In case you have not noticed, or you have been taken in by the government drivel propagated through a captured Executive and media, Malta is not a normal country.
In Malta, the number of things that happen daily that are far from normal, usual, typical or expected are mindboggling. All around us, wherever you look, the list grows by the hour.
Allow me to express what I would expect in a normal country, and what I would not expect. This is far from an exhaustive list. I would also like to remind readers that Joseph Muscat’s ambition was never to be normal; it was to be the best.
In a normal country politicians understand that something may be legal, but it may not be correct, right, appropriate, honest and / or ethical, or in accordance with the letter of the law, but not with the spirit of the law.
They understand the concept of political responsibility besides that of criminal responsibility, and shoulder the consequences. They also understand that they should lead by example.
In a normal country, you do not speak to a Minister to obtain what is rightfully yours; or to obtain what is not rightfully yours.
Nor do Ministers give out jobs with exorbitant salaries (paid by the taxpayer – us) to their constituents, supporters and activists.
They do not assign people jobs in an unconstitutional (i.e. illegal) manner, as ‘persons of trust’ (there are currently around 700 persons of trust employed by the government with taxpayer money – ours). And they do not make direct orders the norm.
In a normal country, police investigate ALL the allegations and revelations made by journalists. They should. They should also be well resourced (Malta is nearly at the bottom of the heap when it comes to government spending on the police force, in terms of expenditure as a percentage of GDP).
Recently, the shocking fact that there is only one person with a qualification in accounts in the police force’s Economic Crimes and Money Laundering departments was exposed by a parliamentary question made by Partit Demokratiku MP Godfrey Farrugia, and we still do not know if the individual is qualified in forensic audit or financial crime analysis, or if he is even an experienced auditor.
This, when in Europe economic crime is rife, and Europe is managing to seize only 1% of criminal assets (essentially dirty money). This, when the government is dabbling in cryptocurrency, and flirting with a related company that has just been kicked out of Japan for lack of compliance with regulations.
In a normal country, whistleblower status is not granted by people who the whistleblower is going to turn evidence on, or people in their office or under their command.
In a normal country, the representatives of the country, whether the Prime Minister, Minister, or any other person sent as an envoy, and government executives do not lie or mislead. Ditto the national TV station.
In a normal country, the Minister of Finance, when faced with a question by a reporter about the owner of a bank in Malta, arrested in the US, and whose bank was licensed under his watch, does not answer – come on, it’s too early in the morning (the journalists were prepared; why not the Finance Minister?).
Nor should a Finance Minister be content and complacent that there is as much corruption as there was before. His perception stands in sharp contrast to the public’s perception that corruption has increased since 2013.
Last, but not least, in a normal countr, journalists do not get blown up. And their assassination is not investigated by the people she exposed.