Pop star sternly reprimanded for inappropriate acts

On Nov 6, the Performing Arts Department requested that pop singer Dam Vinh Hung repent for recent inappropriate actions, including dressing up as the killer doctor who dumped his client’s body into a river

Pop star Dam Vinh Hung is dressed as female in a performance during the 2012 local version of Just the two of us reality show.

The document, signed by the department head Nguyen Dang Chuong, lists Hung’s several inappropriate actions, including kissing a Buddhist monk on the lips, reacting disrespectfully to a revered veteran composer’s comments, posing for photos while thousands of locals were queuing to pay tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap at his funeral, and most recently dressing up for a Halloween party as the doctor who dumped his client’s body into a Hanoi river.

The department head said that “Hung’s offensive actions are systematic and continuous” and will impose stern penalties on the singer if he repeats such offences.

Amidst public outrage with Dr. Nguyen Manh Tuong for dumping the body of his female client into a river following a botched plastic surgery, Hung donned a doctor’s blouse bearing the nametag “Dr. Cat Tuong” and posed playfully with several other singers for photos at a Halloween party on Oct 31.

While some say that there’s nothing wrong with Hung’s costume, many have expressed strong disapproval, stressing that his poor choice hurts the family of the victim, whose body has yet to be found.

Hung, whose real name is Huynh Minh Hung, is in his late 30s and has pocketed several local prizes. He also created quite a stir when he showed up at the funeral of legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap on Oct 6. Though thousands of people had been queuing for hours for their turn to pay homage to the general, the singer was immediately allowed straight in. He even posed for photos before leaving. Soon after that, he came up with a feeble excuse for his quick admission on his Facebook page, claiming that his presence in the long queue could have drawn crowds of curious people and fans, affecting the solemnity of Gen. Giap’s funeral. 

During a charity auction in November last year in Ho Chi Minh City, Hung auctioned off a Western bottle of wine. The winners of the prize turned out to be two Buddhist monks. As a gesture of thanks, Hung kissed one of them on the lips. The other monk refused to let the singer touch his lips but let him kiss his left hand instead.

The photo of the two kissing went viral on the internet, causing indignation among the public, especially in Buddhist circles. Hung was fined VND5 million (US$250) for the act while the two monks were banned from outside contact for three months. The monk who Hung kissed on the lips later left his monastery and returned to secular life.

Nguyen Anh, a 73-year-old composer who has always kept a low profile and led a scandal-free lifestyle, criticized several top-notch pop singers, including Thanh Lam, My Linh, Dam Vinh Hung, My Tam, and Ho Ngoc Ha in a recent interview with a local newswire.

Hung reacted to the composer’s criticisms the most strongly. On his personal page, Hung called composer Anh, who he was previously close with, a hypocrite, and implied that the composer made such critical comments in a misguided attempt to gain attention and fame. Hung later personally apologized to Anh after being blasted by the public for his accusation.

Many members of the public also expressed disapproval of Hung when he was thought to bribe judges for prizes, such as the local version of the reality show “Just the two of us.” As a judge of the local version of “The Voice,” Hung also attracted criticism for showing off his diamond ring and trying to ‘lure’ stronger contestants onto his team with excessive promises of fame and wealth.

Following the Performing Arts Department’s request on Nov 6, Hung sent a letter acknowledging his wrongs and promising not to commit such offences again, which are considered bad examples to a portion of the population, particularly youths.


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