Ho Chi Minh City official launches hotline, receives a thousand calls a day

By Tan Phu - Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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Ho Chi Minh City Party Unit chief Dinh La Thang (R) talks with  Vietnam's Heroic Mother Nguyen Thi Em, 81, in Tan Thong Hoi Commune, Cu Chi District on February 18, 2016. Photo: Trung Hieu Ho Chi Minh City Party Unit chief Dinh La Thang (R) talks with Vietnam's Heroic Mother Nguyen Thi Em, 81, in Tan Thong Hoi Commune, Cu Chi District on February 18, 2016. Photo: Trung Hieu

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Complaints have come in droves after the new Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City launched a hotline. 
Dinh La Thang, also Vietnam's Minister of Transport, was appointed to the new position on February 5 and has since announced several initiatives to tackle a wide range of problems in the country's biggest city. 
According to the HCMC Party Unit, his hotline (08) 88-247-247 has received about 1,200 calls and 800 messages since it was launched at 9 p.m. on February 19. Most were complaints and proposals regarding traffic congestion, security, pollution and administrative reform.
The unit has forwarded all the messages to Thang, officials said.
At a recent meeting with the city's Police Department on February 2, he ordered stronger measures to fight crime.
“Ensuring a safe living and business environment for the residents is an important task,” he said, asking local authorities to install more surveillance cameras. 
HCMC police reported 6,004 crimes last year, 377 cases fewer than 2014. They said 102 people were killed and 712 others injured, with total damage estimated at VND106 billion (US$4.7 million).
Ho Chi Minh City Party Unit chief Dinh La Thang visits the house of a Vietnam's Heroic Mother in Cu Chi District of February 18, 2016. Photo: Trung Hieu
The city has also seen a high number of crimes linked to foreign criminals, mainly credit card thefts and phone frauds.
Its People’s Committee, the executive arm, is expected to have its own hotline next week. The Transport Department has also announced the launch of an official Facebook page next month. 

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