Redefining ‘normality’

Within a few weeks of his election, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that Malta has returned to a state of “normality”.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a large number of people who believe him. There’s an ever-growing section of the population that is ready – if not willing – to ignore obvious or proven facts and to accept obvious lies. That section of the population is particularly susceptible to indoctrination.

The truth is that Malta is in no state of normality. At least if by normality we mean that the standards and norms of democracy, of rule of law, of good governance, of ethical behaviour are being upheld. In the absence of these, it is impunity that reigns.

Normality can never be achieved:

Ø As long as Abela retains in his Cabinet a minister found guilty of breaching human rights, and who consorted with a private company to serve a SLAPP suit on a journalist.

Ø As long as Abela continues to retain any ministers who served in the previous Cabinet. They are the spineless lot who defended Konrad Mizzi’s and Keith Schembri’s involvement in the Panama Papers, defended their arrangement with Yorgen Fenech to receive €5,000 a day each, and defended Joseph Muscat for shielding Schembri and Mizzi.

Ø By Abela’s firing of the police commissioner, then reappointing him as a consultant with a handsome retainer, instead of having him investigated for his reluctance to act on allegations of serious crime regarding people in the higher echelons of government.

Ø By Abela’s appointing Justyne Caruana as the chairperson of the Consideration of Bills Committee, less than a week after forcing her to resign as Gozo Minister over her husband’s close friendship and links with the alleged mastermind behind Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, Yorgen Fenech.

Ø When people in the prime minister’s office giving testimony in a public inquiry in front of three judges, behave arrogantly with Judges presiding over the inquiry and lie through their teeth.

Ø When a country that has become synonymous with financial and economic crime and money laundering drags its feet to implement the latest Anti-Money Laundering Directive in full.

Ø When the Planning Authority fails to take action following the revelations by The Times of Malta on a multi-million euro building project in Qala where more than 150 flats and ancillary facilities – one of Gozo’s largest all-time residential developments – have been split into four parts, avoiding the potential scrutiny of an Environment Impact Assessment in the application process.

Ø When police officers under investigation for corrupt practices hunt the whistleblower who reported them, and when resignations are accepted while investigations are still ongoing.

When a State fails to meet its obligations to uphold human rights and the rule of law, fails to investigate violations, fails to ensure that those suspected of criminal activity are prosecuted, tried and duly punished, fails to provide victims with effective remedies, fails to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered and fails to take the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations, it’s not normality.

It’s impunity.

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