Does this Vietnamese official’s visit to flood zone beat Melania Trump’s high heels?

By Vi Vu   October 11, 2017 | 08:46 pm PT
Does this Vietnamese official’s visit to flood zone beat Melania Trump’s high heels?
A photo shared on Facebook shows Nguyen Thi Tam (R), a ward Party secretary and chairwoman in Thanh Hoa, on a raft during a visit on Wednesday.
An image of a Party member being pulled on a raft by an employee has stirred public anger as the death toll continues to mount.

If you think the U.S. First Lady’s tour of the Houston flood zone in high heels was the worst way to say “I’m in touch with the people”, think again. One Vietnamese official has just made a member of staff pull her through a flood-battered neighborhood on a raft.

Nguyen Thi Tam, the Party secretary and chairwoman of Dong Tho Ward in the central province of Thanh Hoa, has become either the new Facebook star or villain after a photo of her standing on a raft on a slightly flooded road went viral on Wednesday.

Tam was seen standing on the raft with another unidentified woman being pulled along by a male employee.

The image has stirred a debate on both social and mainstream media, with most people being against rather than for the official.

Numerous comments have flown in ranging from light and sarcastic quips describing it as “strange” or “romantic”, to strong criticism calling the official “heartless”.

Tam said later on Wednesday that she was on a trip to mark Vietnam’s Business Day and the tour of the flood zone had been a spontaneous decision, hence her short skirt.

She said she was just checking the strength of the raft which is being used to help local flood victims, and stepped off shortly after that.

“I was sharing the hardships with the people,” she told local media, adding that her lunch had consisted of a loaf of bread at 2 p.m. and that all her clothes were wet.

“I don’t care about the controversial opinions,” she said.

But that has not stopped more people from having their say.

While some have expressed understanding and condemned Facebook for fake and biased stories, others have decided that her excuse is a load of nonsense.

The author of the photo has not been revealed.

Last August, Melania Trump also received criticism on social media for visiting Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey wearing very high, thin heels.


First Lady Melania Trump and her husband President Donald Trump visit Houston during Hurricane Harvey in August. Photo by Reuters

Her communications director Stephanie Grisham responded to the critical reaction in a statement: “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes.”

Could the same logic be applied to the Vietnamese public for throwing their 5 cents-worth at a circumstantial photo?

The death toll from the tropical depression is one of the heaviest in the country's history, with 40 fatalities reported so far.

At least 22 people are also missing.

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