Saigon Giai Phong Newspaper yesterday recorded opinions from some National Assembly (NA) delegates on construction of a temple in Vung Ang Economic Zone by the Taiwan-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, which have raised public disagreement.
The company on June 4 sent a document to authorized agencies in the north central province of Ha Tinh asking for building a temple to worship souls of the dead in Formosa steel mill project area, whose graves have been lost.
The province Party Committee on July 11 instructed relevant sides and Ky Anh District to stop the temple’s construction because of the public disagreement.
However, the company still constructed and nearly completed the temple in the Formosa steel complex and Son Duong deep seaport in the Vung Ang EZ.
According to Mr. Dao Trong Thi, chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, temple construction must suit Vietnamese creed, culture and tradition and receive agreement from the residential community and local authorities.
Building a temple in Vietnam is different from setting up an altar in your house, he said. Benefactors can donate for construction of a worship place. However it must belong to the community and be managed by local and central authorities instead of serving an individual or a group of people.
The committee’s deputy chairman Le Nhu Tien said that authorized agencies should take action to deal with foreigners’ construction of religious belief works which are unsuitable with the country’s custom, religion and creed.
Historian Duong Trung Quoc said that foreign workers in Formosa just temporarily come and work in Vietnam in a certain period of time. There are many ways for them to maintain their religious lives which are respected in Vietnam and building of a temple is unnecessary.
The Ha Tinh Province Economic Zone Authority on October 24 said that they have proposed in writing the Hung Nghiep Formosa Company to stop construction of the temple as per instruction by the province Party Committee and People’s Committee. The company has temporarily done so.