Vietnam’s prime minister offered a public apology for the economic failings that have bridled the once booming “tiger” economy in Southeast Asia under his administration.

Speaking at the opening session of Vietnam’s National Assembly, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung admitted that his government had mishandled the country’s slumping economy, which has slowed to 5% this year, dragged by corruption and inefficient state-owned industries, Asahi Shimbun reports.

Mr. Dung, lowering the government’s 2012 economic growth target to 5.2% from a range of 5.2 to 5.7%, apologized for policies that led to large losses at banks and state-run companies, the Financial Times reports.

“I recognize my political responsibility and my faults,” he said. “I personally apologize to the National Assembly, to the ruling Communist party and to the nation for the government’s weakness in economic management”.

He also took responsibility for the lack of central government supervision of shipbuilder Vinashin and shipping firm Vinalines, and pledged to cut down the size of the two ‘bloated’ state-owned companies.

The prime minister also hit out at critics who took “advantage of the internet to sabotage the country” and warned that they will be punished for spreading “negative information”.