Hai, the deputy chairman of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, who recommenced his famous ‘sidewalk clearing’ campaign last month after a four-month hiatus, has been receiving phone calls and text messages threatening that his efforts may cost him and his family their lives.
The city official also claims that strangers have followed him home from his office on several occasions, forcing him to take the threats seriously by filing an official complaint with city police.
District 1 police officials have met with Hai and are managing an investigation.
Despite the risk, Hai refuses to back down on the campaign, asserting that anyone illegal occupying sidewalks will be held accountable.
The sidewalk clearance campaign began earlier this year after Hai took it upon himself to enforce the district’s often-ignored sidewalk occupancy laws.
Taking note of the campaign’s positive reception by local citizens, other neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh City began following suit until the initiative came to a sudden end in late March.
Hai marked the campaign’s return with a surprise crackdown on August 9, issuing fines to multiple cars and taxis parked illegally on sidewalks and confiscating tables and chairs from eateries occupying the pavements.