PN accuses Bonnici of preventing PBS from carrying report criticising him

‘This is not acceptable, Owen Bonnici must not use Public Broadcasting Services for his personal purposes,’ says shadow minister Julie Zahra


The Opposition is demanding PBS immediately broadcasts a statement it issued on Monday that had taken to task the minister responsible for public broadcasting, Owen Bonnici.

It accused Bonnici of using used his political power to prevent PBS’ news bulletin from broadcasting a statement that criticised Bonnici over an internal memo to employees of Heritage Malta, for which he is also politically responsible.

The memo threatened employees with disciplinary measures over gross misconduct if they share information from within the agency with any third parties.

Opposition shadow minister Julie Zahra on Wednesday demanded PBS carries a report on the statement “as soon as possible in accordance with its obligation to free, independent and impartial broadcasting.

“This is not acceptable and the Nationalist Party expects Owen Bonnici to not use Public Broadcasting Services for his personal purposes. Moreover, PBS’ leadership must never accept being politically used by Robert Abela’s government.”

Zahra on Monday published an internal memo to all employees warning them of disciplinary measures for gross misconduct if they share information from within the agency with any third parties.

The circular informed employees that, in terms of their contracts, they are “obliged” to keep any and all confidential information to themselves and to not pass any such information on to anyone else.

The internal memo added, “Not only that but you are also obliged to not communicate, indicate or suggest to third parties that such confidential information exists.”

Zahra asked what, exactly, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, whose blessing she said the memo had, has to hide.

“What was the need for this type of memo?” Zahra asked. “Is it because he [Bonnici] knows things are happening that he does not want the people to find out about or is it because he is afraid that he will be caught in another scandal?”

She referred to three exclusive stories published in recent months by The Shift as the possible motivation behind the siege mentality memo.

She said, “He was caught fixing a contract for a restaurant in Palazzo Vilhena in Mdina, after he allowed his colleague the Minister Anton Refalo to keep a historical artifact at his poolside, and after he failed to take immediate action in favour of a victim of sex abuse at the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and after allowing developments to take place against the advice of the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage, among others.

“Like the rest of his friends in the party and government of Robert Abela,” Zahra said, “Owen Bonnici keeps thinking he can do what he wants, even by twisting facts about others.

“Because he knows he is doing wrong, he is now threatening the workers at the entities that fall under his remit because there are those who, in the face of all this, cannot bear not to speak.”


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1 day ago

Stasi/KGB/Mafia… all rolled into one puffed-up bore.

1 day ago

Onorevoli Zahra hija wahda mill-ftit fl-Oppozizzjoni li qed izommu lil gvern kontabbli ghal ghemilu. Tassew tixirqilha l-Onorevoli.

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