A tenant of a luxury apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City has been slapped with an administrative fine for holding a ritual involving burning incense sticks on his car inside the building’s underground parking.
On Sunday evening, some residents at the Masteri Thao Dien Apartment Complex in District 2 were shocked to see one of their neighbors displaying fruits as offerings and burning joss sticks on the hood of his car in the building’s basement parking
The onlookers snapped photos of the scene and reported the case to the apartment’s management but were greeted with its inaction.
Dissatisfied, they took the incident to local police, who then fined the vehicle owner VND400,000 (US$17.5) for violating fire prevention regulations.
The building management also received a punishment for failing to detect the burning action, which the police supposed potentially endangered the apartment building.
It is customary that Vietnamese car or truck owners burn joss sticks and make offerings in front of or on the vehicle on full-moon days or before its maiden trip in the hope of having good luck while driving on the road ever since.
Lighting a joss stick for such an occasion in a basement parking space may have escape great attention in the past, but several fires in Ho Chi Minh City, one of them deadly, have occasioned increasing cautiousness amongst apartment tenants and condominium unit owners, bringing the action easily to light.
The Masteri Thao Dien incident coincided with a fire at another Ho Chi Minh City apartment building, the PARC Spring in District 2.