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Doan Ngoc Hai Resigns, Effectively Ending Saigon's Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

For what it’s worth, his presence has been a breath of fresh air in Saigon’s stuffy political climate.

According to Tuoi Tre, Vice Chairman of District 1’s People’s Committee Doan Ngoc Hai recently tendered his resignation this morning, January 8. The news was confirmed by a representative from the committee.

During a routine meeting of the organization, Hai submitted his resignation letter, saying that he felt that he’s let down the city’s residents for not fulfilling his promise. This refers to his claim made last February: “From now [February] until the end of the year, if [he] can’t [bring about orderly sidewalks], [he] would quit his job, because [he] didn’t start this campaign to be famous or for fun.”

He added in the resignation letter that ever since he accepted the responsibility of boosting Saigon’s public order in March, 2016, the city’s sidewalk encroachment problem has only gotten worse and more complicated.

“From January to October, 2017, the sidewalk clearing campaign in District 1 has created a huge impact all over the country. The central government valued [the effort] and even ordered other localities to follow suite,” Hai wrote in the letter in Vietnamese.

“However, the clearance of sidewalks have encroached on some significant commercial interests – worth thousands of billion dong – of local parking zones, restaurants, hotels and businesses with shopfronts.”

Hai shared that upon reflection, he realized that he didn’t fulfill his promise to the people and to his superiors to completely resolve the sidewalk occupation riddle. Therefore, he decided to resign.

Vice Chairman Hai’s sidewalk clearing campaign has garnered polarizing views, to say the least. Supporters of the effort praised his team for getting results and not giving offenders any mercy while critics decried Hai for the same reason as they sided with poor street vendors whose means of making a living was destroyed.

The campaign wasn’t a picnic for the vice chairman either, as he even received death threats and was followed to his home by unknown motorists. In October last year, District officials also decided to form their own task force while requiring Hai to get permission prior to hitting local streets.

Downtown Saigon hasn’t witnessed any widely publicized clearance trips ever since. Many saw this as an unofficial end of an era for Doan Ngoc Hai’s street inspection team.

[Photo via Zing]


Related Articles:

New Rule Forces Doan Ngoc Hai to Get Approval From D1 Leaders Before Clearing Sidewalks

D1 Official Doan Ngoc Hai Seeks Complete 'Carte Blanche' to Continue Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

Inside Saigon Official’s Controversial Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign


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