x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Letters to the editor deal with Emiratis in the private sector

Letters writers comment on violence in Syria, villa school closings, a great cricket player and an excellent actor

A reader commends British actor Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of the brooding inspector Kurt Wallander in the British TV series.
A reader commends British actor Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of the brooding inspector Kurt Wallander in the British TV series.

In his opinion piece in the Business section, Securing prosperity for next generation (April 26), Jorg Schubert offers five ideas for moving forward from an over-reliance on public sector jobs by UAE nationals. Certainly there are some difficult challenges here, but I have some doubts about the first suggestion for improvement: increase private sector wages to reflect real costs.

Before increasing private sector wages, there should really be an effort to reduce private sector costs. Do you know how much it costs for a business to acquire an internet connection? The suggestion to increase pressure on private sector productivity neglects to mention that private sector workers are already typically working very hard, for very long hours. It is the public sector which is most in need of productivity gains. Addressing the imbalance in productivity expectations between the public and private sector might help to convince locals that the gravy train days are over and that they need to provide a return on their employers' investment.

Also, a much stronger understanding of management and human resources principles might help to ensure that incentives for extra productivity are distributed appropriately, rather than politically. This means: reward those who genuinely perform better, not those who are best buddies with their boss.

Abdurrahmaan Wadams, Abu Dhabi

Syrian violence must be halted

I refer to the front page news article Syria intensifies crackdown (April 26). With the mass killing of civilians, the pro-democracy revolution in Syria has turned extremely violent

Even though human rights groups in the country are making much noise about the prevailing uncertainty, no sincere effort has been evidenced aiming at a peaceful solution to the entire crisis.

While government holds sole responsibility for bringing normalcy back to the country, its belligerent approach is turning the situation out of control. Although the uprising is similar to those that took place elsewhere in the region, the Syrian approach deserves worldwide condemnation due to the aggressive nature of its actions, rather than tackling the protests politically.

The world has never ignored mass protests in the past. Yet the youngsters of the 21st century are being prevented from demanding civil liberties and a responsible government .

Syria is an influential country involved in most of the regional issues and its attempt to quell the public outcry is totally against humanitarian values.

As usual, it's the UK and the US who are talking about sanctions and other means of actions to address the assault on civilians in Syria, but the United Nations must spearhead such a move with support from member states.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Parents face tough choices

The news article Parents face villa school uncertainty (April 27) reported that the parents of students at villa schools are angry about the prospect of closures by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec). Home schooling is a viable option for these people but I can't help but think that this is an attempt to raise the quality of education blindly and without concern for the financial realities of a large portion of the population who cannot afford to send their children to expensive private schools.

There are some new schools opening up this next school year but their prices are out of control. Surely, Adec can find an alternative to leaving children and parents without viable options.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Hailing a great cricket player

I refer to the sports article Lack of bowlers is hurting IPL legacy (April 25). Paul Valthaty is the best aggressive stroke maker I have ever seen. Sachin Tendulkar is more of an opportunistic run gatherer 95 per cent of the time. Only in India is a pure talent like Valthaty not given a chance because he doesn't have a godfather in cricket circles like some others.

Anyway, Valthaty is better than Virender Sehwag and this is coming from a hardcore Sehwag fan. The only issue with Valthaty is that he needs to keep the ball on the ground like the way he played against the Chennai Super Kings. In his last match against Delhi, he wanted to hit a six every ball. Not good.

Name Withheld by Request

An excellent, versatile actor

The article On new ground (April 26) profiled the actor Kenneth Branagh, who is directing the comic book movie Thor. In the Wallander TV series, he perfectly portrays a brooding inspector, Kurt Wallander, and I have found him to be one of the most excellent, versatile British actors of his generation.

Mohamed Kanoo, Dubai