him.
The police of District 12,
Thứ Sáu, 30 tháng 11, 2012
People relocated for
A woman and her children use rainwater in a water hole to bathe since their relocation area in
More and more families out of a group of people relocated in the central
Many of the 834 families who were displaced by the Song Tranh 2 dam in 2005 were never happy to live in the houses provided by the dam builder,Electricity of Vietnam.
Besides the two factors, they also fear that the houses cannot withstand earthquakes, hundreds of which have hit the area since the dam was finished late last year.
The dam has been built on a geological fault line.
The state-owned power monopoly earlier this week paid residents VND3.5 billion (US$167,870) to repair nearly 1,000 houses and public buildings besides roads and water supply systems in Bac Tra My District that were damaged by the quakes.
Ministry of Construction officials are in the district to help build quake-proof houses.
But many of the displaced people are not willing to wait.
Ho Thi Duong, 40, said: “People here have to walk nearly two hours every day to fetch water from a stream.”
Around 20 families left for the forest earlier this year to live in huts, and now the number has doubled.
Ho Van Loi, the chairman of a local commune, said: “Life in the relocation area has been too miserable due to the lack of land and water. If the condition persists, leaving for the jungle will become inevitable.
“The dam investor has promised to build roads and wells and provide more land. I hope it did not make empty promises.”
Local rangers have reported a rise in illegal logging in the area as people become desperate without lands.
The province planned to build 44 but recently suspended work on 17 and canceled two other projects, stating that losses outweighed gains.
Seven plants are in operation and eight others are under construction. A total of more than 5,700 hectares of land has been taken over, including 2,000 ha of agriculture land, and 3,519 families have been relocated.
Thứ Năm, 29 tháng 11, 2012
When SOEs are governed by 101 agencies
State enterprises have too many "mothers" but it is very difficult to define which mother takes the responsibility for their children’s mistakes. This problem has been discussed in many forums and meetings, especially at the National Assembly sessions, when some state-owned groups, as the Vietnam Shipping Lines Group (Vinalines) and the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) incurred losses of up to billions of USD.
The situation in which SOEs earn profit and their losses are suffered by the state budget and SOEs do not have to take responsibility for their losses is expected to gradually reduce along with the implementation of the SOE restructuring process, in which an important solution being disinvesting their capital from non-core business fields to focus on their core business.
However, according to Mr. Nguyen Dinh Cung, CIEM deputy director, the implementation of this plan seems to be reluctant, hesitant and not really aggressive. Some even "talked back" that this plan cannot be completed before 2015 as committed.
In the desire to create a turning point for the economy in 2012, specialists from the Vietnam Institute of Economics in a recent workshop invited Dr. Pham Duy Nghia, a lecturer of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program to present on the issue of ownership of SOEs.
This speaker said that the lack of a clear representative mechanism, the ownership right of state capital in SOEs is actually divided among many state agencies, by civil servants who are appointed as representatives, by the boards of management of groups and the holders of the operating rights in SOEs.
In the conflict between national interests, the interests of ministries and sectors, the interests of enterprises and the group of people who hold the ownership right at SOEs, the lack of counterpoise and continuous monitoring pressure--that representative power is more likely to be abused for private benefit." Nghia said.
The speaker also "lamented" that, in
Going into management decentralization of SOEs at the economic forum with the topic "Innovating decentralization in institutional reform," held by the National Assembly’s Economic Committee in September, Dr. Tran Tien Cuong mentioned the fact that there are too many agencies representing the state ownership and managing SOEs.
Specifically, at the end of 2011, there were 101 state bodies involving in the management of 1,309 wholly state-owned enterprises (not mentioning the agencies that manage enterprises that are partly owned by the state), including: 17 ministries and ministerial-level agencies, government agencies with 355 SOEs; 63 provinces with 701 SOEs, 11 State economic groups with 147 SOEs and 10 corporations with 106 SOEs.
At the same time there are five agencies performing the role of the state owners at SOEs, including the four Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Planning and Investment and the Government Office.
This form of management has led to the corollary that SOEs have low economic efficiency but nobody takes responsibility for that, causing public concerns.
In a report presented at the 11th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee, the National Assembly’s Finance and Budget Committee stated that "business performance of SOEs is not commensurate with the advantages of this type of business, does not guarantee the position and the role in the economy."
The committee also cited the audit report for 2010, which said that SOEs had high occupancy rate of capital; most of them invested in non-core business fields; more than 50% of them operated based on occupancy capital and borrowed capital; 70% of the total number of SOEs incurred losses (around $6.5 billion in 2010); after-tax profits of SOEs was about 9%, close to the consumer price index (CPI) (11.75%).
According to documents from the National Assembly's Economic Committee, SOEs accounted for about 70% of total bad loans of banks, in which economic groups, corporations accounted for 53% of the bad debts.
Defining the owners of SOEs has become crucial. To do this, Dr. Pham Duy Nghia said that it is necessary to have public property committee (being appointed by public entities owned by the central government or the local authorities) to usurp all ownership rights over SOEs, which are still scattered now.
"It is time to terminate the business management of ministries and allocate them to the public property management committees," Nghia suggested.
Dr. Tran Tien Cuong said that in the medium and long term,
These agencies will perform the representative role over important SOEs and guide and monitor the implementation of the ownership function at ministries and provincial People's Committees.
Cuong also said that the provinces and cities that have many SOEs can establish specialized agencies to exercise the rights and obligations of the representative of the state ownership at SOEs in these localities.
More foreign companies vanishing from Vietnam
A rusty sign is seen inside the APL International Co Ltd, 100
percent invested by
Why holiday gifts get more ‘ughs’ than ‘oohs’
"For the holiday season, many of us focus too intensely on how other people will react to what we get them, when it may be the mere existence of the present, rather than exactly what it is, that most matters," writes Cass R. Sunstein.
Behavioral economists study human errors. People don’t always make the best choices for themselves, so there’s good reason to doubt whether they will always make the best choices for others.
If you’ve ever received a useless gadget, a horrendous tie or some kind of bowl, you’ll know that when people buy Christmas presents, they can blunder badly. Chances are pretty good that whatever you end up getting people this year, and however hard you try, some of your friends and family members aren’t going to think that the gift is worth what you paid for it.
Mis-giving is a big problem for givers as well as recipients. In a large survey, the average respondent was found to give 23 presents every holiday season. Gift-giving can also take an economic toll. Personal debts tend to jump after December. That isn’t ideal, especially in hard economic times and if recipients aren’t thrilled with what they get.
Here are some tips for gift-givers, building on six behavioral findings that bear directly on holiday-season mis-giving. They might help you get through December a little better.
-- Egocentric bias: If you are like most people, you have an exaggerated sense of how much other people are like you. You probably think their tastes and values are closer to yours than they actually are. Suppose you covet that new “Star Wars” limited-edition watch, or think your life would be immeasurably better with a fishing rod. Even if so, your spouse or your best friend might not much want those things. Beware of thinking that other people will like what you like.
-- Focusing illusion: When people focus on a product or an activity, or on a single feature of a situation, they tend to think that it matters a lot more than it does. For example, people in both
The same can be said about holiday gifts. People have a tendency to focus on an eye-catching object that produces an immediate “wow!” when it is given, but that goes promptly into the desk or the closet, never to emerge again. The solution? Give serious consideration to gifts that people will actually put to daily or at least weekly use.
-- Projection bias: When people are hungry, they tend to order a ton of food, even if they are not going to eat all or even most of it. People know, of course, that their tastes will change over time, but they project their current emotional state into the future and thus underestimate the magnitude of the change.
On frigid days, people buy clothing that is needed in cold weather, such as parkas and winter coats. That’s fine as far as it goes, but they sometimes buy more than they need. The return rate is unusually high for cold-weather products bought in low temperatures. For gift-givers, the lesson is clear: Don’t be unduly influenced by how you feel on the day that you happen to be shopping.
-- Optimistic bias: Human beings tend to be unrealistically optimistic. Most people think they are better than the average driver and less likely to be involved in a serious accident. When people give presents, unrealistic optimism goes off the charts. We are often amazed that people don’t love what we’ve selected. Please don’t be. (And please consider avoiding the optimistic exclamation, “You’re going to love it!”)
-- Cumulative-cost neglect: People often borrow too much because they neglect the cumulative costs of individual expenditures. If you use your credit card to purchase 20 sensible gifts, you might be alarmed by the total expense. When gift-givers don’t keep at least a rough running tab, they may find that they have spent a lot more than they expected, or even can easily afford.
-- Spotlight effect: If you are like most people, you think that people are watching you far more carefully than they actually are. In one experiment, students were asked to go into a classroom wearing a shirt with a picture of Barry Manilow on it (which is pretty embarrassing). Those who wore the shirt greatly exaggerated the number of people who actually noticed the picture. Most people didn’t.
For the holiday season, many of us focus too intensely on how other people will react to what we get them, when it may be the mere existence of the present, rather than exactly what it is, that most matters. Unless you are dealing with someone who really cares about what you get them, you should worry a lot less (and maybe spend less, too).
A few years ago, my sister declared a family moratorium on Christmas presents for anyone over 15 years old. We all celebrated. Other people, including Waldfogel himself, have suggested a different solution. Instead of giving people more gadgets, ties or bowls, tell them that this year, you’re going to make a donation in their name to a charity of their choice. Can you think of a better way to show the spirit of the season?
By Cass R. Sunstein
Cass R. Sunstein, the Felix Frankfurter professor of law at
Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 11, 2012
President boosts ties with Brunei
BRUNEI ()— Viet Nam and Brunei should further their co-operation in the oil and gas sector, as well as in labour and tourism, President Truong Tan Sang and Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah agreed.
During talks following the welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader yesterday, the two sides planned to continue high-ranking and people-to-people exchanges and meetings, which they hope will increase mutual understanding and trust.