Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has called on Malta to reject any and all political commentary peddling an ‘us vs them’ message, intended to sow division between Maltese nationals and their foreign counterparts.
Muscat told a political activity in Qormi that:
“Let us learn from this. Murder is something we should condemn no matter the circumstances. The victims of this crime were not doing anything wrong. They were innocently walking in the street and were shot in cold blood. Our national conscience should be bothered by this, and we need to learn so that we can effect change. We need to address and think about, me included, any prejudice we may have against other people. We should not accept to listen to the venom that is shared by some people in Malta. We need to hold to account anybody who is feeding a narrative of ‘us against them’.
Two soldiers have been charged with the racially motivated murder of Ivorian national Lassana Cisse Souleymane in Ħal Far last month. They have also been accused of the intentional hit and run on an African man in that same country road earlier this year.
Muscat said this tragedy is an opportunity to deliver hope for a change in perspective of foreigners and migrants in the future. He said that Malta should not shy away from the word integration, pointing towards the creation of ghettoized migrants in other countries.
“We need to understand that those who come to Malta must understand our culture, and we must understand where they are coming from too…We should understand each other and integrate. Integration – so that nobody will be isolated. We have hundreds, possibly thousands of Maltese families who chose to adopt black children. They are Maltese and Gozitan the same as us. We love these children the same as we love all our children. We want for these children to develop not with hatred in their hearts, but with Malta in their hearts”.
He acknowledged that specific actions that are anti-social should be called out, while also recognising that Maltese people are also sometimes guilty of certain anti-social behaviour.
Muscat told the cheering crowd that the country needed to show that “our heart is in the right place”, saying that the Labour Party will work intensely to see all Maltese and Gozitans become “little rich men”. He said that he wants to see today’s children live a better life than today, saying the government will continue to work to improve job opportunities and social mobility.
He then shifted his focus on efforts to spread the wealth being created in Malta. He slammed the PN for not fielding candidates in all localities of the local council elections, saying this was a strategy to discourage people from going out and vote.
Muscat called for the minimum wage to only exist on paper, and for all workers in Malta and Gozo not to be earning the minimum wage.
Front runner MEP candidate Miriam Dalli addressed the crowd, as well as fellow candidate Alex Agius Saliba. Both unreservedly condemned the brutal Hal Far murder and called on people to get out and vote in the upcoming MEP elections to deliver a message of hope rather than division.
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