31st Mar 2008

Hilarious photo :-D

Just in case you wondered why these “Tibetan monks” were so violent in Lhasa….

Hi hi, thật là tuyệt chiêu của các bạn Tàu. Ảnh này được chụp năm 2003. Nhưng nếu 2003 các bạn đã có tuyệt chiêu này thì ngu gì các bạn không dùng lại năm 2008

 

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Không liên quan đến Tibet

Straits Times
March 30, 2008

Vietnam’s success story losing the plot


High growth achieved at high cost, with prices soaring, trade gap ballooning and stocks plunging

 

By Roger Mitton

HANOI – THE other day, when I went to one of my favourite cafes where the serving of spring rolls, noodles and salad had always been an unbeatable 18,000 dong (S$1.50), I found its price had gone up to 44,000 dong.
Do the maths: That is an increase of more than 140 per cent.

It is not unusual in Vietnam these days. The country has by far the highest inflation rates in Asia.

The bread rolls I buy at the Nguyen Son Bakery next door have just gone up 50 per cent in price.

My monthly rent has been arbitrarily hiked by 67 per cent.

In fact, I have lost count of the number of people who have told me their rent has recently been increased, often doubled, sometimes tripled, with no notice and no recourse – it’s take it or leave it.

So when the government revealed last week that March’s year-on-year inflation rate was 19.4 per cent, no one was in the least surprised. In fact, most people believed the figure was understated.

Increases in food prices and rents have been astronomical. The price of petrol went up 36 per cent last month and there have been stiff hikes in the prices of electricity and cooking gas.

Vietnam‘s low-income workers, who earn around US$60 (S$83) a month, are seething. Thousands have stormed out on wildcat strikes. Their anger is directed not just at exploitative managers, but at the ruling communist regime as well.

After enticing investors with promises of a stable, industrious workforce, the government took little action as retailers and landlords took advantage of the business boom to jack up prices.

And when workers, facing food price hikes of 30 per cent while getting only a 5 per cent wage rise, started grumbling, they were told to shut up and stay in line.

Their docility and acceptance of low wages are the rock on which Vietnam’s high growth is based.

But perhaps no longer. Now even the domestic media criticises the regime’s economic priorities.

Dr Nguyen Quang A, director of Hanoi’s Institute for Development Studies, said: ‘The government’s economic agenda has not been implemented in a stable way, rules are not properly regulated and policies vary inconsistently.’

In one of an almost daily series of ad hoc measures, the regime has rescinded further planned hikes in fuel and electricity costs until June for fear of causing social unrest.

After chairing a crisis Cabinet meeting last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held a two-hour head-bashing session with financial and stock market officials to figure out what to do next.

Make no mistake, Vietnam is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Until recently the region’s economic poster boy, it has been hit by a triple whammy of raging inflation, collapsing stocks and a skyrocketing trade imbalance expected to hit US$25 billion (S$34.5 billion) this year.

Faced with few options, Mr Dung has said economic growth must now play second fiddle to the fight against inflation.

The target of 8 per cent growth, which was achieved annually over the past decade, has been shelved. >

Vietnam may be lucky to hit 5 per cent growth this year.

Ms Pham Chi Lan, one of the nation’s most respected economics experts and a former adviser to the Prime Minister, said: ‘If the government succeeds in fighting inflation, growth this year is likely to come down to around 5 per cent to 6.5 per cent.’

While that may be a loss of face for Mr Dung and his team, it is a figure many think they should have aimed for in the first place.

Dr Quang A said: ‘I don’t understand why they set a target of 8 per cent to 9 per cent growth. They just put a rope round their necks.

‘Growth of 5 per cent to 6.5 per cent would be secure, sustainable and quite acceptable.’

And it might help settle the nation’s bourse, currently the world’s worst-performing equity market.

Two weeks ago, in an attempt to stem the market’s collapse, Vietnam’s state investment arm was ordered to buy shares in domestic companies.

It did no good. Punters, already disillusioned by the government’s ad hoc economic moves, stayed away and stocks continued to plummet.

Now, Mr Dung has ordered trading curbs that permit the market to fall by no more than 1 per cent a day.

Mr Dao Viet Anh, customer relations manager for FPT Securities in Hanoi, said: ‘This measure effectively shuts down Vietnam’s stock market.’

That kind of drastic knee-jerk action has been typical of Mr Dung’s economic team: If something looks bad, shut it down till we figure out what to do.

Mr Anh said: ‘It is an urgent move to try to put out the fire and it shows that the government is panicking out of fear that the market will collapse completely.’

Signs of panic surfaced two weeks ago when the government halted an international investment forum out of concern that visiting businessmen would be spooked if they discovered the real situation on the ground.

Many felt the move was counter-productive.

Ms Lan said: ‘Obviously, foreign investors must not be very happy and the government should try to do more to reassure them that the economy is still under control.’

More often than not, however, the government’s actions have signalled a lack of control.

A recent flurry of edicts effectively stopped the nation’s banks from making any loans and thus stripped businesses of ready cash. That left them unable to honour contracts or pay their staff, let alone make plans for expansion.

As well, foreign exchange transactions became difficult as local banks refused to change dollars into Vietnamese dong. The situation was just too volatile for them.

Now, thankfully, after yet more edicts, changing dollars is again possible.

But an air of economic uncertainty has been created, and until it is dispelled, Vietnam’s economic woes are likely to continue.

6 Responses to “Hilarious photo :-D”

  1. Khuê Việt Says:

    Tan giấc mơ hoa của em (retrospectively).

    ;(

  2. hoaianh Says:

    Oi minh thay nuoi baby bay gio la dung thoi diem day, baby vua lon thi thi truong cung vua len lai chien tiep :)

  3. myselfvn Says:

    Năm ngoái tớ cũng có 1 cái áo vải màu giống như màu vải các anh khựa cầm trên tay, cơ mà tớ kh nhớ nổi anh nào tặng mình. Mình bạc bẽo thật.

  4. gt Says:

    What to do next??? Báo cáo là em đang tính sửa cái CV rồi lại đi làm cu li cho bọn thối tai thối mũi lấy mấy đồng lương còm để cơn chìm đắm đau đầu này ạ

  5. Fortunate V Says:

    Thích nhất mấy đoạn bôi vàng bôi xanh :)

  6. Hieu Says:

    Ờ, thảo nào mình nghỉ mãi ko muốn đi làm. Mà nếu có phải đi làm thì cũng nghĩ mãi ko biết làm gì. Hóa ra là tại Đảng tại Bác chứ hổng phải tại mình!

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