Clean-up activist and Partit Demokratiku MEP candidate Camilla Appelgren has called out Prime Minister Joseph Muscat after he said that collecting garbage and toiling in the sweltering heat isn’t work befitting for Maltese people.
“As a child, I was told that I could become whoever, and whatever, I wished to be,” Appelgren said. “For sure I had some crazy ideas but more importantly, I had parents telling me that the professions I dreamed of were no less worthy than others.”
“During my early school years, I took extra hours helping neighbours cutting the lawn, walking dogs, babysitting or cleaning houses. It taught me to respect the manual labourers. It is a tough job.”
“Was I less intelligent because I didn’t dream of becoming a manager or a doctor? No. I had mostly straight A’s in school, yet what I ended up doing was becoming a diving instructor in Malta. A job you would see as less worthy, but you know what? That diving job together with my highest respect for manual labour, made me clean Malta out of civic pride.”
“Why not instead upgrade our system to make our cleaners be perceived as professionals? Give them tools to develop within their profession, just like in any other!”
The activist, who set up Malta Clean-Up, warned that Muscat has no clue about the concept of green economy or sustainability and that he divides the nation between high-paying jobs and lesser-paying ones based on the idea that everyone just wants to be rich.
“What do I want for the Maltese youth? I want them to fulfil their lives, be it being a street cleaner or a doctor, whatever they need to put food on the table or feel happy. We should therefore put our effort in enabling people residing in Malta to fulfil their dreams, across social status and origin. Adult education, support systems for the ones wanting to change career and so on.”
“Those workers in the sun are not for one second less worth than the doctors needing their garbage to be collected or the teachers educating our youth who take for granted that bins in Paceville are emptied.”
“I started my life working hard and my parents instilled civic pride into me. Yes, Hon. Joseph Muscat, I did end up being a manager and earning a salary a bit less than half of yours. Yet here I am amongst the cleaners of this country on a daily basis, as an equal.”
“I believe that leaders eat last. Leaders are humble. Leaders are the ones uniting and not dividing.”
“Hon. Joseph Muscat, you’re right. We don’t need foreigners to clean our country. We need every single resident to do it, every day, as a habit taught in every instance of their life. We need civic pride. And you’re not helping.
Hats off to the people in the sun; don’t you ever let anyone, not even our Prime Minister, dim your light!”