Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.

 

 

Ittri lil The Times u The Sunday Times

 

L-ewwel haga halli naraw matul is-snin kemm dawk li jghidu li jirrispettaw l-opinjoni politika diversa, kellhom post fil-gazzetti taghhom ghall-ittri tieghi. Il-persentaggi li gejjin huma tal-ittri li gew ICCENSURATI TOTALMENT u ma gewx ippubblikati.

 

 

Tistghu tinnutaw li minn meta tela' l-PN fil-gvern fl-1998 il-policy ta' The Times saret aktar harxa kontrija u anqas hanina lejn kritika lill-Partit Nazzjonalista. Uhud mill-ittri ippublikati fil-fatt gew imbiccra b'tali mod illi gieli s-sens taghhom intilef. Jien xorta inkludejt dawn l-ittri bhala li gew ippublikati.

 

Fis-snin tmenin meta suppost konna "ghar", l-editur kien ghalinqas jibghat acknowledgement ghall-ittri li jircievi. Fil-fatt ghandi kollezzjoni taghhom. Meta suppost ghamilna pass il-quddiem taht il-PN, l-editur l-anqas din l-acknowledgement ma baqa' jibghat. Dak rispett!!  L-anqas xi haga bazika bhal din ma ried jaghmel.

 

L-ahhar ittra tieghi li dehret f'The Times kienet dik ta' Marzu 2002. Imbaghad ...

 

Ktibt ittra fil-11 ta' April kontra l-bastimenti qerrieda li qed jithallew jidhlu fil-portijiet taghna. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fit-18 ta' April u tlabt kjarifikazzjoni mill-ministru Joe Borg wara akkuzi kontrih. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fit-13 ta' Lulju dwar min bejn Dr. Fenech Adami u Dr. Sant izomm kelmtu. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fil-5 ta' Settembru fuq il-krizi fil-gudikatura Maltija. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fis-7 ta' Settembru rigward l-attitudni tal-gvern wara l-kritika tal-Ombudsman. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fid-9 ta' Settembru rigward il-glorifikazzjoni li The Times ghamlet lil Dr. Fenech Adami. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fil-15 ta' Settembru rigward Dr. Austin Gatt u kif hadha bi kbira li magistrati jmorru jiddevertu. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fl-24 ta' Ottubru rigward dak li qal l-ex Ambaxxatur Franciz Didier Destremau. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fil-25 ta' Ottubru rigward li Romano Prodi u Censu Tabone ma jaqblux bejniethom. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fis-27 ta' Ottubru rigward burokrazija zejda mill-Housing. ICCENSURATA

 

Ktibt ittra fil-31 ta' Ottubru rigward in-nefqa enormi ta' Lm31,460 f'mobile phones minn erba ministeri. ICCENSURATA

 

HDAX il-ittra miktuba minn persuna wahda ccensurati minn The Times f'disa xhur. Kien ovvju li kont qieghed nahli l-hin nibghat ittri ghall-pubblikazzjoni f’The Times. M'hemmx post ghall-kritika kontra l-gvern anke jekk il-kritika hija ggustifikata, kien hemm ir-reputazzjoni ta' Dr. Fenech Adami fin-nofs u The Times tibqa l-forcina tieghu. Il-PN qatt ma kien jaqbillu jitlef l-appogg ta' The Times. Fuq dan ma baqa' l-ebda dubju.

 

 

 

Ftit ftit sejjer nippublika uhud mill-ittri li gew iccensurati mill-editur ta' The Times. Ser naghzel uhud minnhom u mhux kollha ghax kienu hafna l-ittri li gew iccensurati. Ippruvajt nara x'hini r-raguni ghac-censura u dejjem wasalt ghal-konkluzjoni illi r-raguni bilfors hija li l-fatti jdejqu lill-editur kemm il-darba dawn il-fatti jwegghu lill-Partit Nazzjonalista.

 

Mela dawn huma whud mill-ittri ccensurati. Hallejthom bl-Ingliz kif miktubin originalment. Wara li taqrawhom staqsu lilkom infuskom, ghalfejn gew iccensurati?

 

 

 

26th December 1997

 

Sir,

 

I have waited five weeks for a reply form the Union Haddiema Maghqudin (UHM) to my letter of 17th December. Their non reply is typical of an organization uninterested in logic and facts. This is also proof (if ever it was needed) that the UHM is politically motivated in its actions against the Government. Whilst the UHM is fighting the Labour Government on the increase in the water and electricity rates, it had kept its mouth shut when we had a Nationalist Government and the situation was much worse.

 

I am sending you two water bills as proof of the huge increase in water tariffs in 1994 under the Nationalists. The first bill shows water consumption of 59 units at a cost to the family of Lm5.67,8. The same family then reduced its consumption to 55 units (see second bill) but the bill shot up to Lm22.64 which means a scandalous increase of almost 400%. I challenge the UHM to come clean and admit that this year's increase is nowhere near to that which we had suffered under the Nationalists. If the recent increases have eroded our spending power and reduced the standard of living what on earth did the 1994 rates do?

 

The UHM isn't doing itself any favors acting the way it is and the court ruling that its actions at the Freeport were illegal and abusive shows just to what extent this union will go, to fight the PN's battles.

 


 

16th April 1998

 

Sir,

 

Your continuous barrage of criticism against the Government over the water rates issue is expected, taking into account The Times incessant anti-Labour campaign that has lasted decades. In this respect you are very consistent and I congratulate you.

 

Your readers are however entitled to know that my letter of 26th December on the same subject was completely ignored and I must conclude that it must have been thrown away. The reason is quite simple, in that letter I showed without any doubt that the water rates under the Nationalist Government had in fact shot up by far more than the proposed increase announced by the present Labour Government. I had also sent copies of water bills to prove this and I guess it was this that must have scared you most.

 

If there is still any decency left within The Times administration you should come clean and without admitting anything, at least publish the bills I had sent. Only this way can your readers be in a better situation to judge for themselves how wrong the Nationalist Party is in attacking these rates when it had done much worse when it was in power. In the meantime all your editorials, reports, and comments continue to show your inability to give your readers unbiased factual information that they deserve and which you are obliged to deliver.

 


 

26th April 1998

 

Sir,

 

The President of the Association of Local Councils, Dr. Ian Micallef, appealed (The Times 25 April) to the government to respect the opinion of the Valletta community by taking into consideration the result of the referendum. He said the result would reflect the citizen's voice.

 

The Valletta Nationalist Mayor urged voters to vote against the Government's proposals while the Labour Party described the referendum as a farce and urged voters to boycott the referendum. Voters had three whole days to vote. There were 6755 people eligible to vote. 2,225 voted against the Government's proposals, 106 voted in favour and 4,404 boycotted the referendum.

 

The moment the results were known. Mayor Hector Bruno said he was satisfied with the result. It's also good to know that Mr. Bruno has complained of lack of funds to hold cultural activities in Valletta, but still went ahead and spent the Lm3,000 required to hold this farcical referendum. Mr. Bruno is a very well known comedian in Malta.

 

As to Mr. Micallef, yes he is right, our Prime Minister should respect the opinion of the Valletta community. OK then, the citizens and traders have spoken and now Dr. Sant has the clearest of mandates for the millenium project. Please go ahead as planned.

 


 

5th June 1998

 

Sir,

 

It's a funny business this Maltese journalism!

 

You came out against the dismissal of Mr. Ray Bugeja following his paper's personal attacks on Dr. Alfred Sant and in doing so you condoned this type of gutter journalism. I am therefore baffled by your persistent vicious censoring of my letters, which can be described as extremely mild by comparison. I guess your motive must be that I target the Nationalist Party. Right?

 


 

6th September 1998

 

Sir,

 

October 1996 and the then outgoing PM, Dr. Fenech Adami, till the end insisted the election was a photo-finish and did not even hint of a defeat even though he knew that the electorate had given him a huge thumbs down.

 

September 1998 and the outgoing PM, Dr. Alfred Sant, early on realized the MLP had lost the election, promptly called on the President, gave his resignation and informed the media that his party had lost.

 

No further comments needed.      

 


 

18th July 1998

 

Sir,

 

The more I hear about the water rates, the more I realize how short sighted and forgetful the Maltese are. This being my third attempt at showing the other side of the coin, I hope the editor will finally relent and allow this letter to pass through to the readers. What I want to say is very simple. People making all this exaggerated fuss about the new rates should be more disciplined and open minded and understand the disastrous state in which this Government found the Water Services Corporation when it took office. What one also has to remember is that the Nationalists had in 1994 increased water rates by up to 400 to 500 per cent. Even after such a gigantic increase in rates, the Water Services Corporation was still facing huge financial difficulties in October 1996 when the PN was kicked out of office. Compare this with the Labour Government's attempt at putting the corporation back on its financial feet through increased rates inferior to those of 1994. And here is the vital point. The Labour Government had no choice and if one had to point an accusing finger it has to be at Dr. Fenech Adami who let the W.S.C. and other corporations, parastatal companies and government departments crumble under the weight of the huge losses they were making through mismanagement, bad planning, abuses etc.

 

Still not convinced? OK let me end by reminding everybody that the water rates under the Nationalists had gone up so much that the chairman of the W.S.C. at the time admitted that "The new water rates are probably proving to be the best form of water conservation ever in Malta". This was in June 1995 under the Nationalists and do you know why he said this, it was because we were forced to make every drop of water count because we could'nt, just could'nt afford to waste water... not with those new rates. Come on P.N. grow up and admit your faults.

 


 

8th September 1998

 

Sir,

 

That the Nationalist supporters celebrate their victory is expected and very normal but they have overdone it so much that it made their party sick enough to tell them to stop. If only celebrate they did, there would have been no reason to complain much but the destruction they left behind, although less serious than their 1987 rampage, should be condemned.

 

Billboards were overturned with heavy equipment, many of them were set on fire (I actually saw one being set ablaze at Bahar ic-Caghaq by Nationalists jumping with joy at this successful show of unity), obscene words everywhere, paint thrown on Labourites' cars and others ended up with smashed windscreens, dents and even burnt. MLP clubs were attacked and shots fired. But I was speechless by the senseless demolition of a towing-zone sign (tow zones were introduced by Labour), the driver must have then carried the sign (pole included) to his car and towed it as he drove around the streets showing off his prized possession. These people would be comfortable in a mental asylum but it is a prison cell that they deserve. In the evening I turned to Net TV and I was told that "in-Nazzjonalisti missew ftit billboards". Net TV stopped short of telling us that they used tweezers. Have any of these Nationalist criminals been booked? It shouldn't be too difficult, the police were watching them.

 

Do I blame anyone for this violence, yes, the Nationalist leaders for instilling a sense of hatred against Labour but especially against Dr. Sant. After their electoral victory, they continue excelling in arrogance. Just look at Lou Bondi's article of 8th September. Articles like these should be a source of embarrassment to their writers, but then Lou Bondi is not easily embarrassed not when he can use The Times as he pleases. Not to be outdone, John Dalli on Radio 101 on Tuesday morning showed that being arrogant can be an asset if you want to get elected.

 

And the police officers who left no one doubting their Nationalist convictions. A serious police commissioner would ask for action against those officers who, in full uniform, instead of saluting their prime minister, applauded, shouted and shook his hands ... on the steps of Castille. And those officers driving police cars waving PN flags and sounding sirens to add to the merriment and those shouting pro-PN slogans on police radios and those who put up PN flags on police stations.

 

And the shameless divers who went down to Um El Faroud still showing the signs of the explosion that killed nine Maltese dockyard workers. They used the ship in their celebrations. Have they no dignity? When will all this Nationalist arrogance stop? Or has it just begun?

 


 

15th July 2000

 

Sir,

 

I have just finished reading the reports in The Times of 15th July, reports related to the Kalaxlokk dispute. My first reaction was to disregard everything, after all it is all a matter of deja vu but then I thought that would be too convenient.

 

In a nutshell the story goes like this. Dr. Fenech Adami's party promised Kalaxlokk workers that their job would be secure under his leadership. As has happened before it was just a vote-catching exercise. These workers are now being threatened with redundancy and have not been paid for weeks. Unfortunately an inconsiderate Nationalist MP decided to tell them that they do not have the right to eat! I guess it was this insult that triggered the protest in Valletta. And protest they did. Looks like some hot heads "attacked" a couple of journalists working for media well know for their anti-Labour stand. (One would have been silly to think they would have showered these journalists with freshly-cut roses). In a matter of minutes, the salaries of the workers started being processed.

 

The reaction. Out come the ever-predictable bishops calling for calm, prudence, patience, common sense and the lot. You see the call for all these virtues only came about when the protest turned a bit hot. The bishops never budged when the Kalaxlokk workers were returning home empty handed without money to pass on to their families. But it was all action-stations when blue-eyed people get roughed up. We've seen all this happening before, it's become a farce.

 

The Times day after day attacks the GWU for ordering the protest. But it has been careful not to accuse the workers for the state of affairs at their place of work. For The Times it is absolutely irrelevant that Dr. Fenech Adami promised the exact opposite to what he's doing today. For the workers and for the GWU it is in fact a point of departure. A promise is a promise, if we disregard political promises we might as well vote for no one and create an anarchy. The Times calls as unwise, street protests. This hardly makes sense when it was such a protest that led to the salaries being processed, and please a little respect for our intelligence. Don't tell us it was just a coincidence. Coincidence is when you happen to bump into a friend you hadn’t seen for years and who you had been thinking of only minutes before. Also The Times calls the GWU confrontational. Well if one asks oneself a very simple question, like for example who started all this? The Government which is bound by its own promises which it is breaking or the GWU which is reacting to safeguard its members interests?

 

Then there were J. Camilleri, Lou Bondi and Peppi Azzopardi who grabbed the first opportunity to show their solidarity with the journalists. Mr. Bondi and Mr. Azzopardi are not exactly under-privileged and don't seem to have problems receiving their wages. It's good that they condemned the "attacks" on the journalists but while they were at it, what stopped them from lambasting the Nationalist Government for bringing about this industrial unrest? Did the ink in their pens run out?

 

The Nationalists Party like clockwork goes for the pound of flesh. To hell with the Kalaxlokk workers and their families, what on earth is their suffering compared to a couple of insignificant incidents blown out of proportion for political mileage? I heard their report (?) of the incidents on Radio 101, and I waited to watch the blood bath on television and see the stomach churning pictures of bloodied journalists in the papers. Nothing materialized. Looks like what happened was so insignificant that it only made news because the "victims" were from the anti-Labour media. Marisa Micallef Leyson writing in The Times distanced herself from the workers, she preferred to remind us how she viewed previous Labour Governments. But with such illusionary recollections how can she be credible?

 

Then we had other "terrified" organizations coming out from hibernation just for the sake of making a fuss. I am referring to the CMTU and the pampered University Students' Council. How boring! All the pieces fall into place just like one big jigsaw puzzle.

 

At the end of the day, it is the worker who goes home battered and bruised fighting for what is his by right. Others from the safety of their niches have the cheek to lecture him on how to fight his battles.

 


 

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