Speaker’s reason for abstention

Reference is being made to the article entitled ‘Speaker’s abstention has brought “law of the jungle”‘ (May 3).

By way of right of reply, attention is being drawn to the press release issued by the Office of the Speaker on May 3 on the vote taken last week during the last meeting of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

In this press release, Anġlu Farrugia is making reference to the motivation of his vote and to his argumentation that,  even though he shared some of Commissioner George Hyzler’s views on the case in question, he could not vote in favour of the report in its entirety because the Standards in Public Life Act does not permit voting in favour of parts of the report and not of others. He, therefore, maintains that, in the particular circumstances of the case in question, he felt that his only option was to abstain.

Speaker Farrugia also contends that each case has to be considered on its own merits and, therfore, the outcome of this particular report will not necessarily condition other cases to be dealt with in future by the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

Speaker Farrugia would like to reiterate that the adoption of guidelines relating to political adverts in the media would mitigate the possibility of the re-occurrence of such circumstances and the raising of similar complaints with the Commissioner for Standards.

Raymond Scicluna, Clerk of the House – Valletta

Ħondoq Bay: national park versus more ‘development’?

Ħondoq Bay resembles a ‘natural’ amphitheatre because of its surrounding crescent of rock. Photo: viewingmalta.comĦondoq Bay resembles a ‘natural’ amphitheatre because of its surrounding crescent of rock. Photo: viewingmalta.com

Every time I go to Ħondoq and look around I feel like I’m in an amphitheatre. It’s the surrounding crescent of rock that does it.

I wonder what it would be like if all the rubbish could be cleared and replaced by, say, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra playing music from the works of Vivaldi, Stravinsky or Dvořák. And, maybe, a tenor the calibre of Joseph Calleja.

It would work for rock concerts, too.

The audience would sit, or stand, with its back to the sea or, maybe, look out across to Comino with the terrifically and naturally amplified music behind them.

In this largely man-made (it used to be a quarry) horseshoe bay or ‘creek’ (there’s sometimes ‘valley water’ running through it that apparently could sustain a pond), Gozo would have its own arena.

It wouldn’t take much: trees to complement the bushes near the beach, removal of rocks brought up by sea storms into the inner area of the quarry, seating that could be used for picnics when the ‘arena’ is not in use (that is, most of the time) and it would become a national park.

Imagine, if Malta ever won the Eurovision festival how fantastic it would be to hold the following year’s final in such wonderful surroundings.

But it’s merely a daydream,  because the land – 68 tumoli (23 acres) of it – is owned by speculators who would rather put a 200-bed, five-star hotel and a marina for 150 yachts, along with houses, flats and shops, unsustainable half the year, down there.

Even if there were no other objections, it would require trucks grunting and rattling through Qala’s lorry-wide streets every four minutes for four, maybe, five years.

Qala Creek marina development? Or the Gozo arena and a national park? Which do we think will win?

Revel Barker – Għajnsielem

Time for reflection

Totally amazing!

So, as of today, there have been 570,000 US deaths from the dreaded COVID pandemic.

Amazingly, that awful number amounts to the total US death toll of World War II (405,399), World War I (116,526) and the Vietnam War (58,000).

Now, if that is not really time for reflection, what is?

Raymond Bencini – Żebbuġ

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