This is with regard to your story Affair Of The Heart in your last week's issue (cover story, June 11). I was not aware of this service [‘purple heart' initiative by Dubai Police] but now I do intend to register.

However, there is no mention of it on the Dubai Police website. Also, my only reservation is that the police need to publicise the correct number to call if one is involved in a minor accident.

Most people dial 999, hence the high number of calls they receive even for non-emergencies.

I am also concerned that should I register for this service but need to call 999 for a non-heart related matter, an ambulance would be dispatched unnecessarily.

Still, I feel that this initiative by Dubai Police is definitely a step in the right direction.

Name withheld, Dubai

For our hearts' sake

Affair Of The Heart made a very interesting read (cover story, June 11). I feel the move by Dubai Police to keep an eye on heart patients in Dubai is a fantastic one.

In fact, it's a boon to every heart patient in the emirate.
What remains to be done now is to launch an awareness campaign to inform people that such a service is available.

To that effect, your article has done a great job, but I still feel that a lot more needs to be done.

For instance, I was completely unaware of this service until I came across your story and I am sure there must be hundreds of people out there in the city who don't know anything about it.

Anthony, Dubai

Boxes still missing

This is with regard to the story on Philippines-bound cargo not being delivered (Lost In Transit, page 11, June 4). I sent two boxes in December last year, but they have not been delivered. It is already June.

I will be going for my annual vacation in August and there's no doubt I will reach home before my boxes do. The whole thing is such a huge waste of time and money. And even if my boxes do get delivered, I will only be seeing expired and damaged items.

Let this be a lesson to all the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). They must be warned so that they don't fall victim to cargo companies that fail to deliver.

Name withheld, Dubai

Cargo probe

My daughter sent three packages in December, 2008 and in February this year.

They have not been delivered. I can't understand why she sent packages again in February when she knew very well that her December packages had still not been delivered. Her fault?

Al Safwa Cargo must resolve this problem with its Manila-based forwarders.
The forwarders receive the containers but they don't deliver the items. They sell the items to another party in order to recover the expenses incurred at customs.
If you try to make an inquiry, they feign ignorance of any wrong-doing.

In any case, it's the customer who suffers when cargo companies have disputes. Customers are the losers. My only advice is that the affected people must file complaints against these companies.

If anyone has a complaint against the Manila-based forwarders, they should send it to the DOJ (Department of Justice) and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) so that an investigation can be launched.

Name withheld, Philippines

My right to get cross

I love your paper and always look forward to relaxing with the crossword. But I am disappointed with the reduced space allotted to the crossword. I realise that you must have your reasons for the change, however, I needed to ‘XPRESS' my dissatisfaction.

Eleni Fouma, Dubai

Pay when asked

I bought a property from a major developer in Dubai last November. In the purchase agreement, it is written that I have to pay two per cent for the registration fee.

I signed the agreement without knowing what is stated by the law, which is, the developer and the buyer have to pay one per cent each. I paid one per cent a few months ago and now the developer is asking me to pay another one per cent for the registration.

Name withheld, Dubai

Smell a rat?

You reported that Canada's Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC) said 64 per cent of re-usable shopping bags were found to be “contaminated'' (Bagful OF Risks, page 12, June 11). Wait a moment, a report by a body representing the plastics industry saying that re-usable – not plastic – bags are bad for us.

Smell a rat?

EPIC is hardly likely to recommend that we stop using plastic bags now, is it? Crucially, your article didn't say whether the “mould, bacteria and yeast'' were harmful. Obviously, every time you inhale, you breathe in harmless mould, bacteria and yeast.

Equally obviously, bacteria on a shopping bag will be at a higher level than what is “considered safe for drinking water''. That's because safe drinking water is as pure as possible. It's like saying bacteria levels on organic food are far higher than what is considered safe in your local surgical operating theatre.

The article could have done with some critical thinking, perhaps pointing out the benefits of recycled bags, what bacteria levels actually mean and the massive environmental damage and energy waste represented by the extensive over-use of plastic, including bags. Without this, the article had the effect of encouraging readers to stop using reusable bags and go back to bad old plastic.

Tom de Kadt, Dubai

Free for life

Four years back, I got my RBS credit card, which was free of charge for the first year. Subsequently, no annual fee has been charged – the bank has made it free for everyone since 2008.

My problem is that the bank is charging a renewal fee of Dh500 now that the card needs to be renewed.

I called the sales representative who sold me the card four years ago. At that time, he had assured me that he would arrange to make it free for me.

But now he says he cannot help as he has been shifted to another department and he asked me to call the bank's call centre.

The call centre agents said since the card was being renewed, the Dh500 annual fee will be charged.

I told them I would not renew the card if they refused to waive the fee. They said they couldn't as the fee had already been posted, adding that I had to pay it anyway regardless of whether I renewed it or not.

It is clear that if I apply for a fresh card now, I wouldn't have to pay the annual fee.

Then, why are they charging an old customer like me now?
Sanjay K. Baisiwala, Jebel Ali

Editor's note: XPRESS took up the matter with RBS and the issue was resolved. Baisiwala has informed us that
the bank has not only waived the fee but also made the card free for life.

Bold decision

Congratulations, Sue Botes, on taking a bold step (Helping Child Abuse Victims, page 8, June 4). We know where your power comes from. Keep up the good work. Remember that there is always a need, but workers are few.

Louis Braun, South Africa

Healthy mall culture

The Mall of the Emirates needs to be congratulated for offering its space to The Mall Walkers (page 4, June 11). I just love the idea of going for a morning walk through the huge indoor area when no shoppers are present.

There's no reason why other malls in the city shouldn't follow suit. That way, residents of Deira wouldn't have to go all the way to the Mall of the Emirates – they can just head to Deira City Centre and take a walk.

I can see a great trend emerging, something that would redefine the mall culture in Dubai. Mall and health – that's a cool combination.

Rajeev Sharma, Dubai

Join the trend

Mall walking is a great idea. In fact, it is quite popular in other parts of the world, especially in the United States where malls encourage people to join the walking sessions.

And yes, if there are great sales going on, one can always stay back until the stores open and indulge a bit.

Gaurav, Dubai

Iranians have spoken

The world must learn to live and negotiate with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Whether the election in Iran was rigged or not will never be proved.

So, instead of being belligerent against Iran, it would be sensible for the rest of the world to initiate a frank dialogue with Iran's leadership and win them through friendship rather than through threats.

[Iran's supreme leader] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also blessed the results, which means many in Iran will not fight the new leadership.

Direct talks between US President Barack Obama, the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad may be the best way to address Iran's nuclear expansion issue.

Rajendra K. Aneja, Dubai

India: What went wrong?

I am absolutely disappointed with the Indian team's performance in the ongoing Twenty20 World Cricket Cup.

The champions of the inaugural cup last year couldn't even make it to the semis in the second edition of the tournament this year.

That's such a disgrace considering the Indian team is probably the best in the Twenty20 format of the game. And yes, everyone expected sparks to fly whenever India took the field. Sadly that didn't happen this year.

Maybe the recent IPL (Indian Premier League) series had sapped their energy – and probably their motivation to win, too. The team, starting with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni down to the last player, was not fired up enough. I hope the team will introspect hard to figure out what went wrong.

Sanjay Gupta, Dubai

Student angst Down Under

I am a student who has graduated from high school and, like any student, have hopes of obtaining an international degree. But the recent attacks on students in Australia are forcing us to rethink our options.

So, through your newspaper, I would like to express my opinions on the issue.

Australia is seen as a land of opportunities and is a favoured destination to pursue higher studies because of a number of reasons starting from the cost of living to the quality of education.

For parents who spend all their savings on their daughter/son's education – to obtain an international degree in a foreign country – attacks such as those in Australia are causing nightmares.

The assurances and advice by both the governments (India and Australia) are unable to relieve the anger and fear in the minds of the students. Hence, as a desperate measure, they have started forming vigilante groups and started assuming the role of protectors, and have become law-breakers instead in the process.

All this has added fuel to the uproar against Australia in India. The media frenzy claiming these attacks to be racist is also making the situation worse.

Whatever be the motive behind these attacks, whether racist or the Indians being soft targets for thieves, this kind of violence cannot be tolerated and should be strongly condemned as the students are guests in the country and are contributing heavily to its economy. Hence, don't these students deserve better assurance and protection of their lives?

Jiju Vijayakumar, Dubai