The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Opinion: A situation which is no longer tenable

Friday, 10 July 2020, 08:17 Last update: about 25 days ago

Andrew Azzopardi, Stephanie Fabri, George Vital Zammit

The importance of leadership and good governance can never be overstated. This is even more so in challenging times as the COVID-19 experience has shown us. With strong leadership and combined efforts of different stakeholders, Malta has managed to cope with a public health challenge extremely well especially when compared to other countries. 

It is time that such leadership is demonstrated in other key pressing challenges that Malta is currently facing.


We note with concern the most recent discoveries that have emerged in Court proceedings or as a result of investigative journalism. The scope and breadth of these discoveries is already staggering as is, and yet reasonable chances exist that the malaise we are viewing might have taken root much more deeply than we would have imagined. From institutions crippled by inaction, to a political system that is too close to the business sector, even after certain facts came to light, there is no other way to call this but a general malaise of the political system.

Resisting the call to fall into petty gossip and engaging in one-upmanship about who knows more about what, we call on the State and the people who live in Malta, to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This disease and rot present today did not appear overnight, and is not merely the product of our current governance, but is instead the product of a wilful neglect and closing a blind eye to what is happening around us due to a potent mix of apathy, greed and self-interest brought about by an utter contempt for the Common Good.

We cannot and should not tolerate corruption or trading in influence.

Political parties should exist to compete on the best policies for the future of the Country which is only a means to an end; that of improving our quality of life and social wellbeing. A thriving economy is one that should take care of its most vulnerable and requires lawful adherence and that those with the most power are held to account. 

We have a right to demand transparency, honesty and accountability from our elected representatives.

We need to see a political class that truly upholds the values of democracy and understands that power is not theirs by right but is merely delegated to them by citizens.

We need a political class that is mature, humble and loyal to the country and who truly live to their oath of office.

It is time that we truly start looking at a reform and overhaul of our current political system which has shown its fragility and weaknesses. This applies to parties in government and in opposition.

What we have seen in recent years is a sad spectacle where the benchmark of expectations kept getting lower and lower. The only thing that mattered it seems, is political survival. We assisted towards the creation of alternative realities, where politicians painted pictures distant from the truth.

A small democracy like ours requires an even stronger opposition and the country cannot permit to have an opposition that is weak, fragile and inherently broken. Political leadership needs to assume its responsibility not to party constituents but to the broader Maltese population and society. Failure to do so is a threat to our democratic foundations and values. Political power is essentially a responsibility to transform what we already have into something better for the good of the community.

Let us start holding our politicians to account, be they in government or not.

Let us start demanding that political parties do not succumb to trading of influence.

Let us change our mediocre acceptance of what is and insist on acknowledging we have a problem.

Let us start charting our path by pushing the envelope so that the mess we find ourselves in will be overcome.

We need strong leadership, which is principled, honourable and righteous.

We deserve better.


Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, Dean, Faculty for Social Wellbeing

Dr Stephanie Fabri, Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy

Dr George Vital Zammit, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy

University of Malta


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