We are all aware that China is in the news quite regularly these days, the world over. Be it a squabble with Dangerous Donald, a fistfight on the China-India border, or lockdown in Wuhan; the country has hogged the headlines.
What us Westerners find particularly disgruntling about China is its ominous, all-seeing Communist Party; a party which has total control, that has elapsed and assimilated the State. The Party has become the State, effectively.
Malta could never be like this, surely! We have a conscientious Prime Minister, an effective opposition, and a rest-assuring constitution, Malta’s surely safe.
Or so we thought until body-builder Bob rushed onto the scene. A few days ago, our great Chairman Robert announced that restaurants and hairdressers will be allowed to open: what providence, what a man of the people!
And what’s wrong with that?
Well, one would imagine it is the Prime Minister’s role to make these statements of national interest. (Perhaps, though this might be a stretch, he ought to be flanked by public health officials.) In the democratic paradise of Malta, one could safely assume that journalists from independent media houses will be able to ask the PM questions. And obviously, all this would be done on state television.
It happens to be that these statements were made on none other than One TV, the voice of the Labour party and lauded stage of jester Karl Stagno Navarra. No journalists were present. With the One News logo, and the Labour Party emblem scorching one’s cornea, you get the burning feeling that it is indeed the Labour Party Leader speaking.
The man behind the muscles and the smile, Robert Abela, has made it clear that he is inept enough to be oblivious of the seriousness of his failure to act within the correct role. Through his actions, he is well on the way to annihilating the distinction between Leader of the Labour Party, and Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta. Along with Julia Farrugia Portelli (who is particularly proficient in this regard), we are slowly seeing the line between party and state melt away.
Add to this the sorry fate of our Opposition, which is slowly approaching the calibre of its Chinese counterpart. (PS: The Chinese Opposition doesn’t exist.)
But when all else fails, thank God for the Constitution. Or, hold your horses. “The wide powers of appointments, that the Prime Minister enjoys, make this institution too powerful and create a serious risk for the rule of law”, the Venice Commission reported in 2018.
Our Prime Minister never fails to display that he lacks the moral restraint to exercise his roles appropriately, shuns the independent media and is willing to abuse of short-comings in our constitution to wield unchecked powers. Robert Abela, in a matter of months, has shown he’s a dangerous man in an all too powerful position.
We must wake up and realise what is at risk for us, the youth, for our children, and our beloved country. We need to step up and stand up for our country and for what is right. We need to overcome our nausea of Maltese politics and grab it by the horns. Or else, we risk a future by the name of the People’s Democratic Republic of Malta.
Written by: Xandru Cassar