Tag Archives: Corruption Malta

It’s not a game: it’s serious business

Bernard Grech: Leader of the Opposition

Labour has been playing games in politics because Robert Abela doesn’t know better. This is why it is important to discuss the personal character traits of people in power because they help explain how and why they act accordingly. Having never worked an hour in his life, Robert Abela doesn’t understand the values of labour and struggle, so for him, politics is just a game that he plays for his personal and selfish interests completely oblivious and ignorant of the great impacts that his actions have on the lives of people and the future of our society.

By now it should be clear that Robert Abela has weaponised the tax department in his favour and has direct access to personal files and information of his critics and his enemies. He is using this information against his enemies in a selective and timely manner and in this way he believes he holds leverage on his enemies. As soon as Bernard Grech was elected Leader of the Opposition, Labour released his story on his alleged past tax offences. Rosianne Cutajar’s corruption case was treated as a simple tax issue instead of a serious and potential criminal corrupt act. Now, Labour has leaked the story of David Thake’s troubles with the tax department just in time when the Nationalist Party released a mega-package of bills on corruption.

The Labour Party is not a press agency and does not have the privilege to act as a publisher, and neither does it have the right to leak information selectively and only when it serves its own interests. You are either running a press and publishing business or you are trying to lead the country and if you are trying to lead the country you are supposedly busy trying to fix it not abusing the information at your disposal to attack your critics. Had Labour been so liberal and generous with leaking information, they would have leaked all the current corrupt arrangements with Electrogas and other private-public partnerships. Labour will of course, not do this, because Robert Abela isn’t able to comprehend the fact that he is not playing a game, but rather playing with the lives of ordinary people and the future of our country.

Meanwhile, David Thake has unwittingly sabotaged what could be an important and historic turning point for the Nationalist Party. I will not be the one to invoke my virtues over businesses having tax problems. Having tax problems doesn’t necessarily mean you were avoiding taxes or involved in wrongdoing either. And had the same standards been applied to the Prime Minister and his allies as well, David Thake wouldn’t be the only one taking the heat.

However, the size of the material infractions of David Thake’s businesses doesn’t allow him for a lot of excuses. You can not have your business affairs in a mess and at the same time try to run the country. A businessman entering politics should ensure to have his or her house in order. In addition, a failed businessman shouldn’t even dare to enter politics in the first place – I’m not saying David Thake is a failed businessman, but he has surely not projected any high standards in how he runs his affairs. Thake also knew that his affairs were going to be used against him, eventually and it was his responsibility to clear them as soon as he entered Parliament. Let’s not forget that one of the reasons why it was deemed to be obvious that Adrian Delia wasn’t fit for purpose as Leader of the Opposition was that his private financial situation was a total wreck of unpayable debts. Businesses can have their problems and struggle too but one would expect MPs to apply high standards to their own business as well. So, in David Thakes’ case there should be no excuses.

Yet, it remains also clear, that despite the attempted gamification of politics by Robert Abela, Bernard Grech is showing a great sense of maturity in the face of the biggest challenges and issues in society. As David Thake resigns from PN’s parliamentary group, Grech can keep focusing on what really matters: upturning the rent-seeking and corrupt structures in our society. Grech had also previously shown he is serious about corruption when he asked one of his mayors to resign over an alleged conflict of interest, although this resignation didn’t come out in the wake of Labour leaking any information. Now, Bernard Grech has done what Robert Abela should have done as soon as he entered office: present a series of legal reforms to address the current collapse of rule of law.

Robert Abela’s government is normalizing corruption by allowing previous corrupt contracts to remain in execution especially the Electrogas contract which is mired in Daphne’s blood and a large web of corruption. This situation alone is a travesty of justice, and completely abnormal. Miriam Dalli wants to convince us that it is practically normal for her to quote legal clauses when defending the current execution of the Electrogas contract, only that she fails to realize that now, as a Minister, she is not pandering to her “Prosit Ministru” crowd only but she is addressing the whole nation, and most of us are not impressed by people who recite legal clauses from memory when asked difficult questions.

Gradually,  Bernard Grech is positioning himself as the mature and normal person who is needed to run this country and alleviate it out of its political crisis in contrast to our Prime Minister who is only happy playing infantile games. The choice between who is the most responsible leader for the country is becoming quite apparent.

Normalising Corruption

Credit to MaltaToday

In order to understand Robert Abela’s government, one has to understand the mentality and the ideas (or lack of) of Robert Abela himself. As a village lawyer, Robert Abela is not a complex person and his politics are very dumb and straightforward. In my latest book, I give a concise description and definition of a robot bureaucrat which also suits Robert Abela perfectly well.

In a podcast with Jon Mallia, Matthew Caruana Galizia spoke about the undoing of Joseph Muscat’s corrupt regime. In practical terms, this means that previous corrupt agents and actors have to leave their government posts or resign from parliament apart from being investigated for their past actions. As of now, this process has been done exclusively by civil society and the Labour Rebels in 2019 as Robert Abela has shied away from rehabilitating the Labour Party’s image by conserving previous corrupt actors and agents within its ranks and in government positions. Konrad Mizzi’s resignation from Labour’s parliamentary group was an inevitable fallout of the 2019 crisis and not part of a cleansing act by the new leadership. Whoever survives the political and legal battle will remain in power as long as political convenience is not compromised.

Therefore, it is inevitable that there is still a clash against Labour and the government with those who still want to see a normal state and government. We are back to the days of Lawrence Gonzi’s mantra “go to the police if you have evidence for corruption”, which is the same kind of mantra which enabled John Dalli to be appointed as European Commissioner and eventually lead to the biggest political crisis in our history in 2019 after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia triggered the collapse of Joseph Muscat’s government.

This is why the Justice Minister is handling justice reforms instead of being hauled to court for the gifts given to him by Yorgen Fenech in what seems to be a prima fascia act of corruption, whereas gifts donated had influenced Edward Zammit Lewis in his opinion of Yorgen over the 17 Black allegations. At the same time, Rosianne Cutajar who took a bribe from Yorgen Fenech and defended him in her official capacity as a Member of Parliament has the audacity to sue me in court for alleging that she had slept with her corrupt partner. Audacity indeed, only it is the boldness of a stupid sheep which may very well be slaughtered.

For your perusal, I will simply attach the lines of the criminal code which dictate the law on bribery and corruption. Let this sink in.

115. (1) Any public officer or servant who, in connection with
his office or employment, requests, receives or accepts for himself
or for any other person, any reward or promise or offer of any
reward in money or other valuable consideration or of any other
advantage to which he is not entitled, shall, on conviction, be liable
to punishment as follows:

(a) where the object of the reward, promise or offer, be to
induce the officer or servant to do what he is in duty
bound to do, the punishment shall be imprisonment for
a term from six months to three years;
(b) where the object be to induce the officer or servant to
forbear from doing what he is in duty bound to do, the
punishment shall, for the mere acceptance of the
reward, promise or offer, be imprisonment for a term
from nine months to five years;
(c) where, besides accepting the reward, promise, or offer,

the officer or servant actually fails to do what he is in
duty bound to do, the punishment shall be
imprisonment for a term from one year to eight years.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code or of any
other law, when the offence against the provisions of this article is
committed by a person who, at the time when the offence was
committed, held the office of Minister, Parliamentary Secretary,
Member of the House of Representatives, Mayor or Local
Councillor and the offence involved the abuse of such office, the
provisions of Title VI of Part III of Book Second of this Code shall
not apply to the said person or to any accomplice.

Click to access Criminal%20code.pdf