Three transport officials in the northern province of Lao Cai are under scrutiny after reprimanding a local man for fixing a pothole on a road without their permission.
On July 18, the man named Thoa reportedly fill a pothole of one square meter on a highway running through the province.
Several neighbors joined him and one took a picture to share on Facebook. Many people in Lao Cai have praised the man and his neighbors, saying that the pothole had been there for around two years and never got fixed.
Three senior road management officials paid Thoa a visit the next day to question his act with a sharp rebuke.
The controversial visit was filmed and posted on social media.
One official was seen in the video as saying that the hole was small and did not affect traffic.
"You've just killed us when you did this," she said, possibly implying that she and her colleagues would be punished.
The video was quickly shared and received many comments of frustration, before it made headlines in the news.
In an attempt to ease public anger, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam has issued statements criticizing the officials for being "disrespectful."
The agency said the road fixing is worth recognition and the visit was totally unnecessary. Thoa was not doing anything illegal or dangerous, the agency confirmed.
It has suspended the officials for 15 days for further investigation, promising that it will look into the case of the unrepaired pothole and give due punishment.