x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Gangnam is out of style

As 2012 fades away, a reader says he'd be happy never to hear Psy's chart-topping song, Gangnam Style, again. Other letter topics: the global economy, Indian society and domestic staff.

As 2012 comes to an end, a reader hopes it's the last we hear of Psy's Gangnam Style. Greg Wood / AFP
As 2012 comes to an end, a reader hopes it's the last we hear of Psy's Gangnam Style. Greg Wood / AFP

Domestic staff deserve respect from employers

I am writing regarding Maids still not receiving minimum wage (December 29).

I think the government should make regular checks with houses employing maids, provide phone numbers where people can call in and report abusive employers, and enact laws for minimum wages and the proper treatment of maids and labourers.

These abuses should not be allowed to occur, and not punishing the offenders makes things worse. M Carr, Dubai

 

The people mentioned in A maid is treated with affection (December 29) treat their domestic staff as they should: with respect, dignity, gratitude and appreciation.

People from developing nations make major sacrifices - not the least of which is leaving their children and extended families in their home countries - to come to the UAE to earn a decent living and chase their dreams.

I continue to be stunned every time I learn of employers treating staff unfairly and abusively.

I hope the government will criminalise such behaviour and that the new domestic help law will be strictly enforced to offer better protection for this important but at-risk population. E Fabbri, Dubai

Bonds crisis is the fear for new year

The global economy has been hyperventilating for 15 years.

In order, we blew and popped the following bubbles: dot-com, collateralisation of debt, personal debt and, now, bonds.

Bond prices and interest rates move in opposite directions, and interest rates are currently at all-time lows across the developed world.

Bond prices have soared like Icarus, driven largely by quantitative easing (QE), a flight from equities and a lack of credible alternative investments.

Come the bursting of the bond bubble - be it due to the end of QE, some nascent growth or confirmation that inflation has been cynically understated - pressure to hold interest rates at their current levels will be untenable.

At this point, those millions of people struggling with tracker-based debt will fail and the knock-on to the banking sector will be catastrophic.

This is not 1929 again; that was the Lehman Brothers collapse. This is 1933, when it was believed the worst had passed even though it not yet truly begun.

David Daly, Dubai

Indians must see faults of society

I am writing in reference to Harassment is part of every woman's life (December 23).

I am an Indian from Kerala, and I am concerned about my nation's society and culture.

Other countries have become better because people recognise their faults and correct them.

We rarely hear anyone criticise India. Instead, children are told to chant "Mera Bharath Mahan" ("I am proud to be Indian").

Yet corruption, sexual harassment and theft are rife here. Name and address withheld

 

Like Suryatapa Bhattacharya, I was lucky that I was not attacked in New Delhi.

I first travelled to India in 2008 as a recruiter. I was enchanted with the place and I wanted to return as a tourist, so I went back alone the following year.

While I was on the train to Jaipur, I met a few kind souls who were very concerned that I was travelling in India alone.

One man dropped me off at my hotel. He spoke to the reception staff and he made sure I was OK, and the hotel put me in a ladies-only suite.

At the time, I could not understand the dangers. It was only when I reached Delhi that I felt scared.

I took a tuk-tuk and asked the young driver to drop me at my hotel. During the trip, he was drinking something and kept looking at me in a menacing way.

He seemed to be affected by drugs, and it was then that I started to panic.

I asked the driver to stop in the middle of the road, and flagged another tuk-tuk.

I began crying and convinced the driver to take me to the nearest hotel, and thankfully I got to the hotel all right.

When I was travelling for work, I was always in a company of male colleagues and we used our own vehicle. It never occurred to me at that time that being a woman in India is risky.

I hope the death of the young woman will not have been in vain, and I hope she will finally receive justice. G Baladon, Dubai

Draw the curtain on Psy's hit song

In 2012 looking back (December 30), you rightly identify Psy's Gangnam Style as being one of the significant entertainment events of the past year.

While I congratulate the Korean pop star on his achievement in gaining more than a billion views on YouTube, I hope I never have to hear that song again.

Colin Richards, Abu Dhabi