Reports on Dubai bus accident raise many questions

A reader call for investigation into the safety records of the bus involved in an accident in Dubai. Other topics: Al Worood school, mental health, Nigeria, sexual crimes

A reader calls for a deeper investigation into the bus accident in Dubai on Saturday that killed 15 workers to determine whether the vehicle complied with the Government’s safety regulations. Photo courtesy Dubai Police
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I have noticed that none of the articles covering the accident in Dubai mentioned the quality of the safety equipment on the bus in question. Were there seatbelts fitted on all seats? Are the men working as labourers in this country being provided with the basic safety standards that any worker has a right to be provided with at their place of work?

It is very distressing to read these stories and not only see that these people, who earn so little for the work they do, are referred to as “labourers” rather than men, but also that our media does not appear to question why so many people could have died in a vehicle that is supplied by their employer.

It would be a very positive sign to see one of the country’s leading English newspapers delve deeper into some of our society’s more obvious and very troubling issues.

Meabh O'Reilly, Dubai

Article revives fond memories

The article If you give love, you take love (May 11) brings back the most beautiful memories of Al Worood School in Abu Dhabi. One of them is of Nazmieh Al Abed peeking at the class through the windows. We always wondered as children whether those windows were built for her to keep an eye on the pupils. This article confirms my suspicions. I was a student at Al Worood from 1982 to 1991, and I have every respect for Mrs Al Abed. It's great to know she is well. God bless her.

Hamdi Aslan, Abu Dhabi

Tackle mental health issues

There needs to be a change in the way people view mental health problems (UAE schools should monitor students' mental health, May 12). Also , attempted suicide should be treated as a call for help, and adequate support should be offered. Making it a punishable offence doesn't help.

Jayadevi Machaya Palekanda, Dubai

Gone are the days when schools were educational power houses. These days they are more business houses trying to invent ways to squeeze extra money from parents.

Chandan Aidur, Dubai

Nigeria must lead search for girls

The mass abduction of girls from a school dormitory in Nigeria by Boko Haram militants needs to be condemned globally (Army divisions sent to hunt Nigeria girls, May 11). The militant group has threatened to “sell” the girls into slavery. Their only fault was that they were studying in a school.

It is heartening that many countries, including the US, the UK, France and China, are sending resources to Nigeria to locate the victims. While the effort is laudable, it is the locals that have the best sources of information. That’s why the Nigerian police and military forces should take the lead in the search, as well as in global efforts to crush these extremists. This issue must be resolved and all the girls need to be rescued unharmed. That’s primarily the responsibility of Nigeria.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Over the past few decades, the standard of reporting of events has greatly improved, not only because of technological advances and an explosion of providers, but also because of practical impossibility (or indeed the disinclination) to hush things up.

What’s surprising, however – not just in view of this, but also of the basic education now available to all – is that so many people are still willing to let themselves be abused by their respective “religious leaders”.

Now practically the whole world is up in arms against a group of religious fanatics that has kidnapped more than 200 girls in Nigeria, because they were attending a school. In other words, these extremists are afraid that education will give people the power to defy them and stop believing their religious nonsense.

Worse, it may provide them with the means and the confidence to become independent of the so-called religious zealots.

Fred Nicholson, UK

Limos’ appearance can be deceiving

I refer to the news report Prom night school pupils have lucky escape after limo catches fire (May 10).

In 2010, inspectors from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in the UK stopped and checked 10 limousines going to my son’s school prom.

Prohibition notices were served on eight of the 10, which were found to have serious problems, five of which were serious mechanical issues.

Fin Smith, Dubai

Deal with sexual crimes at all levels

Crimes such as sodomy and homosexuality need to be dealt with at every level in society (Four men raped 13-year-old boy, Dubai court hears, May 11).

Educating our youth on such sins and crimes must take place at home, colleges and mosques, and the punishment should be severe. That’s the only way to protect society.

Name withheld by request