Party Official in Charge of Thu Tiem Development to Be Disciplined

The Central Inspection Commission of the VietnamCommunist Party announced on 8th December, that the Commission proposedthe Politburo, Party’s supreme body and the Party Central Committee to take disciplinary action against Mr. Tat Thanh Cang, permanent deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee and a member of the Central Committee. The coming meeting of the Central Committeethis month is likelyto inflicta strict discipline against Mr. Cang.

The wrongdoings of Mr. Cang identified by the party’s watchdog include his approval in 2013 for the project to build four roads in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, District 2. In return for building 4 roads under the build-transfer (BT) format, the contractor, Dai Quang Minh was granted 79 hectares of land for development in the new urban area;however approving VND 12.2 trillion (USD 524 million) project was well beyond the City’s authorityand it is suspected that the large prime land was given to Dai Quang Minh by overvaluation of the cost for the construction work.

The case of Mr. Cang is worth watching because he had been deeply involved in the development of Thu Thiem. Mr. Cang, who served as Party Secretary and Chairman of People’s Committee of District 2 between 2009 and 2012, was widely regarded as the right arm of Mr. Le Thanh Hai, the City’s former tycoon and Party Secretary between 2006 and 2016. In the development of Thu Thiem, many residents were forced to relocatewith very little compensation and even some households, which were located outsideof the planned project site, were forced to evict. Many observers and former residents say that Mr. Hai is responsible forthe forced eviction. Observers are interested in whether more senior officials will be investigated following Mr. Cang’sdiscipline.

(Akihide Mori, Vietnam watcher)