The prime minister said on TV today he “was speaking the same language of Repubblika on good governance”. The only positive thing I can see in that statement is that the new government acknowledges the existence of Repubblika which is more than can be said for the government we had last week.
Repubblika appears to have graduated from a “cult”, “erba’ qtates”, “erba’ anarkiċi”, “il-fazzjoni ta’ kontra Adrian Delia”, “is-segwaċi ta’ Simon Busuttil” and “the Daphne crowd” or “Daphne fans” to an organisation that can speak the same language as the country’s prime minister. We don’t find the promotion particularly flattering.
Language was never really the problem though, was it? Joseph Muscat, Owen Bonnici and the rest of them spent two years saying “our institutions work”, and that they were sorry Daphne was killed, and that they were “committed to implement the Venice Commission reforms”. When they needed to they said the right thing in the right language, though nothing but subterfuge came from their actions.
Robert Abela never spoke “the same language as Repubblika” until today. His steely indifference to the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia is recorded in his uninterrupted silence about the subject. His only concern was criticising her mourning sons for daring to seek legal advice to safeguard their human rights. He was elected to his present office expressing impatience with public protests.
Will he “tolerate” civil society more than he said he would now he speaks our language?
How about doing more than speak the language of Repubblika about the rule of law and instead start getting busy on taking initiatives to reinstate it?
Why has he recruited the bulk of his parliamentary group to the executive ignoring the Council of Europe’s advice to protect the independence of the legislature? Will he direct his ministers to drastically reduce the recruitment of people in positions of trust? Will he undertake not to use personal email accounts and data storage services for government business and to direct all ministers to do the same?
These are all good governance measures he could be acting upon this very week.
How about recognising the responsibility and the failure of the state in protecting the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia, to apologise to her family for her death and for the failure of the state to do its duty before she was killed and since?
It doesn’t really matter what language Robert Abela uses for us to understand his intent. Repubblika will recognise truth and justice if it was handed down in Kiswahili or Maori. As much as Repubblika recognises, in whichever language comes in, the deceptive change of tack by the same government that now tries to deflate us with slimy flattery when ignoring us, mocking us and intimidating us did not work before.
What would really impress us would be if the prime minister walked the talk instead of just speak about it.
And since we speak the same language now, how about answering the questions we asked him during his campaign to become party leader and ipso facto prime minister?
Here they are again for ease of reference. A yes or no answer will suffice.
- Will you initiate an independent and public inquiry into all the contracts related to the new power station and will you commit yourself to publishing all the findings?
- Will you publish the agreements, in their entirety, established with the following: Electrogas, Vitals Global Health and Steward Health Care?
- Will you launch an independent and public inquiry to investigate the €1 million sponsorship to Vistajet and will you commit yourself to publishing all the findings? It is claimed that Vistajet operated a flight between Malta and Dubai following the publication of allegations involving Pilatus Bank and Egrant.
- Will you investigate the process followed in granting a banking licence to Pilatus Bank and Sata Bank and publish the findings?
- Will you grant whistle-blower protection status to Jonathan Ferris and to Maria Efimova in order that they may testify about all they know regarding corruption, money laundering and other criminal activities that have taken place?
- Will you investigate all tax amnesties (VAT and income tax) granted during these last ten years and publish the findings?
- Will you open an independent and public inquiry to investigate the processes involved in the transfer of the former ITS site and the granting of a planning permit to the DB Group and will you commit yourself to publishing all the findings?
- Will you review the passport sales scheme?
- Will you open an independent and public inquiry to investigate the claim that high ranking Police officers, including an Assistant Commissioner, passed on confidential information to members of the Prime Minister’s staff and other persons, then publish the findings?
- Will you investigate whether there have been delays in granting the necessary authorisations to the Malta Security Service to intercept communications related to the investigations into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and publish the findings?
- Will you launch an investigation in order to find out who is the owner of Macbridge, and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate the drafting process, the application and the impact of the following planning policies: Rural and Agricultural Policy, Tall Buildings Policy and Fuel Stations Policy, and publish the findings?
- Will you open an independent and public inquiry into the direct orders granted to companies whose shareholders include Members of Parliament, members of ministers’ / parliamentary secretaries’ secretariats and/or their family members? Will you commit yourself to publishing the findings?
- Will you investigate the agreement with Manchester United and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate the direct orders granted for IT services at the prisons and at the public health services and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate Brian Tonna’s operations at Castille and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate the employment exercises with Government (public service and public sector) during the 2017 electoral campaign and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate the planning permits approved during the 2017 electoral campaign and publish the findings?
- Will you investigate all the promotions at the Armed Forces of Malta during the 2017 electoral campaign and publish the findings?
- Will you publish the agreement with Chelgate, and will you give a full account of all the work undertaken by the company on behalf of the Government of Malta?