At the November cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a ban on government officials and civil servants offering gifts to their superiors during the Lunar New Year, or Tet.
"In the run-up to Tet, I have instructed government officials from central to local levels not to pay any visits to the prime minister or other senior government, ministry and agency officials," the PM told the meeting. "Any kind of Tet gifts are also prohibited."
This new instruction from the government leader was issued as the country is making efforts to curb corruption, especially as the Tet holiday nears on January 28.
It has become a tradition for Vietnamese people to offer gifts to friends, relatives or bosses during festivals, especially Tet. But in many cases, these gifts are merely bribery that people use to curry favour with their bosses in order to get help, support or promotion at work.
Therefore, the Tet holidays are becoming a hard time for many people trying to think of and find a proper gift for their bosses.
Meanwhile, those who hold high positions are not always happy receiving the gifts from their staff because this would mean they owe something to the givers. It is said that many bosses have to avoid meeting and receiving gifts from staff as they can’t give the help or support that they know the givers are expecting.
Therefore the instruction from the PM is expected to help curb the wrongful promotions that are rampant at local state-owned enterprises.
The PM’s continuing efforts to combat corruption and build a transparent government have been widely welcomed by the public. And the public are also expecting the PM's instructions to be closely monitored and followed, and are not just a call.
The anti-corruption bureau under the Government Inspectorate last year also encouraged citizens to report instances of corruption that usually happen at the end of the year such as bribery in the form of Tet gifts, unauthorised use of state-owned vehicles and highway bribery via three hotlines.