A screenshot of a Vietnamese pop singer.

Hanoi -

Vietnam's Ministry of Culture has told Ho Chi Minh City authorities to punish a pop singer for kissing two monks at a charity auction this month, a government official said on Wednesday.

“Kissing a Buddhist monk on his lips is indecent,” said Vuong Duy Bien, director of the ministry's department of performing arts, told dpa. “Our society is not ready to accept homosexual kisses.”

Pop star Dam Vinh Hung auctioned a bottle of wine on November 4 to raise funds for a cancer victim and had promised to kiss the winning bidder.

Two Buddhist monks won after bidding 2 636 dollars. Hung kept his promise, kissing the young monk on the lips and the older monk on the hand.

A photo published on the internet caused public indignation.

“Your sin has stained the Buddhist robes,” a reader wrote in the Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The monk who was kissed on the lips was dismissed as manager of Quan Am pagoda. Both monks have been barred from leaving the monastery and ordered to break off contact with the outside world for three months.

The singer apologised. He faces a fine and a ban on performing for up to three months. - Sapa-dpa