Malta’s Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci might’ve stolen the hearts and memes of thousands of people over the last three months, but if it were up to young MP Alex Muscat, she’d also be receiving the nation’s highest honour possible; the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika.
“Recently, we heard that the Mosta Local Council wants to bestow the Ġieħ il-Mosta onto her,” Muscat, who like Gauci is from Mosta, said during this afternoon’s plenary session. “But now, I’m going to take it up a notch.”
“I think the honour that Charmaine Gauci – and everyone and everything she’s represented – deserves is the highest honour this country can ever give to one of its children,” Muscat continued. “And I say this with complete responsibility; she deserves the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika.
“That honour was conceived as a show of gratitude to an exceptional merit. And if it’s not exceptional merit that Charmaine Gauci has shown, then I don’t know what exceptional merit is.”
“She represents this country’s fight against the pandemic, and the honour would also be a show of confidence in how this country has acted against the virus,” Muscat finished.
The Xikra Ġieħ Ir-Repubblika is the foremost exceptional merit in the service of Malta or humanity as a whole.
Notable honorary members of the xirka include Queen Elizabeth II, North Korean President Kim Il-Sung and Chinese President Li Xiannian.
The award has been the subject of numerous debates over the years, most recently in 2013, when it was given to then-11-year-old Gaia Cauchi for winning the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
Meanwhile, last weekend, Charmaine Gauci was voted by Lovin Malta’s readers as the nation’s Most Inspiring Person this year, winning a 2020 Social Media Award.
Alex Muscat, who recently took up the mantle of parliamentary secretary under the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement, took today’s opportunity to thank “whoever was involved in this symbolic fight”.
“Malta has come out victorious,” the young MP said. “We passed this unprecedented test with honours.”
Going on to thank the nation’s frontliners, Muscat elaborated on the fact that, beyond Charmaine Gauci and all of Malta’s doctors and nurses, there were “hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have been waking up on a daily basis to keep us all safe in this situation”, singling out the often-unmentioned roles such as those of hospital cleaners.
“Certain things will definitely change forever, and life post-COVID will never truly return,” Muscat warned, drawing comparisons with the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. “Certain new habits and regulations which have entered now won’t change, and ones like those promoting more health and hygiene are a good thing.”