Franco Debono, criminal lawyer and former MP who formulated various reforms, has challenged the Maltese population to find a clip of him speaking about his vote in the 2012 Budget broadcast on PBS of at least 10 minutes in length.
The clip should feature Debono’s version of events, where he is giving his comments to PBS explaining in detail the reasons for the stand he took in that vote, a vote that eventually led to a Budget that was not passed by Parliament – the first Budget not to pass since Independence – and that contributed to the downfall of the PN administration in 2013.
Saying that this clip has historical importance, Debono wants to find the clip in an attempt to enshrine his impact on one of “the most important votes in Malta’s history”.
However, there’s a catch – the clip might not exist due to the fact that PBS has not furnished a way for the Maltese public to access previous clips, unlike most national broadcasters. Though PBS has a legal obligation to keep the public informed, Debono has highlighted a lack in this service in the national broadcaster.
In his blog post, he explained why he wants to find the clip so much
“Everyone who lives in Malta knows the importance of those events, things that, among others, contributed to the fact that I still have police behind my door.”
“We are living in an information era where we are bombarded with information, even about the most frivolous things. Now, I am offering two airplane tickets for free to Rome to anyone who can find this clip of ten minutes on PBS where I explain to the Maltese people, for my benefit and even more-so the benefit and information of the Maltese people, the reasons why I took the position that I did in that vote.”
However, he has a grave warning for anyone who cannot find the clip online
“If you don’t find the clip you should begin begin fearing living in this country because that means that things in certain spheres have not only not changed, but have gotten much worse.”
“Would it have ever passed through your mind that you wouldn’t find this clip in the information era? If you find this clip, I’ll tell you why, and if you don’t find it, I’ll tell you as well.”
“This vote was over five years ago… obviously, this vote opened me and my family up to risks and dangers and the fact that I was never given the opportunity to explain why I took that vote could have exposed me to even more danger, especially in the time around the episode itself.”
“Obviously, since that day, 90% of the Maltese population knew I had a reason – but that is not the point.”
“The flights to Rome are with return, obviously. This is not a joke – whoever finds me the clip gets the tickets.”