The Malta Independent 16 May 2021, Sunday

TMID Editorial: Labour Party - Abela must denounce his predecessor

Saturday, 10 April 2021, 09:22 Last update: about 2 months ago

In recent weeks we have been regaled with findings that have shocked many, but which were just a confirmation to many others, including followers of the slain Daphne Caruana Galizia's writings, of the wrongdoings of many in Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's Government.

These include wrongdoers Keith Schembri, Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi, Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, Matthew Pace, Adrian Hillman, Joseph Cuschieri and those who were in duty bound to prevent it but instead covered it up, like Lawrence Cutajar, Peter Grech and Joseph Muscat himself, indeed his entire Cabinet.


There were also those who should have known better and yet stayed silent, elders like George Vella, Alfred Sant and George Abela. It was only recently that another stalwart, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, gathered enough courage to demand an apology from the party she represented for decades.

In a recent interview by Saviour Balzan, when asked about this, Robert Abela chose to laud the Muscat administration, whose Cabinet he formed part of, as having created wealth, jobs and an economic miracle. This misses the point altogether. Indeed, as the Holy Scriptures rightly state, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'. It is incumbent on Abela to denounce his predecessor, not only to redeem his party, but because it's the right thing to do.

We have examples from the Labour Party's own history, of how one can act honourably. Dom Mintoff, the ‘father' of the modern PL, refused to endorse his government and voted against it when he thought it was wrong, and this at a time when it held a 1-seat majority. More recently, Marlene and Godfrey Farrugia left the party too. None of these three is without blemish, but at least they acted in a principled fashion.

We cringe to read or listen to the likes of Evarist Bartolo and Edward Scicluna, who know of the wrongdoing, and yet refuse to let go of the trappings of power in the name of integrity. How sad is that. History will show that these persons could have shone a beacon of truth and hope for the PL, and yet they shamelessly and meekly went along with but a whimper.
We still await full investigations into the shady deals of Crane Currency, Electrogas, the hospitals privatisation, the sale of Enemalta to Shanghai Electric, the Montenegro Windfarm project, to name but a few. The Opposition should insist on the setting up of magisterial enquiries every day.

The PL will almost certainly win the next elections, because the PN is so weak at calling out these wrongs, and many on its front bench lack the moral authority or indeed the energy, to do so. Which means that we risk these wrongdoings being swept under a carpet, given the veneer of approval by the popular vote. A failure to be contrite, to bring the wrongdoers to justice, and to denounce these criminal acts, will mean that the PL and the country can't turn a new page. It means that future leaders intent on plundering our country have an example of how to get away with it. It burdens us all with the collective guilt of being unable to ensure that ‘tabilħaqq is-sewwa jirbaħ żgur'.

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