How to fix the government of Malta

The UK Police Force’s reputation has suffered in recent months with the rape case scandal and news of how they withheld information that could set suspects free. The state is now reviewing all previous cases at great cost. Try exposing this sort of thing in Malta and you’ll be the one in prison.

I

Since December 2017, The Times of London has reported on the incompetence of the UK’s police force. One of the first stories to come out is the ‘Rape case scandal’. In that situation, the police accused a student of a series of rapes. He spent two years on bail because police withheld 40 000 text messages that proved he couldn’t have been the rapist. Since then, the UK press reported other cases involving rape where police kept things from the defence teams.

We don’t see these sort of stories in Malta

As recently as April 2018, the Times reported on how the UK police are taught to hide information. Unlike anything we see on television, the UK police force is facing questions about its soul.

I feel sorry for the upstanding men and women of the UK police. These bad apples are tarnishing their reputations.

We don’t see these sort of stories in Malta.

I’ve already written about the non-independence of the media, but is this the only reason?

II

In any normal country, the independent media hold the government to account. It is the media that exposes any flaws in the state. Think of the major issues in any country today and try to picture them without media intervention. Catalonia’s cry for independence. The Brexit vote and negotiations. Anti-semitism in the UK and in Germany.

The Maltese government was quick to dismiss criticism of the government as ‘being negative’ or ‘traitorous’. Online trolls parrot these points. They accuse people of treachery just because of simple criticism.

Without whistleblowers, how will we know what needs to be fixed?

To make matters worse, the lack of independent media in the country means we never saw proper criticism of the government. There are new media outlets like The Shift News reporting on these things. The Times of Malta is doing a good job of investigating similar stories too, faced with having to compete with these new online outlets.

But this is all new for the Maltese. If you never saw proper criticism before, and you’re told this is treachery, who do you believe?

The trolls’ claim that criticising government is somehow wrong kind of resonates with the masses. It’s a case of unfamiliarity breeding contempt, to coin a phrase.

But we need to criticise government.

Otherwise how else will we know what we need to fix?

III

The answer to that question is simple – whistle blowers. People inside the system are the ones who know it best. If people on the inside see the system is corrupt, unethical or plain wrong, they are the people best placed to raise the alarm.

The European Court of Human Rights has gone as far as declaring whistle blowing ‘freedom of expression’. This is how important it is to a democracy.

Whistle blowing is ‘freedom of expression’ – European Court of Human Rights

Malta’s whistleblower (sic) laws however have a built-in flaw. According to the law, whistle blowers must show the government all information they have. The government will then decide if whether to consider them ‘whistle blowers’ or not. If the government does not classify you as a whistle blower, you aren’t protected by law.

In Malta you’re not a whistle blower because you are oneYou’re a whistle blower because the government calls you a whistle blower.

So if I have information about, for example, how corrupt the government is, I have to tell it I intend to reveal this information. And then wait for the government to give me the go ahead to reveal it. If the government thinks I shouldn’t reveal it, it can silence me. Or it can wait till I open my mouth and then scream that I’m ‘breaking confidentiality’.

Mr Jonathan Ferris is in this situation at the moment3. Mr Ferris is a former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit investigator. He claims to have evidence of money laundering and corruption. The government insists he reveal everything before they grant him whistle blower status. If he doesn’t get this protection, he will face 5 years in jail and a EUR 100 000 fine.

For doing the right thing.

Mr Jonathan Ferris – formerly of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit

Therefore in Malta, if you criticise the government you are a traitor. If you wish to expose corruption, the government will deny you whistle blower status so it can throw you in prison for revealing exposing the truth.

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

So what are the good upstanding people of Malta supposed to do?

IV

If I criticise the government to help improve it, I’m a traitor.

We, the people, deserve better

If I expose governmental failings to help make Malta a better place, I risk a jail sentence, and can lose everything. A member of the European Union will hound me for it.

We cannot let this continue to happen. The laws of Malta need to change for the situation to improve. Only Parliament can change laws and the current party in power has a majority there. There’s not much chance it will effect this change anytime soon.

But we can start that change.

As of now, I am ready to write about governmental corruption or any failings of the state to improve life in Malta. If you have any information you wish to share contact me on whistleblower {at} brainnotego.com as soon as possible. Please don’t include confidential information in e-mail but do let me know how I can get in touch with you.

As the saying goes, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”

You’re a good person, right?

So do something. Share this article with as many people as you can.

And tell them to get in touch with me.

Because we, the people, deserve better.

References

  1. Rape case scandal is just ‘tip of the iceberg’; David Brown and Alexi Mostrous; The Times; 2017-12-16
  2. Police are ‘trained to hide vital evidence’; Frances Gibb; The Times; 2018-04-03
  3. Sacked FIAU investigator seeks whistleblower protection; Jacob Borg; The Times of Malta; 2018-01-13

All references were valid and correct when this article was published. Changes to referenced websites or web pages may render some references invalid. If this is the case, please leave a comment below.


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