Shadow Environment Minister Robert Cutajar has called for the resignation of the Planning Authority’s executive chairperson Martin Saliba for saying Malta must accept that it’s “moving into a modern era”.
“The PA head isn’t fit for purpose and he has literally given up,” Cutajar said in Parliament last night.
“He said we must accept that Malta is moving into a modern era. This is unacceptable! Are we ready to discard the country’s aesthetic characteristics because we’re meant to be in a modern era? We’ve lost all our values and Saliba must resign. We can’t just discard everything using the economy as an excuse.”
Cutajar was referring to an interview Saliba gave Times of Malta last month in which he compared development in Malta to the past development of Mediterranean “cities of the wealthy”.
“The country is moving into a more modern era, good or bad, and we have to accept it,” he said.
Referring to the destruction of houses across the Sliema seafront decades ago to make way for apartments, Saliba said that while he’d have preferred to see more quality buildings, the economy improved as a result of this development.
“Some beautiful houses were sacrificed along the way. But are we going to keep on looking back with nostalgia?” he asked.
Cutajar warned that public trust in the PA has evaporated because it is being led by “government puppets”, citing its recent approval of the db’s City Centre project in Pembroke despite storng objection from residents.
“I hail the majority of the PA’s staff, because there are genuine people who work there, but they’re not all genuine and I say this with responsibility. Trust in the PA has evaporated because it is led by government puppets; its a shame but its a reality.”
He said that Saliba and other “puppet” PA board members should therefore resign “because they are complicit in the damage that is being done to the environment in the country”.