Punish those who violate safety rules

A reader calls for harsh punishments for owners of buses that violate safety regulations. Other topics: UAE, Arabic, nuclear proliferation
A reader calls for harsh punishments for the owners of buses that violate safety regulations. Pawan Singh / The National
A reader calls for harsh punishments for the owners of buses that violate safety regulations. Pawan Singh / The National

Letters to the Editor

According to your editorial UAE’s bus safety rules benefit everyone (May 13), 70 per cent of buses do not comply with safety standards. How can these drivers continue to drive everyday, or get their licences renewed, despite their vehicles undergoing a thorough inspection each year? Owners of buses that do not comply with the safety rules should be fined.

Patrick Brun, Abu Dhabi

UAE a home away from home for many expatriates

I was so little when we lived in Abu Dhabi that I have very few memories (Drawn by fond memories, May 12). I returned many years later when I came to teach at a school in here.

My sister also returned to Abu Dhabi with her family and now her children have followed her footsteps and go to the same school. I met my amazing husband here and our children were born here. It’s certainly very different from when we first lived in this place.

There is much more to do, no camels wander the roads and all cars are air-conditioned, unlike in those days. Sadly, our time here has come to an end and we are about to move to a new destination. But I am sure we will return to this place and who knows, our children might come here at some point in the future.

Jenna Batson, UK

Life has been good in the UAE where I have lived and studied. But now middle-class people are facing mounting problems as expenses continue to rise sharply.

Also, a lot of the character of this place is getting lost amid the construction boom. Visitors these days can marvel at the glittering and beautiful structures, but this country also boasts natural beauty that they hardly get to see.

Noor Muhammed Aslam, UK

Both my children have been brought up in the UAE and, now 18 and 15, both say they’ve had a great childhood. I can’t ask for more.

Wendy Dickson, Dubai

Do not neglect mother tongue

I hope Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) is listening to Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza (Mother Tongue speaks to heart, May 7) who stated that the Arabic language is being “neglected and abandoned”.

Where in the world does the mother tongue get usurped in such a way? In most western countries, English as a foreign language is not introduced in schools until the mother tongue is firmly in place.

What’s happening here is subtractive bilingualism – where the mother tongue diminishes and the foreign language is supposed to flourish.

Unfortunately, children are ending up with low achievement in Arabic, and low achievement in English because their home language has not been developed – rather interfered with.

Can you imagine how impossible it must be to understand mathematical and science concepts in a second language when you are only five years old?

Adec needs to employ well-qualified English teachers to teach English as a foreign language and leave the maths and science teaching in the earlier grades to well-qualified Arabic teachers.

Name withheld by request

Article on arms race misses point

Tom Hussain’s opinion article Tactical arms race between India and Pakistan raises the prospect of a nuclear dispute (May 15) is biased. The two letters that appeared on May 15 under the headline India began race for nuclear arms do not touch upon the reality either.

It is my strong feeling that the author has shared his views in the context of a BJP-led government assuming office in Delhi after the election. It was during the BJP rule that a nuclear device was tested earlier, triggering Pakistan to follow suit.

However, it’s not just India and Pakistan that have nuclear weapons. China is also a nuclear power. South East Asia’s stability will be at stake if one country in the region has a weapon of mass destruction.

The fact is that both India and Pakistan are burdened with internal security issues. The biggest fear is the weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of extremists.

It’s crucial for India and Pakistan to avoid a nuclear arms race. But there are other countries in the world that have nuclear warheads. They should destroy them so as to create an example for the rest.

I feel there should be genuine efforts by India, Pakistan and China to eliminate their nuclear weapons.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

The primary aim of Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not to deter India from using nuclear weapons, but to avoid an engagement with a superior military power. Islamabad is aware of the risk of having to confront India.

Regardless of the reasons, both India and Pakistan should sincerely try to enhance their communications to reduce the chances of a strategic miscalculation in times of tension.

Nihar Nutan, India

Published: May 15, 2014 04:00 AM

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