“I’m ashamed when I see those empty chairs”

Published: 28/03/2010 05:00



Deputy Nguyen Dang Kinh, vice chairman of the Hanoi Veterans Association, regrets that many deputies who are not so busy but still find excuses to miss National Assembly meetings. Another profile in

VietNamNet’s ‘Know Your Deputy’ series.

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Nguyen Dang Kinh, 70, was born in Ha Tay, the province merged into Hanoi City in 2008.

Kinh graduated from the Institute for Politics, which trains political cadre for the Ministry of Defence.

Kinh was elected to the NA when he was a member of the Vietnam Veterans Asociation Central Committee and Chairman of the Ha Tay Veterans Association.

Kinh is a member of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee.

VietNamNet: You are doubly a legislator, serving as a member of the Hanoi People’s Council and as a representative for Hanoi in the National Assembly (NA). Additionally, you are vice chairman of the Hanoi Veterans Association. How do you manage all your jobs?

Nguyen Dang Kinh: I’ve been working at the Hanoi Veteran Association since 1995. Thanks to the association’s nomination, I was elected to the NA, so I cannot neglect my duties at the association.

Since 1999 I have also served on the People’s Council. I consider all three jobs to be major jobs so it is really difficult to fulfill all of them.

However, I have attended nearly all NA meetings. I aim to be at every one, except for indispensable cases. I was only absent from one meeting at the recent 6th NA session.

All deputies are busy, but attending NA meetings is their responsibility to their constituents.

Many people who were not so busy still absent themselves from NA meetings. Looking at those empty chairs at NA meetings, I feel ashamed sometimes.

VietNamNet: It seems that you have not spoken often in the legislature, especially after Hanoi’s expansion. . . .

Kinh: Hanoi’s current NA delegation is much bigger than many other delegations, so even if we all ask for priority, there are insufficient opportuities for everyone to speak. I still speak up at group-level discussions.

Before speaking, I feel I must do some serious research. My standard is not very high but I’m willing to learn from and listen to others who contribute valuable opinions to draft laws based on their own deep knowledge. I can make comment on some political-social issues but not very profoundly.

When Hanoi’s expansion was discussed, I expressed my concerns but I still approved that policy.

VietNamNet: Is it a contradiction that although you didn’t completely agree with that policy, you voted to approve it?

Kinh: Actually, I expressed my worries not to protest that policy but in hope that the policy would be implemented better.

At that time, some newspapers reported that I was concerned, but I’m a party member. The Politburo had already made a decision about that issue, and also the 6th Central Party Committee conference.

VietNamNet: What are your objectives as a legislator?

Kinh: Frankly, for the rest of this term I have to try better to meet the people’s aspirations. Perhaps I will not stand for re-election in 2012.

I think the NA needs to have more full-time deputies. I don’t agree that part-time deputies are better able to understand the situation because they also hold down administrative jobs. Through the media, it is not difficult for deputies to get information. What’s important is how they deal with issues after they get information.

We have many laws. As a legislator, I worry about the quality of our laws. I’m unable to talk about this profoundly.

VietNamNet: Have you exchanged opinions with other deputies who are veterans?

Kinh: The current NA has five deputies elected in their capacity as veterans. We have close relations with each other. We see each other and discuss issues of common concern before each NA session, especially the issues related to veterans.

Duc Cat

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