City fines singer for wearing skimpy clothes on stage

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Singer Thu Minh has been fined VND 3.5 million (US$170) for wearing scanty clothes that exposed her breasts in music show titled Ngan sao hoi tu (Convergence of a thousand stars) held in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20.

In a decision issued May 14, the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the fine for "wearing inappropriate clothing offensive to Vietnamese tradition and customs."

The fine followed public criticism as well as a report sent on May 3 by the Department of Performance Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, asking the city to punish the singer.

Minh will have to pay the fine within ten days. The Thanh Thao Production Company, the show's organizer, received a warning from the department.

Vo Trong Nam, the department's deputy director, said punishment was based on regulations and took into account the fact that it was a first time offence as well as the fact that the singer and organizer had admitted their mistake.

He hoped the case would set an example for others to be more responsible and aware when they are on stage.

The department had on April 8 slapped a similar fine on the organizers of the Elle Spring Summer 2012 Fashion Show for allowing model Thanh Hang as the event's vedette to perform smoking while wearing a dress of designer Do Manh Cuong.

The designer had argued that Hang had only used an e-cigarette and the smoking scene was used to express his collection's artistic concept. The culture ministry had issued instructions that the organizer, not the model, be fined for the offence.

Smoking in public places, including hospitals, schools, theaters, and stations, has been banned in Vietnam since January 1, 2010.

The ministry has said in an April 16 instruction that violations in performing arts will attract tougher measures and heavier punishments.

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