Hanoi cracks down on fancy weddings for government employees

By Vo Hai   April 3, 2018 | 04:39 pm PT
Hanoi cracks down on fancy weddings for government employees
A Vietnamese couple lie on ground as they pose for their wedding photo on March 14, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Civil servants will have to celebrate their special day in relative obscurity in order to set a good example.

Government employees in Hanoi have been told that they are no longer allowed to organize expensive and extravagant weddings.

The new decree, issued by Hanoi's People's Committee, has sparked public attention

“How can civil servants afford fancy weddings?” one VnExpress reader commented, while another said: “It [the decision] doesn’t seem right because people should have their personal rights and freedom.”

The original directive, issued in October 2012, states that government employees and Communist Party members need to set a good example when they host weddings by not going over the top.

Civil servants should not host weddings with more than 600 guests at expensive venues such as a 5-star hotels or resorts, says the 2012 directive.

Vietnam’s capital also issued a set of etiquette rules in December 2016 which prohibit public servants from having tattoos and banning the use of “improper” perfume or cologne.

Government workers have also been asked not to stutter, lisp or speak in regional dialects during public addresses under another code of conduct issued in October 2017.

Hanoi employs around 132,600 public workers, out of 2.8 million in the government payroll.

Vietnamese state workers are paid a basic wage of VND1.3 million ($57) a month, which is set to increase to VND1.39 million from July. The minimum monthly pay is calculated by multiplying the basic wage with a coefficient determined by qualifications and experience.

Officials said a civil servant's income can cover 60 percent of basic living costs at best, and the fact that many people with the modest money still afford fancy houses and cars should raise corruption questions.

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