x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Car-rental firms must be held responsible

Letter writers tell of their experience with car-rental firms, power cuts, Emaar Properties. Other topics include "racist" ad and Russia's old model.

A reader comments that Vladimir Putin must walk a delicate balance in the coming decade. Pavel Golovkin / AP
A reader comments that Vladimir Putin must walk a delicate balance in the coming decade. Pavel Golovkin / AP

Thanks for publishing the story Police warn of hire cars with no insurance (December 25). I had the same experience as Bryn Roberts, except it happened to me twice.

In the first instance, I had an accident while driving a rented car with expired registration and insurance. While Dubai police were making a report on the accident, which I did not cause, the company called the police to tow the car to the police impound area. I was left in the middle of Al Khail road during the hot weather of July. The company did not care to send a car for me.

The second incident happened recently when despite the company's assurance, I was driving another car with expired registration and insurance. The police stopped me, took my driving licence and asked me to follow them to the impound area in a remote area near the border of Sharjah. I was again left in the middle of nowhere.

Authorities should first look into the deal made between the company and the driver. I hope The National will address the issue further to help to save future victims.

A F Arjangian, Dubai

Power cuts harm real development

Please don't blame the expanding population for power cuts (RAK power connections give buyers nasty shock, December 26).

The true reason is the unbridled expansion of the property industry. If electricity connections were cut to sparsely populated buildings and redistributed, we would have enough power to light up and cool all the densely populated buildings without any power cuts.

Just constructing buildings is not development. It should be "inclusive" development with every facility serviced adequately.

KB Vijayakumar, RAK

Don't be so quick to cry racism

I refer to the article Chinese restaurant ad causes controversy (December 23). I think people need to lighten up and not take things so seriously or find offence so easily.

If slanted eyes connote a stereotype, I guess the clothing depicting different races and nationalities comprises stereotyping and racism also. Does this suggest there is something not to feel good about Asian eyes? I guess this suggestion is racist. Maybe labeling the food itself as "Chinese" is a form of stereotyping.

The restaurant should perhaps just advertise "food" and not stereotype or associate the type of food with China and thus cleanse the ad of any potentially offensive stereotype.

John Watson, Dubai

In defence of the domestic chickens

This morning, I was visited by a security chap from Emaar Properties who had an objection to the four chickens I keep in my house. The chickens lay eggs, have a designated area to stay and have had their wings clipped so they cannot fly away. They have been with us since February 2011 and no one had objected to them so far.

Emaar has no objection to dogs and their waste all over the community. What about cats or the hundreds of rats that are a nightmare in our area (we fumigated our house but to no avail). In fact, because of the chickens, we sometimes get warning of the rats.

In any case, I passed on my contact details so Emaar management could personally speak with me, which I doubt given the apathy with which they dealt with the case. I only hope better sense and some respect for animals prevail.

Imran Kazmi, Dubai

Russia's old model is facing new tests

Afshin Molavi's opinion article Twenty years later, the Soviet model still prevails in Russia (December 26) shows that Russia's challenging decade is still ahead.

Vladimir Putin should demonstrate that he has the determination and common sense to adapt his management style to accommodate the quickly changing landscape inside and around "Mother Russia" in the presidential elections next spring.

He has to deal gently, and heavily sometimes, with the rise of the Russian middle class, Russian emigration and the coming age of Russia's young.

Liberal democratic principles are more popular among the young than the old, but Russia still has a shrinking population and this sharp decline in the population has to be moderated accordingly.

Mr Putin is an archetypal Russian leader (strong, masculine and cunning) and he succeeded in stabilising the country after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and 14 countries emerged. But he proceeded to consolidate control over every aspect of society and and to marginalise what opposition existed and thus Russians appeared to be deeply annoyed.

Many Russians probably approve of a democratic form of government. But how successful a Russian version of democracy will be in the coming decade will be a major concern for both Russians and others.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai