In light of what’s been transpiring these past few days, I felt compelled to express myself fully in writing as a concerned Maltese citizen and student, in what is supposed to be a democratic country.
Fear. That was the one thing that always held back my pen, even more so on public platforms such as this one. Fear of missed job opportunities – as a result of my studies about EU affairs & Politics – and fear of being rejected and resented further in the cultural and performing arts sector as a result of my open opinions about politics.
It is that same reasoning which has triggered within me a sense of rebellion, to speak about what should be just, since in retrospect I could never understand the argument of remaining silent about politics in order to safeguard my own interests, because in doing so I was only going to become part of the problem, the dust of which continues to be swept under the rug. Especially because this should not be a partisan matter, but merely about what is right.
Daphne understood this very clearly; she spoke so fearlessly to the point that she became society’s conscience. She did not abstain from bringing the truth to light, truths that even the very best of us feared to admit. Daphne was a woman, a mother, a wife, a journalist.
She was my inspiration and a source of information whenever I wanted to look at things from a more objective perspective. Her banter, wit and style is only one of the reasons that attracted a comprehensive amount of readers on the daily, and why people like myself looked up to Daphne with a sense of admiration.
Few people know that her work went beyond journalism. Her love of beauty and life was showcased very vividly in her publications of which the same passionate approach was highlighted, even when it came towards the love she had for this country.
This made her mission all the more painful due to the constant dehumanisation that she had to endure in an ongoing battle to expose the corruption and injustice that others were not able to imagine from those that the nation should be holding up to the highest standards of governance and political ethics.
Need I explain more on the current political situation we are facing today? The world is eyeing our every movement, and why? Because decisions failed to be taken from the very moment they were deemed necessary. A chief of staff and a prominent minister resigned three years too late, an obscene notion to even hear in an EU member state, when such allegations are brought to light – let alone evidence.
The fact that no action was ever taken shows that Daphne could not be vindicated for her findings and reporting, instead it triggered further impunity to the point that she was murdered – and those who murdered her thinking that they could get away with it due to the enormous atmosphere of impunity that was brought on the country.
You know that there is something wrong in this country when a memorial for a slain journalist is swept away in the dead of the night by a justice minister; you know there is something wrong when your very own parents worry at the thought of their son writing something like this, or the fact that trolls are hired in order to torment Daphne – even after her death – and her family.
Where are my fellow students? Where were you when the University students council held a vigil to commemorate Daphne – of which the attendance was abysmal. Where were you in the demonstrations? Do you realise that this is also your country and also your future?
There is something fundamentally wrong when a country is not able to think critically or worse when it is inflicted upon, even at University level by some students whose only interest is partisan politics. This is only brought about by the idolisation of people in politics and positions of power, without realising that you as a constituent are the one who actually gave them that power, and that you could also take it away very easily.
This country requires a radical overhaul; there are too many implications in this case by people who should be setting an example and holding prominent positions, with the sole aim of representing the interests of the nation and not to line their own pockets. What was done in previous administrations certainly does not justify what is happening today. Are we finally ready to speak up and do what is just and hold our politicians to account, whoever they are and whatever party they represent? You reading this hold the answer to this question.
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