Vietnam's PM owns up to errors as scandals taint leadership

Dung hits back at online critics using 'negative information' for 'national sabotage'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 4:28am

Vietnam's prime minister admitted yesterday that his government had made mistakes in its stewardship of the troubled economy, in the latest bout of self-criticism by the secretive communist regime.

Scandals, inefficiencies and major losses at state-run giants such as shipbuilder Vinashin have dented public confidence, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the opening session of the month-long National Assembly. "I recognise my political responsibility and my faults," he said. "We have learned our lesson."

Dung, 62,  escaped punishment at a Communist Party meeting last week over a string of scandals affecting the country's leadership.

But in an attempt to deflect increasing online criticism, the party issued an unusual rebuke against its own performance.

Dung, a former central bank governor whose second five-year term was approved by the communist-controlled parliament in July last year, is said to have become the country's most powerful prime minister ever.

However, the arrest in August this year of a disgraced multimillionaire banker seen as an ally of Dung shook investor confidence in the country.

Vietnam is grappling with slowing economic growth, resurgent inflation, falling foreign direct investment and toxic debts in a fragile banking system.