For Vietnam to realistically win the Miss Universe crown, the government should stop meddling an otherwise non-governmental institution. The only time when a Miss Universe representative of Vietnam was chosen through a beauty contest was in 2008 held in Nha Trang months prior to the hosting of the city of Miss Universe 2008. Critics can make many illusionary comments but it is clear that the only time Vietnam made it to the Miss Universe semis was when it chose its contestant via a real beauty pageant. Of course, Hoàng Khánh Ngọc in 2004 and Phạm Thu Hằng in 2005 won in pageants before competing at Miss Universe but such pageants were not designed to select a delegate specially for a big pageant like Miss Universe.
Vietnam made history by making it to the Top 15 of Miss Universe for the first time. This was successfully done because the contestant, Nguyễn Thùy Lâm, was selected in a proper pageant
The dilemma that Vietnam is facing is largely due to the weird Vietnamese legislation that disallows more than one pageant in a calendar year. With franchises of Big4 pageants in the hands of various entities, it is impossible then to select contestants for Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth via a formal pageant. Vietnam is a country rich in potential and there is an organic interests towards international pageants cultivated by its hosting of the Miss Universe 2008 pageant. What a shame that a bureaucratic nonsense will waste all these potentials.
Võ Hoàng Yến was only a runner-up to Nguyễn Thùy Lâm and was just nominated to compete at Miss Universe 2009
What happened in the years after 2008 is that all contestants sent by Vietnam were only appointed by the franchise holder. Although Miss Universe requires that a contestant must be a winner of a national title, it seems the interpretation of this have been relaxed allowing appointees to participate. By nominating only its delegate, Vietnam is not sending the very best girl to the Miss Universe pageant. Only a real contest would make this a possibility.