Overseas Vietnameses comment on constitutional revision
  • By P. Thao | | January 18, 2013 03:22 PM

A conference to collect the opinions of overseas Vietnamese about the draft revision of the 1992 Constitution was held on January 17.


 Conference to collect the opinions on constitutional revision held in Hanoi

Phan Bich Thien, an overseas Vietnamese living in Hungary, highly praised the amendment for its new additions pertaining to human rights, copyright law and environment protection. In the section addressing economy development, the amendment also gives equal roles to all of the economic sectors instead of the former heavy reliance on state-owned enterprises.

However, Thien also said the role of Vietnam Fatherland Front in the political system should be made clearer. "The role of the Fatherland Front in human rights and social criticism needs to be more detailed because that's where people's opinions and wishes are voiced." she said.

She added that the constitution neglects specifics on the rights of overseas Vietnamese to vote and run for Government office.

General Secretary of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese, Bui Dinh Dinh, said the Government should reconsider Article 18, which states, "Vietnamese citizens will not be deported from Vietnam to be handed over to another country." Dung said this should only be applied to people who exclusively have Vietnamese citizenship.


 General Secretary of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese Bui Dinh Dinh

He pointed out that there are many people have dual citizenship. This leaves open the possibility for them to commit crimes in other countries and then hide in Vietnam. He said that it would be unreasonable for the constitution to protect such offenders.

He also recommended that Article 14 reiterate the fact that Hanoi is the capital of the country and it shall not be changed.

Tai Phuong, an overseas Vietnamese in US commented that Article 19 should be expanded to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnameses to invest in the country and play a role in its scientific and technological development.

"Investors should be protected. While foreign investors can go to their respective embassies for help when they encounter difficulties, we don't know where to go," he said.


 Tai Phuong suggested a clear explanation of the socialist-oriented market economy

Currently, there are about 4.5 million people of Vietnamese origin living abroad. In 2012, remittances reached USD11.2 billion and about 2,000 of Vietnamese doctors and professors are working overseas. Still there are few overseas Vietnamese who hold positions in the Vietnamese administration system.

Nguyen Hoai Bac, from Canada said the overseas Vietnamese who make investments in Vietnam should be afforded more rights.

Nguyen Trong Binh, from the US, said that a more favourable mechanism would encourage more overseas Vietnamese to return and contribute to the development of the country. He pointed out that even academic conferences such as "The history of Paracel and Spratly islands" require complicated procedures.

Binh also stated that the constitution should give a clear explanation about Vietnam's socialist-oriented market economy in order to attract more investment from both overseas Vietnamese and foreign investors.

The President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Huynh Dam, said they will continue collecting opinions and send them to the relevant agencies.

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