x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Get tough to control ocean piracy

A reader says muscular enforcement and stern sentencing can bring Somali piracy under control. Other letter topics today: road rage, online shopping, Indian sport and Egypt's generals.

Vigilance on the water combined with stern penalties in court will help to control piracy, a reader says. AFP
Vigilance on the water combined with stern penalties in court will help to control piracy, a reader says. AFP

Online shopping is good but can still be improved

These are Good days to be an online shopper says your editorial (August 15). But as someone who has done plenty of online shopping in the West I find that UAE companies still rather lag behind.

My own experience with group-deal companies has been mixed but I still use one of them occasionally. However, bigger companies that should have full online catalogues and allow online ordering still do not. And while most restaurants will deliver, few provide their full menus online.

There is still some progress to be made. Still, in general I accept your point that the internet has been a boon to shoppers.

Paula Lowrie, Abu Dhabi

These are also good days to be an in-person shopper, in the UAE at least. The level of service in most shops here is far better than I was used to in Europe.

However, I find that utility companies still have a lot to learn about customer relationship management; too often queues are long and service perfunctory.

Jacques Barrette, Dubai

Students should pay part of fees

Partnerships between universities and industry, as described in Masdar research degree to let UAE students keep their day jobs (August 14), have great potential to contribute to the 2030 vision for the UAE.

Working around people's employment schedules make sense, but I would caution against employers and/or universities covering all the costs. Students should be expected to pay part of the cost, and should be expected to attend evening classes on their own time.

Also, quality career counselling should be provided to students. They need to know where their studies will lead, and what acceptance of sponsorship really means.

Jerry McDonald, US

Give pushy drivers plenty of room

Incidents like the one in Emirati who died after road rage fight 'seemed normal' (August 14) are why I do not mess with anyone on the roads.

Some people nowadays are extremely aggressive and mindless, it seems, and go to any extent to satisfy their egos. This can ruin lives.

It's better to just drive safely. Let people pass.

Name withheld by request

As a relative newcomer to the UAE (three months) I am still shocked every day at the speeding I see on the roads, both in the city and especially on motorways.

I am daily reminded of what my father used to say whenever he was passed by some fool going dangerously fast: "I think he's hurrying on his way to a funeral."

John Gerald, Dubai

What's wrong with Indian sport?

India's appalling Olympics performance demands some changes (India asks why it won so few Olympic medals, August 13).

India's 83 athletes won only two silver medals and four bronze medals. China collected 87 medals, including 38 golds.

I see five reasons India does not produce world-class athletes:

The government does not identify, nurture, train and motivate talent adequately. Sports bodies are hotbeds of politics and corruption. India lacks world-class coaches and training facilities. Indian athletes are not ambitious and lack global aspirations. And sport in India does not pay well enough; most Indian athletes must split their time between their sports and jobs with the railways, army etc.

The corporate sector should get involved to improve the situation before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Egypt's generals won't go quietly

The opinion article Morsi's bloodless coup spikes the army's guns (August 14), or at least its headline, may be too optimistic.

Yes, a couple of senior military men have been told to leave their offices and claim their pensions. But Egypt's armed forces have 450,000 members, and senior officers control and benefit from an immense web of economic investments that permeate society, giving the generals huge influence.

Deposing one field marshal and a general or two will not seriously weaken this institution. The real power struggle is still to come.

Harun V Saddiqi, Dubai

The right way to handle pirates

I was cheered up to see the report US judge sentences pirate to 12 life terms (August 15).

The idea that courts can reach and punish pirates will be an excellent way to deter Somalis, and others, from entering this disreputable trade. Better maritime policing and stern sentences are the best approach to this problem.

Bolton Kaminsky, Dubai