Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Promise of a new Malaysia was not possible to uphold

Our readers have their say about Malaysia, Indian elections, and the White House iftar

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister, speaks during an address for the one-year anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government in Malaysia. Bloomberg
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister, speaks during an address for the one-year anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government in Malaysia. Bloomberg

I write to you in reference to Sholto Byrnes’s opinion piece The ‘new Malaysia’ promised in last year’s election has failed to materialise (May 13).

I think these promises were impossible to uphold for many reasons. Supporters of the past regime have fought these new reforms and the old government needs to change its ways to make room for a better way of functioning.

I can also imagine that politicians with volatile loyalty will only create more obstacles to the “new Malaysia”.

A strong will is required to move forward.

Nazim Hasan Khan, India

India politicians: prioritise the economy instead of bickering

Please refer to the excellent piece by Amrit Dhillon How vitriol at the Indian polls shows a coarsening of political discourse (May 14).

The current Indian elections are among the most acrimonious since India’s independence 70 years ago.

All protocol and sense of propriety have gone with the wind, as candidates do not hesitate to insult each other publicly and bring to light past scandals and legal proceedings.

It does not matter that many of these accusations have been discarded by the high courts, most of the time ­because there was no evidence, and those accused have been cleared.

The real tragedy is that the Indian economy is shaky and is being neglected. Unemployment is at an all-time high. The “Made in India” plan was a flop, as it did not prompt the likes of Boeing, Airbus or Apple to relocate their factories in the country, contrary to what many hoped for.

The price of basic necessities, such as pulses and cooking oils are rising. Government GDP figures are being questioned. India needs more schools, universities and a push to modernise its agriculture, instead of ideological discourse or personal cults.

Economic issues have been entirely neglected during this election, when they are what we should all be focusing on. Instead, the elections have been reduced to a shouting match between the BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the disparate opposition leaders.

The future of the world’s largest democracy will be grim if we do not cater to the needs of poor farmers, labourers and slum dwellers. It is such a shame that a country with so much potential is mired in meaningless rancour.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

White House iftar overlooks treatment of Muslims

I write to you in reference to your article US President Donald Trump decries religious violence at White House iftar (May 14).

Mr Trump seems to have forgotten about US actions in Palestine, Syria, Iraq.

Mohammed Farooq, Dubai

I have my doubts about Mr Trump’s sincerity, as this statement comes from someone who tried to ban Muslims from coming to the US.

Shafat Choudhury, Florida

Updated: May 15, 2019 06:48 PM

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