“I’m learning all the time” – Deputy Do Manh Hung

Published: 21/03/2010 05:00



The deputy leader of the Thai Nguyen province delegation at the National Assembly, Do Manh Hung, calls working as a legislator “a special job, in which one gains a lot and loses nothing.”

VietNamNet: You were a member of the Thai Binh province People’s Council and now you are an NA deputy. Do you consider working at the NA as a profession?

Deputy Do Manh Hung: Personally, as a full-time NA deputy, I see this is a profession. Even when I was not a full-time legislator, I saw it that way.

I think whenever you see what you do as a profession, you will give your heart and mind to that work. Moreover, this is a very special job that could be called “the work of the public.” Doing this job, you always must strive to listen carefully to the people and to understand them thoroughly. As for their views, well, whether you hear praise or criticism, it’s essential to sift out the best ideas, and then express the people’s hopes.

NA deputies have to agree to allow constituents to supervise their work. Constituents evaluate your job, so this is a very interesting and at the same time harsh responsibility!

Deputy Do Manh, 51, was born in Hung Yen province. His family now live in Thai Nguyen City, seat of the province he represents in the National Assembly.

Hung is a member of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs and is the vice chief of the seven member Thai Nguyen province delegation.

After service in the provincial council, Hung was elected to the NA in 2007.

However, I must say that under the current model for the People’s Council and the National Assembly, we can’t demand that part-time deputies, whose salary and major income comes from another job, act like full-time deputies.

VietNamNet: Do you love your “job”?

Hung: I love to meet with constituents, to listen to their stories, share with them and represent them. I love my current job very much!

VietNamNet: Reviewing your work as a legislator, what do you gain and what do you lose?

Hung: I gain a lot.

Firstly, I have a chance to directly participate in legislative work to decide significant issues of the country. I’m able to participate in the National Assembly’s oversight of the Government.

I’m very impressed by the ‘new style’ of legislative activities and I admire the brains, skill and spirit of many NA deputies, so I’m happy to be a full-time deputy.

Second, I get to travel a lot and see many people, both Vietnamese and foreigners. The more you travel and see people, the more you learn from them.

Third, I am learning all the time. Because this is a special job, you have to train yourself in a special way. I’ve tried my best to perform the mission of a legislator.

I don’t think that I lose anything by having this job. Certainly, it takes more time than others, because many people call me at noon and night and I have to call them back, but I don’t feel annoyed.

VietNamNet: Are there constituents that have really impressed you?

Hung: The constituent, or more accurately, the family of constituents that I remember most vividly is the family of a young farmer in Phu Tien village (Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen). The husband is Thinh and his wife is Hoa. They were among the families who were affected by electrical leakage from the 220Kv power line between Tuyen Quang and Thai Nguyen.

In July 2007, I and the vice chairwoman of the NA Committee for Justice Le Thi Nga met with constituents in Dai Tu district. We heard complaints about the Tuyen Quang – Thai Nguyen power transmission line.

We visited some families in the district. Thinh and Hoa didn’t dare to live in their house, and had taken refuge in a tent in their garden, which was a little farther from the power transmission line than their home. The tent was stuck between their neighbors’ toilets. I can never forget that young couple with two thin kids living in a tent in a smelly environment.

This case was resolved, but I know that family and others families in that area still face many difficulties.

VietNamNet: Have you ever experienced conflicts of interest when you do your job? How did you deal with it?

Hung: Yes, mainly there’s the conflict of economic interest between the people and companies in providing proper compensation when land is needed for industrial activities.

For example, a coal mine wanted to expand its scope. Local people already suffered from pollution caused by the coal mine while getting no benefit. The gap in income between the mine’s workers and the local people was wide. As a result, it was very difficult clear the land.

We listened to both sides and suggested the most appropriate solutions based on the laws. We asked the mine to increase funding for environmental protection, emphasize hiring locally, and assist local people to find new jobs.

VietNamNet: What satisfies you most at the 12th session of the Assembly?

Hung: In a meeting with officials of Thai Nguyen province, NA vice chairman Nguyen Duc Kien said that the current NA is performing its duties better – duties entrusted to it by the people. I agree with him. That’s a reason that the 12th NA is highly regarded.

Ly Cam

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