The Malta Independent 8 March 2021, Monday

Borg’s slip of the tongue doesn't merit investigation, but Hyzler disagrees with minister's version

Jake Aquilina Wednesday, 20 January 2021, 15:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

In reply to a letter sent by Arnold Cassola regarding Ian Borg swearing on live TV, Standards Commissioner George Hyzler said that although he does not agree with Borg’s version of the events, he does not believe an investigation into the case is merited.

This comes after Minister for Transport Ian Borg was caught swearing on live television show Pjazza on ONE TV. However, Borg denied that he swore, instead alleging that Nationalist Party media had edited a clip to make it seem like he did.

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Borg said in a post on Facebook that Nationalist media had broadcasted an amplified clip of him.  He said that he had not said what was being alleged and that in reality the clip showed him saying a similar sounding phrase “ħa qalanqas... anqas, anqas...”

“Regarding the allegation that the words  ‘h*q a**a’ were said, I agree that these words were said; I do not agree with the version that the Minister gave on his Facebook page,” Hyzler noted in his reply to Cassola.

“However it is clear that the way these words were said, without emphasis, they were not said with any premeditation... effectively the words slipped out of his mouth in the heat of the moment.”

Hyzler referred to Article 1 of the Codes of Ethics of Members of Parliament and Section 1 of the Codes of Ethics for Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, which state that MPs, Ministers, and Parliamentary Secretaries should behave in the highest of standards.

In his view, Hyzler said that it can’t be applied to this case since the words slipped from Minister Borg’s tongue.

“I don’t want to give the impression that swear words are acceptable, but I don’t believe an investigation should take place,” Hyzler remarked.

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