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​Vietnamese minister cancels golf tournament to aid flood victims

Sunday, August 06, 2017, 10:50 GMT+7

A friendly golf tournament scheduled for Saturday to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment got canceled as its leaders decided instead to join a flood relief team the same day.

The news was announced in the afternoon by Tang The Cuong, the ministry’s chief of office and spokesperson.

According to Cuong, the tournament had been poised to take place at 2:00 pm following a ceremony in the morning, and would have been joined by sitting as well as retired officials of the ministry.

The tournament had drawn criticism online, as social media users slammed participating officials as “disgraceful” for enjoying the luxurious game while their fellow countrymen were suffering from a natural disaster.

However, Minister Tran Hong Ha decided on Friday night that the tournament would be canceled after learning about the devastating flash flood that had swept through northern Vietnamese provinces the day before.

At least nine people were killed and 25 others went missing after heavy rains and flash floods devastated northern Vietnam on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to the latest statistics.

Yen Bai and Son La Provinces took the heaviest hit.

A flash flood sweeps through Mu Cang Chai Town in Yen Bai Province on August 3, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A flash flood sweeps through Mu Cang Chai Town in Yen Bai Province on August 3, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

At the ceremony marking the ministry’s 15th anniversary on Saturday morning, Minister Ha called for donations from officials and employees of the ministry to aid flood-stricken citizens in the two provinces.

“Over VND160 million [US$7,000] was donated by officials and leaders of the ministry at the ceremony,” Cuong said. “The ministry and its subordinate bodies had decided to put aside another VND1 billion [$44,000] in relief to flood-hit citizens of Son La and Yen Bai.”

According to the spokesperson, a delegation of ministerial officials led by Minister Ha had departed for the hardest hit areas of Yen Bai Province the same afternoon to deliver VND588 million ($26,000) in flood aid.

A second delegation led by Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc headed for Son La to hand out another VND580 million ($25,000) to flood victims in the province, Cuong said.

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