x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Malaysian stand on plane baffling

A reader feels Malaysia is confusing people with too many different statements on the missing plane. Other topics: UAE Women's Law, Turkish visas, child deaths

Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, centre, shows maps during a press conference at Kuala Lumpur. A reader says Malaysia’s statements over the plane’s disappearance have confused the public. Ezhar Rahim / EPA
Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, centre, shows maps during a press conference at Kuala Lumpur. A reader says Malaysia’s statements over the plane’s disappearance have confused the public. Ezhar Rahim / EPA

If the disappearance of the Malaysian plane is a mystery, the response of the Malaysian authorities is no less intriguing (Last words from plane were said by co-pilot, March 18).

Earlier, they said they were focusing on the final words spoken by the co-pilot and trying to understand why he said “all right, good night”. Now the officials revealed a new timeline suggesting the final voice transmission from the cockpit of the plane may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled, adding more uncertainty about who aboard might have been to blame.

Also yesterday, the Malaysian authorities refused additional help from the US when it said that they suspected terrorism as the motive behind the plane’s disappearance. Are the authorities themselves confused or are they trying to confuse others for some reason?

It is unbelievable that a plane can disappear without trace and can go entirely undetected by so many radars. Undoubtedly this incident will pass off as one of the greatest mysteries of the modern era.

Sukumar S, Sharjah

UAE deserves praise over Women’s Law

This refers to the Facebook post Do you think there is a need for a wide-ranging Women’s Law in the UAE? (March 17).

The UAE is among those great countries in the world that puts emphasis on women’s rights and their empowerment. It is also among those nations where women are safe. I thank President Sheikh Khalifa and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid and the entire Government machinery of the country for their efforts.

Haris Ali, Abu Dhabi

In Sweden they don’t only have one-year government-paid maternity leave but also paternity leave. The UAE is trying to catch up with them, which is a very positive step for such a young country.

Noor Al Rekabi, Dubai

From my personal experience in both Muslim countries and the West, I can say that the laws that protect and support women in this country are much stronger than those in the West.

Ameerah Jolene-Ann van Heerden, Abu Dhabi

Do more to stop child deaths

I am shocked and sad that we still read the news of children falling to their death from balconies and windows of tall buildings around the UAE (Boy, 4, falls to death from sixth-floor flat, March 18). The National even lists the deaths of the past months. It is also sad to read the blame of negligence and carelessness put on the parents. I think we should accept the fact that kids are lively, love to explore and become very innovative if they have an idea in their little minds.

As a parent myself I assume that all parents love their children and want them to be safe. If we don’t want to break the spirit of our children or put more pressure on the parents, then what is left is to work on the safety of the buildings. The steps suggested to improve safety by minimum height of windows and restricted opening is great, but not enough.

Having lived for many years in Chile, in a country that also welcomes children, every balcony of a tall building is secured by a safety net.

The UAE is a country of entrepreneurship and progress. So where are the companies that will step into that market of making buildings safe for kids? How can this option become more known? I am sure the parents are more than willing to pay to protect what is most precious to them in their life. Imagine the safety nets in place and this awful news of children falling to their death being history.

Barbara Gerhards, Dubai

Turkey’s new visa rule is impractical

I was shocked to read the article New visa rules for travelling to Turkey (March 18). Some might say “hats off to Turkey for being so progressive”. However, on the e-visa issue, Turkey is absolutely not taking the lead in the world.

The website, www.evisa.gov.tr, says that there are three easy steps to get a visa – apply, make the payment and download the visa. I do not understand how the government of Turkey humiliates itself by providing visas to all sorts of people from all over the world within three minutes.

When Turks travel to any country in the world, they need to complete a large amount of paperwork to prove their intent of travelling to those nations and their financial capabilities. Yet the government headed by the scandal-tainted prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, makes it easier and less bureaucratic for foreign travellers. I think such agreements should be reciprocal.

If one state compels Turks to go through a long, boring, uncertain and inexplicable visa procedure, then the Turkish government should adopt the same approach towards the citizens of that state. Otherwise it will lose its credibility and respect.

Gaye Caglayan Budak, Abu Dhabi