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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

The powerful have submitted to the will of the people

Readers discuss Arabic, Malaysia, mothers and Iraq

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Ahmad Yusni / EPA
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Ahmad Yusni / EPA

I refer to your article Malaysia’s Najib accepts verdict of the people’ after shock election loss (May 10): the dramatic results of the recent Malaysian elections, in which prime minister Najib Razak was defeated and 92-year-old former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamed brought back to power, shows that in a democracy anything can happen.The power of democracy is the subordination of the powerful to the will of the people. Will Mr Mahathir honour the people’s wishes by improving their lot? If not, he too will be on the way out, just like Mr Najib.

K Ragavan, Denver

Modernise Arabic lessons to appeal to students

Regarding your article Arabic is not a priority for young people in Dubai, say educators (May 11), one of the reasons students don’t see Arabic as a priority is because the methods and the books used to teach Arabic are extremely old-fashioned, especially if you compare them to the nice apps for maths and English. The methods and textbooks for Arabic haven’t changed for years and students aren’t used to these old teaching methods these days.

Hilda van der Tuin, Netherlands

My mother worked 18-hour days and was our boss

Her day commenced at 5am and concluded around 11pm, meaning she worked a minimum of 18 hours daily. She blended a hands-on approach with pertinent delegation. She was adroit at all functions of management, be it finance, personnel, production or marketing. She was a strong cementer of her team. To achieve this, she sacrificed her own stances and comforts. She did so ungrudgingly. She was unsparing in her efforts. If a team member had an exam at school and woke up at 4am to study, our home’s CEO would get up at 3.45am to make tea.

She also maintained a rigorous network with our kith and kin. She always knew what was happening, where and gave her counsel wherever sought. She managed her time thriftily. She was never free but always had time for anything worthwhile, from visiting an ailing relative to detecting a missing button.

She never thought of any reward or gain for herself. Her sole goal was that her team should perform well.

Some years ago, our CEO was snatched away from her team prematurely. So every Mother’s Day, I ponder how much management I could have learnt from my wonderful mother, had I perceived all these qualities in her earlier and made the time to be with her. Now it is too late.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Fairness and peace must prevail after Iraq election

I write in reference to your article Iraq elections 2018: Kirkuk minorities claim voting violations (May 13): one of the fears around an electronic voting system is that it could be open to abuse. Only a fair process can save democracy in Iraq. Sectarian divisions remain but I hope the aftermath of the election will be peaceful.

Name withheld by request