A doctor and Cottonera resident battling his own serious illness has issued a rallying cry for residents to stand up and resist the American University of Malta’s plans to extend their premises.
“My life has passed me, and a lot of you know that I’m battling a serious illness, but I never gave up, I continued fighting day after day.”
“If we let this monstrous project take place, we will be remembered in history for handing them a walkover without resistance,” Dr Joseph Tonna said during a residents march against the proposal.
AUM plans to construct a dormitory and administrative building in a large open space by the Bormla Campus.
“Our ancestors fought and died to defend us, and now AUM has come and taken a piece of precious land, without any of us resisting.”
“Let’s not continue letting the Jordanians do what they want with us while we remain passive.”
“If we don’t speak up, no one is going to defend our interests,” Tonna said.
The march forms part of strong residents movement forming in the area, with citizens already holding a demonstration to show what the public space could do for the community if it were actually given to the public.
Despite the rain, many residents still turned up to make their opposition to the development known.
AUM’s plans to extend their Bormla campus were postponed last September following widespread opposition from the proposal, including stinging criticism from PL MP Glenn Bedingfield.
However, despite the PA indicating that it would refuse the proposal, signs for the as yet-unapproved application have already started cropping up.
The project has long been controversial. Having been handed the impressive Dock 1 building in Bormla after massive criticism for AUM’s Zonqor plans, the student population remains low.
Education Minister Evarist Bartolo even criticised AUM failing to deliver on promises to attract thousands of students within a few years.