The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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From chaos to vision: Rebuilding Malta's promise

Sunday, 1 October 2023, 07:17 Last update: about 3 months ago

Rebekah Borg

As the scorching grip of summer gradually loosens its hold, we prepare for the reopening of Parliament. While the summer heat may suggest a temporary pause in political affairs, it is crucial to recognise that the heartbeat of our democracy should never skip a beat. The notion that politics takes a hiatus in the summertime is a fallacy we must debunk. For the very essence of our governance hinges on the constant vigilance of the government, ensuring the wheels of accountability turn ceaselessly, irrespective of the calendar’s pages.


Regrettably, this summer has been marked by a series of events stemming from administrative inefficiencies to a glaring lack of transparency and accountability within the system. These shortcomings have further eroded public trust and hindered effective governance. Among these issues are prolonged power outages during the peak of summer, a lack of cleanliness due to neglect, a pervasive sense of insecurity, and a troubling situation in social benefits management. These challenges compound long-standing issues such as traffic congestion, noise pollution, subpar education, a faltering healthcare system, and overpopulation.

Although we are not in government and lack the same implementation powers, we refuse to stand idly by. We have devised a strategy to foster economic prosperity in our nation. Our approach distinguishes itself from that of the government through the prioritisation of equitable wealth distribution among all members of our community, rather than benefiting only a select few.

In recent years, the government’s economic model has exacerbated the issue of overpopulation, straining our country's infrastructure to its limits. It is imperative that we identify our country's carrying capacity to prevent the impending collapse of essential systems. Excessive traffic, an overwhelmed healthcare system, inadequately sized electricity, drainage, and water systems, and environmental degradation due to relentless development all bear witness to the consequences of unchecked population growth.

The surge in population, as corroborated by NSO statistics, coupled with the government's strategy to centralise refuse collection, also has daily repercussions. This centralisation has not only stripped local councils of their responsibilities but has also sidelined the valuable input of those intimately acquainted with their community's needs.

The government has lost control.

The recognition that labour importation plays a crucial role in sustaining economic growth is vital, but it has become evident that we have reached a point where our current approach is unsustainable. In light of this, the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan have become imperative. This plan must be built on several key principles to effectively address the challenges associated with labour importation.

Foremost among these principles is the prioritisation of population stabilisation, and in some cases, even a reduction in population size. To achieve this, it is crucial to conduct a meticulous skills-gap analysis that comprehensively assesses the labor market. Such an analysis should identify areas where our domestic workforce falls short in meeting the demands of various industries and sectors.


The next critical step involves refining our labour importation strategy. Rather than a blanket approach that permits unrestricted immigration for labor purposes, a more precise and targeted system should be adopted. Labour importation should be employed sparingly and exclusively where it is absolutely essential to address specific labor force gaps. This shift towards a more focused strategy ensures that foreign workers are brought in to fill roles that cannot be adequately served by the local workforce, thereby avoiding unnecessary strain on our resources and infrastructure.

Furthermore, it is imperative that any labour importation plan includes mechanisms to promote the transfer of skills and knowledge from foreign workers to the local workforce. This can be achieved through training programmes, mentorship initiatives, and partnerships between local educational institutions and industries. The goal should be to equip the local workforce with the skills necessary to gradually reduce reliance on foreign labor over time.

In parallel, we must invest in initiatives that stimulate domestic job creation and workforce development. Supporting entrepreneurship, fostering innovation, and nurturing local industries can help generate employment opportunities for our citizens.

Furthermore, this approach must be coupled with substantial infrastructure investments. Though it requires funding, money collected from our taxes should not line the pockets of a select few. Instead, it should fund large-scale projects that benefit the local population and align with a long-term strategy to elevate Malta's tourism industry.

Security across all localities must also be improved. Our social fabric has evolved, raising concerns about violent crime, a phenomenon not unique to our locality. Other countries have addressed this issue by bolstering on-ground resources. This involves deploying more law enforcement officers for deterrence, community engagement, and rapid response. Advanced technology, crime prevention programs, and collaboration with other agencies are crucial components of this strategy. Engaging the community itself in crime prevention efforts and allocating adequate resources are also essential for creating safer and more secure neighbourhoods.

Reclaiming control is not just an option but an absolute necessity. As the doors of Parliament swing open once more, our commitment to advocating for transformative change remains resolute and unwavering. It is imperative to recognise that amidst the ongoing scandals, not all politicians are cut from the same cloth. We embody a vision, a vision deeply rooted in the unwavering hope for a brighter, more prosperous future for our nation. Our dedication to this vision, and to the well-being and aspirations of every citizen, fuels our determination to usher in a new era of progress, accountability, and shared prosperity.


Rebekah Borg is a Nationalist MP

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