The NGO Reppublika has put forward a document of proposals for a “new Malta and new Republic” detailing how the organization would be moving forward and agreeing on “promoting values and developing a vision for the common good”.
In a general meeting on Saturday morning, at the St Aloysius College theatre in Birkirkara, members of Repubblika disseminated the document and held an open forum for discussion on its proposals.
The ambitious seven-point document contains detailed proposals tackling ethics in public life, the strengthening of the constitution through reform, participative citizenship and education, making the switch to a sustainable economy, the environment, inclusion and social justice as well as equal justice and guaranteed liberties.
Activist Manuel Delia said that it was high time Malta accepted that its economic model was no longer sustainable, and that change was necessary in order to remain just and honest. He said that politicians were clearly afraid of this change and weren’t thinking about what a sustainable economy should look like 10 or 15 years down the line.
Mr Delia also said it was time for activists to stop thinking of themselves as fragmented and find a way to present ideas together.
“We cannot as NGO’s keep separating the ideas of economic stability, safeguarding the environment and social mobility. We cannot keep advocating for them separately because the government will continue to negotiate with us in fragmented way,” Mr Delia said.
“There is a need for somebody to be the conscience of this country. We cannot keep pushing at certain agendas at the expense of the exclusion of other who may need our help.
“Justice has to treat everybody equally. Democracy is more than the few minutes every five years that you spend on a vote. Democracy is not the tyranny of the majority. It is a fragile miracle that we must safeguard and strengthen.”
It was all well and good, Mr Delia said, for people to mobilize in the streets, but it was now also the time to think about what principles they wanted to guide them and to continue developing these ideas into proposals.
Repubblika said it wanted to contribute to the development of liberty and justice in Malta without becoming a political party, saying that a seat in parliament wasn’t necessary to effect change.
It would also be forwarding proposals that would serve to strengthen the liberty of expression and citizen’s right to be informed.
The NGO said citizens had a right to be informed and that wasn’t always possible in a media landscape where news broadcasters worked like propaganda machines.
It would also push for more protections for journalists in a proposal that would push for the outlawing of slapp suits and create penalties for claimants who file frivolous suits against journalists.
The environment also featured extensively in Repubblika’s proposals, suggesting the need for extensive reform of how planning applications, particularly big development projects, were decided, as well as demanding accountability from people sitting on planning boards.
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