The commissioner for standards’ report released last week confirms that Rosianne Cutajar received at least €9,000 for services rendered to Yorgen Fenech. Nothing really new. It is just another confirmation of the fact that the former Portomaso boss had a finger in every pie and near absolute control over a number of institutions and politicians.

Money and power seem to work miracles in a country like Malta, where the road to triumphant materialism, started long ago under Nationalist administrations, has long reached its point of arrival, in particular after a number of years of the Joseph Muscat philosophy which values people not for what they are but for what they have and, indeed, even for what they seem.

Bluff, appearance, perfectly blow-dried hair, designer signed suits, jackets and T-shirts have become the hallmark of a poser-dominated Malta, where the daily lackey cliché posting of Bonġu Ministru or Prosit Kink has become a must if you want to partake of a little portion of the swill at the trough.

Muscat has managed to impose his philosophical mantra that if you are rich, powerful and financially successful then you are a somebody, a real “net worth talented person”. If, instead, you are just a talented person, without being rich and powerful then it is: “Sorry, your talent is not needed.”

By Muscat’s philosophical criteria, Fenech was the epitome of talent: he had the most prestigious hotel, the tallest tower, the shiniest Rolls Royce, the fastest executive jet and who knows what.

So a number of heads of Maltese institutions just fell for him, like flies attracted to a pot of honey. Remember Joseph Cuschieri, first an iGaming guru and then the MFSA chief? Well, this supposedly ‘super partes’ official went to Las Vegas, whether for business or pleasure, expenses fully paid by Fenech.

His justification:  “I was invited by Mr Fenech to attend this trip as the former regulator of the gaming sector.”

Money and power seem to work miracles in a country like Malta

Cuschieri’s successor, Heathcliff Farrugia, went one better: not only did he try to cover up for Fenech’s casino irregularities, he also tried to suck up to the businessman by stating that “your casino was chosen because it is the best regulated. The others are terrible (gravi)”.

This fawning attitude also distinguished the former CEO of the Planning Authority, Johann Buttigieg. This lackey was at the complete disposal of the Portomaso puppet master: “I want to pinch something from Joseph Portelli. We can do business, you (Fenech) and I can split it.” This is the honesty that was overseeing the Planning Authority.

And what about former deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta? This police officer was so enthralled by Fenech’s cannelloni that he was allegedly even prepared to reveal the ‘super secret’ state of the investigations into the Daphne Caruana Galizia allegations to the ‘most talented’ man in Malta.

Fenech’s power over the institutions was enormous. What is even sadder is that his power over certain politicians was (or is?) even stronger.

Today we  now know for sure that, when prime minister,  Muscat received expensive gifts from Fenech, Cutajar received expensive gifts from Fenech, Edward Zammit Lewis received a hotel stay gift in France from Fenech.

We know for sure former minister Chris Cardona found refuge in a Portomaso apartment when he ended up kicked out of his matrimonial (or was it cohabitational?) home.

We know for sure that Nationalist MPs Kristy Debono and Hermann Schiavone went over to Portomaso to ask for sponsorships.

We know for sure that Fenech’s WhatsApp messages also included his offer to Keith Schembri of the use of a secluded room in Fenech’s ranch.

With all these politicians involved in these shady connections, the question comes naturally: how much does Fenech know about these politicians?

How blackmailable are these politicians?

How blackmailable is the Maltese parliament?

How blackmailable is our country?

We, Maltese citizens, need to be informed of the extent to which our institutions are blackmailable by Fenech.

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