Politicians and activists across the island are calling for the resignation of former Transport Minister and current Minister for Foreign Affairs Ian Borg following the revelation of a driving license racket by the Times of Malta.
“For this government, a vote is worth more than a life,” leader of the opposition Bernard Grech said.
This scandal involves pressure placed on Transport Malta (TM) by the Transport Ministry to help candidates obtain driving licenses. WhatsApp chats acquired by the newsroom even show OPM officials connecting the practice to wanting to win votes.
Similarly, one examiner was told that he would have to answer to the minister if a bus-driving candidate failed.
More chats revealed Borg, his canvasser, and his ministry regularly applying pressure on TM’s director of licensing Clint Mansueto to help candidates with their tests, some of whom came from Borg’s electoral districts.
Hundreds of candidates were passed on to Mansueto to fast-track their tests and for help to secure a driving license, according to the Times of Malta.
Chats further showed that some candidates were told not to allow their driving instructor to be present in the vehicle during the exam, to make the corruption easier to execute.
Requests for driving license aid ranged from an OPM VVIP client to candidates who lacked the skills to pass.
Mansueto, as well as two TM clerks, Philip Edrick Zammit, and Raul Antonio Pace, face corruption and trading in influence in connection with the scheme; charges which they deny.
It was reported that state officials would highlight names of candidates to Mansueto, who was prosecuted in August 2022, who would then assign those candidates to easy examiners or move them up the notoriously long and slow queue for a driving test. The two clerks allegedly complied.
In reaction, several politicians and activists alike are speaking up, calling for the minister’s resignation and pointing out the seemingly unavoidable corruption flowing through Prime Minister Robert Abela’s administration.
“The reports revealed today further confirm how far the Government of Robert Abela has lost its moral compass,” Grech wrote in a social media post.
Meanwhile, ADPD leader Sandra Gauci outright called for the resignation of Borg.
“The next step should be obvious. We are asking for Minister Borg’s immediate resignation. The country needs ministers one can trust and not people who are involved in criminal practices, vote-buying, and in facilitating corruption for incompetents close to them and to Labour.”
ADPD further pointed out the fact that the police have been sitting on this information for a year, calling Commissioner of the Police Angelo Gafa, as well as the Malta Police Force a “shield for the filth in Robert Abela’s Cabinet.”
Similarly, co-founder of Repubblika Robert Aquilina made a powerful statement against the government, condemning it for its widespread crime.
“We need to understand that our country is run by a criminal government. Yes, a criminal government. This is not a government that sometimes makes mistakes, but a government that, with a conscious choice, wants abuse, deception, and corruption.”
“Deception is the supreme policy of Robert Abela’s government. Deception is introduced into every sector of government operation,” he continued.
“A question to the biggest insurance of criminals in our country, Anglu Gafa: Will the minister Ian Borġ be arrested and questioned this morning?”
Meanwhile, PN MP Adrian Delia made a short and direct statement, saying that the Maltese government is one that endangers the lives of people on the road before hashtagging “tragedy Malta.”
Malta is known to have a high rate of traffic incidents, some of which have been fatal. Therefore, this racket, the second revealed in two months by the Times of Malta, is one of serious public concern.
Do you think that Ian Borg should resign?