Information – Positive Thinking
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When prison is not the right penalty
Mahmoud Habboush, THE NATIONAL, 22 APRIL 2009
Last Updated: April 21. 2009 / A minister yesterday said that two types of common offences – traffic violations and antisocial behaviour – could soon be punishable by community service.
A draft law was recently approved by the Cabinet that would give courts the power to order people convicted of minor crimes to work in the community instead of serving jail time.
Speaking to members of the Federal National Council yesterday, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, for the first time specified the category of offences and types of community service that could be included.
It remained unclear, however, exactly what crimes would be covered.
Referring first to antisocial behaviour, he said community service could help address the fact that the federal Government had no plans to follow some emirates in introducing a code of conduct.
He was responding to a question by an FNC member from Abu Dhabi, Ahmad al Dhahiri, who complained about the lack of a federal code of behaviour.
Dubai, for instance, has introduced such a code. Among other things, it says that people can be warned or fined for public displays of affection.
In severe cases, they can face jail terms and deportation.
The emirate’s code also calls for people to respect the local culture and religion, and urges visitors to avoid wearing clothing that “exposes parts of the body”.
“The ministry has taken an important step which is the alternative penalty law that will be brought before your council … soon,” Sheikh Saif said.
“Community service was suggested for simple crimes committed by individuals instead of sending them to prison.
“People who face penalties are members of the society, and sometimes prison doesn’t achieve the punishment that the Government is seeking, and therefore community service is suggested.”
Responding to a suggestion by Mr al Dhahir that the Interior Ministry distribute a booklet explaining to foreigners how they should behave in the UAE, Sheikh Saif said: “I can’t make people read the criminal law.”
Instead, he said, a new department at the ministry, expected to start operating in the second quarter, would be responsible for promoting respect for the law.
He suggested it would take some time to educate visitors: “We can’t educate people in one or two years.”
Turning to community service for traffic offences, Sheikh Saif said: “They would be sent to schools to talk to pupils about their mistakes or would be told to spend time in the emergency rooms at hospitals to see for themselves the danger of their actions.” In the US and the UK, among other countries, community service is imposed for a range of offences.
Service can involve working in teams with other offenders, tidying up scenic spots, removing graffiti or carrying out anti-crime measures, such as installing gates and security locks. Others could be ordered to work in charity shops, for instance.
Also during yesterday’s session, the Minister of Health, Humaid Mohammed Obaid al Qattami, promised that more jobs would be created in the coming year for doctors and nurses in hospitals and clinics across the country.
Mr al Qattami was answering a question by Salem al Naqbi, a member of the Federal National Council from Sharjah, who said that Emirati doctors were doing jobs that were below their qualifications. The member also said hospitals and clinics were understaffed.
The minister said measures were being taken to “improve the conditions” of ministry staff. He said the ministry had more 1,766 job openings in 2008, most of which have been already filled.
“Hopefully, in co-operation with the Ministry of Finance in the coming weeks the conditions of more than 700 employees will be improved,” Mr Qattami said.
The FNC members also passed a draft amendment of some articles of a 2006 law on the banning of production, storage and use of chemical weapons. It calls for the creation of a national committee to monitor and regulate the use of dangerous chemical substances and chemical weapons. The committee would be also responsible for enforcing the law.
No News 15th edition – KITs for success
Welcome to read the 15th issue of No News. I had an opportunity to attend an international conference a few days ago. It became another opportunity to meet two remarkable personalities.
Immediately after the lunch on day one was a presentation by the CEO of a company based in Washington. We all know it is very tough to get attention of the delegates during the session after lunch. His profile was very impressive as his personality. We noticed in the beginning itself that he was stammering and it was difficulty to speak at a stretch. It did not bother him at all. He took control of the situation and in few minutes gained momentum to give an Xxtra-ordinary presentation. Whenever he was feeling he will get stuck he diverted the attention of the audience by showing the details on the slide and then regained his momentum and continued from thereon. Next was the turn of a physically challenged expert with several Doctorates in her name. It took several minutes for her to reach the podium with the help of her electronic walker. All those limbs with limited movements were not a hindrance at all for her presentation style or content.
It created plenty of thoughts in my mind looking at them and the techniques they employed to reach their destinations till this time. Both were highly placed and if ever they had held themselves to their challenges?. They would not have moved an inch ahead in their life.
I have written here before also. English is not my mother tongue. I try using it in simpler ways to convey messages and thoughts passing by. Several progressive things evolved out during this journey of communication. Some of them have been significant from my point of view and wishfully list them here. They include the quality initiatives and numerous suggestions and write ups generated to create awareness on safety. The effort is a continuous socially conscious process and there are some other ongoing issues for which I am trying my best efforts.
One of them is to reduce the disparity of the salary structure of the school teachers and administrative staff with other government service employees within the country. Teaching is a noble profession and I feel there is lot more to be done in this country for the welfare of teachers and schools. Comprehensive insurance coverage to private and public school staff is one such item submitted and followed up with various TQM bodies of the government.
Another interesting request is to provide free utility services to educational institutions. This includes Water and Electricity and telecommunication services. I feel this will aid the schools and universities in the country to reduce the cost of education and therefore attract more students from abroad and also retain those existing here. There are some other items like introducing a bus stop near to the Bird market and ISCC Abu Dhabi for the convenience of general public visiting these places.
Last but not the least of the items on these suggestive communication is to restore the volcano fountain in to the scheme of developments of the new look Abu Dhabi.
Padmashri Dr. B. R. Shetty was given a felicitation by all the major associations and community groups to honour him for the highest civilian award by India Government. During the function his son Mr. Binay Shetty was asked to say a few words about his father. He quoted his grandmother’s advise to his father. Don’t try to make everybody happy. Try to make 10 people happy and they will in turn try to make another 10 happy and the chain will progress. Padmashri Dr. B. R. Shetty has his own inimitable style of speaking. He speaks from his heart. He pointed out the visit to his mother’s tomb immediately after receiving the honour. It was an act done to dedicate the laurels to her and also to remind himself that blessings from the family and loved ones is the most important thing in life.
Almost the end of this write-up and did you notice a difference?. I have deliberately avoided usage of commas till now. Just tried how much additional effort is required to avoid the usage of commas as Colin Randall said in his write up for THE NATIONAL about the use and misuse of it. The world of communication is changing and it is not an easy task to follow traditional ways as the exchange of communication is getting shorter and shorter. Let us try to do our best efforts for the benefit of our society with the blessings of our parents, teachers and family. As Mrs. Sarah Belhasa rightly said in her interview with Wknd “You don’t need to see the entire staircase to know where it goes. Just take the first step. It will lead somewhere..”
God Bless and have a great week ahead.
02042009 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to read the 13th issue of No News. It has taken a longer time this time to come out with this issue. The title tries to convey the reason. The thoughts are all there, but it is all mixed up, like the meat coming out of a mincing machine. Activities happening around too does not differ. Day by day, the life and people around getting different. Are we also affected by the global recession? Some months ago, it was the turn of the environmentalists to cry about the global warming. But, the heat is on now with a much higher degree and severity that makes those environmental voices become no cries in the current context.
The week starts and ends at a much higher pace these days and I look forward to the Friday’s as it gives some time to catch up with the leftovers from print media collected over the week. Luckily, these days, the bulk has been reduced and what is available comes out with quality. For some time now, it has been a routine to visit my barber on this free day. The visit has multiple objectives. Muhammad bhai as I call him affectionately is a long timer in Abu Dhabi. With two wives and about 6 children living at his village home in Karachi, he has always some or other story to convey about what has happened during the week in the surrounding locality here and also in his home town. It is a one man show now, as he is waiting for his brother as his reliever to come back from Pakistan and take turn for him to start for his long holiday. However, it seems he has decided not to and Muhammad Bhai is helpless as he finds it difficult for a trustworthy handover. His small saloon is a union for some of his friends, who are now familiar to me and other regulars. One among them is Aslam, who is from Bangladesh. Aslam bhai comes to the shop to watch TV which is situated at one corner of the shop. The moment he enters the shop, Aslam bhai consider it as his own empire and takes possession of his weapon of mass alteration, i.e. the remote control of the TV. From then on, any customer within, will have to watch, one minute Pakistani news, the other minute a Bengali channel and then all the different channels of Zee and in between various Arabic channels. Probably, a problem with his hearing or deliberately not wanting to hear Muhammad bhai’s or others please to stop or reduce the volume, he will continue fiddling on the remote and then finally stops when he gets Sahara channel and the Ramayana or Mahabharata serial playing in it. It doesn’t matter what the previous days episode was, he finds some unknown pleasure in the conversation happening and then we could see him laughing his heart out. In between or at the end, if someone asks him, Aslam bhai, tell us what happened, where are we and what next? He will smile showing all his 20 odd teeth with a gentle answer, If I know, what will happen next, do you think, I will watch it this long? True to him, otherwise, he would have definitely changed the channel.
Many times, the same situation repeated, and I find certain realistic and sincere conversation happening in that Muhammad bhai’s small saloon touching my inner thoughts. While he continues solely with his job, his mobile phone rings repeatedly and looking at the number, he will tell us, this is my first wife and I will call her after I finish your job. He cuts the phone with a short answer in his local dialect. In few minutes again the phone rings and he answer in short sentences, in an altogether different tone for a little longer time with a brighter smile and glowing eyes. Brief but short and he keeps the phone and revert to us saying that it was his younger wife. On one occasion, a channel was showing how various states where getting ready for the forthcoming elections. In some context, they showed the martyrs of the Mumbai attack and among them the neatly cut NSG Commando Sandeep. Seeing him, and with a sigh, he tells me, Ramesh bhai, after certain age, it is only we, barbers, who get to touch the head of a person and pamper him the way ones parents does to a child in his childhood? Probably, he was missing his own children whom he has not seen for a longer time. Definitely, in many ways, Muhammad bhai helped me to open my eyes into un-explored directions each time I visited him.
Life goes on and it’s another bright and sunny morning and it is time to go to school. It is board exam time for my son and to revisit the thoughts of my schooling days and exam times and compare what is happening around now, I didn’t miss this opportunity of dropping my son to his exam centre. Children are the same everywhere, and many of them were seen tensed on the first day and teachers assisting them with last minute doubts and preparations. It was interesting to see many of them seeking blessings from their teachers and parents. With most of the subjects covered, it was the English Exams yesterday, and I found literally all of them very relaxed. What made more interesting thoughts was the conversational style happening around. It seems like most of them are talking in terms of Short Term Memory Loss happening to them, following the recent Hindi movie Gajini.
Wheels of my clock moves faster these days and evening we all gather to watch one particular show these days. It is currently on in the Amrita TV channel and is called Super Talent. Into it’s 3rd round, the show has gained considerable ground in terms of quality approach in presentation by the contestants and the subsequent reviews by elite panel of judges. It is giving it’s worth on time spent before going to bed.
Wining is not always possible. However, if we do not attempt, the probability of a win will be nowhere. In the recent times, I happened to come across two winners in lucky draws. One was a regular e-mail friend, a famous RJ, who won a lucky raffle in the recently concluded DSF draws. Another, happened to be a known person, who won an equally or more amount from a Duty Free Raffle. It is good to see both continuing their life and efforts promoting Positive vibes around. May god bless them to motivate many through their own simple ways.
I am excited to include and inform that quality initiatives are taking a high rate of acceptance from the authorities as well as the news media these days. Government authorities and suggestions sites like www.abudhabi.ae, Dubai Municipality Have Your Say programmes, Dubai RTA, Road Transport Authority of Abu Dhabi, and the news media like THE National and GULF NEWS are coming out with many new initiatives to promote participation of general public and to get their views and suggestions for overall improvement in the society around. Why not spare a few minutes and visit these portals and be a part of the society and it’s progress.
My thoughts are getting complex each time I take my car out on the street. Even with all the campaigns happening, stricter fines and points, some are continuing to seek wild pleasure in showing their might on the street. With cigarette on one hand and phone on the other and legs up or even a child on the lap safety doesn’t seem to be nearer. I feel, they will learn only by getting a chance to visit for themselves the casualty departments of hospitals. Spread the word around, follow the speeding rules do not use mobiles while driving and reach home safe be the mantra to follow.
God Bless and have a great week-end.
Motivation man sets 37th record
Express News Service First Published : 26 Jan 2009 02:56:00 AM Last Updated : 26 Jan 2009 BANGALORE:
Adding another feather to his cap, Guinness and Limca Book of Records holder S Ramesh Babu has set his 37th world record by motivating 1,00,154 Indians.
Babu told reporters here on Saturday that it took nine-and-a-half years through his 715 lecture programmes that were conducted in 220 institutions in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to establish the record.
Ramesh Babu, founder director of ‘Top of the World Centre for Excellence’, said that the main objective of the centre was to motivate people to excel in their chosen fields of interest by making them realise their potentials through 31 tailormade workshop modules developed by him.
The motivational programmes were held for students, teachers, parents, corporate employees and general public. Babu, who has received over 50,000 written feedback from his workshop participants, also delivered motivational lectures to people in rural areas and economically weaker sections. On January 7, Babu crossed the target of motivating one lakh people, achieving the unique record feat in just nine-and-a-half years, six months ahead of his set time target.
With this 37th world record, the total tally of his records now stand at 44, which include seven national records.
The Limca Book of Records has recognised Babu as the highest world records holder in India.
“The record set now will be sent to both Guinness and Limca Book of Records later this month and will become official in the coming edition of the Limca Book of Records,” Babu said.
The link below is the best suitable for keeping track of the progress of Abu Dhabi Bus.
The National Newspaper
What an interesting progress by THE NATIONAL. From today onwards, they have a Careers page on Tuesday and Thursday. With the network and reach I am sure job seekers will have plenty of potential and real job openings in the region listed. Good going and keep coming out with more specials