Prime Minister,

We note that you read our articles. We are flattered.

So here’s another one. We have no doubt that you have figured out for yourself that we work for no one except our country. You should try that some time.

Repubblika is a civil society organisation fighting against the erosion of the rule of law. There is much to fight against, given that tales of corruption appear in the newspapers every day. We keep learning of illicit ties between political power, starting with your disgraced predecessor, Joseph Muscat, and his cronies, and unscrupulous criminals: white collared ‘businessmen’, with thugs and assassins thrown in. Mario Puzo’s Godfather series looks like a quaint tale about schoolboy fisticuffs when compared to what’s going on in Malta.

You know what we’re on about. You were Muscat’s favourite adviser. What were you advising him about, one is tempted to ask. Were you not able to discern that something was very wrong? Or were you feeling dizzy too at the time?

The commissioner for voluntary organisations is running your errands now. It is an insult that the government office that is supposed to strengthen civil society tells us to “lower the volume” so that we can survive as an NGO. Commissioner Anthony Abela Medici has accused us of working for a political party. His evidence? Articles we have written over a year ago. Why stop there?

We have published more damning articles since then. It should not surprise you to learn that we will continue to publish what we know and what we think for as long as we see abuse of the rule of law and human rights.

So kindly update your file on us, prime minister.

You quote one of us, Delia, in your effort to abolish us: “Civil society aspires for change. We seek to build a better country”. You highlighted another sentence in that article: “When the vision of political leaders is limi­ted to their own vaulting ambition, it is up to the people to spell out where their country is to go next.” You caught us. Now, that’s a political statement, if ever there was one. No wonder you’re so insulted by it. Do you feel targeted by it? What is certain is that nothing gives you the right to try to make us regret it.

Mario Puzo’s Godfather series looks like a quaint tale compared to what’s going on in Malta

Then, you highlight Dee Crespo’s article dated November 25, 2019, like Torquemada at a show trial. She berated Muscat for usurping the police commissioner’s job of enforcing criminal law and the latter of neglecting duty to ensure that justice is dispensed without fear or favour. She wasn’t wrong, was she? That prime minister and that police chief have both quit the public scene in disgrace.

We are still here. And you don’t like it one bit.

You indicted another of the author’s articles where she states: “The fight for truth and justice is not a partisan issue, for democratic values belong to the people.” The fact that you have a problem with this is cause for deep worry. But then you did highlight our submissions for the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry as a cause for concern. This is very telling, especially since you have been moving heaven and earth to sabotage the inquiry.

Here’s another exhibit in your legal bid to banish Repubblika. You proclaim shock that Cremona pointed out that 60 per cent of the members of our judiciary had a “personal history that is intimately, actively and explicitly intertwined with the Labour Party”? (November 2019). Was she wrong? No.

Her July 2020 article forecast that Julia Farrugia Portelli’s mechanisms would open the doors to COVID-19 virulence also appears to have caused you offence. It’s very frustrating when people keep pointing out the emperor has no clothes. We suggest you redirect your frustrations towards your failure to contain the disease where it matters: like your ‘continuity’ government for a start.

Our country needs intelligent and honest leaders. Do you qualify? It also needs critics and activists to ask just that question to its prime ministers. Here we are. And here we stay.

You’ll be pleased to know then that we shall continue writing our articles and we shall continue levelling criticism where it needs to be addressed. We shall also continue offering our suggestions to make Malta a better place to live in for one and all. Most importantly, we shall continue fighting for truth and justice in this country.

You, or your lackey, the commissioner for voluntary organisations, will not stop us. You could do your worst, of course. But, rest assured, prime minister, that we will continue to do our best.

We wrote this article in defiance of the wishes of the commissioner for voluntary organisations and of the government, who ordered us not to criticise public authorities.

Manuel Delia, Alessandra Dee Crespo and Vicki Ann Cremona are members, Repubblika executive committee.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us