The Malta we want | Bernard Grech

Let’s have the courage to change direction, to say ‘that’s enough, we want something better’

Think about the Malta you want to live in.

A Malta based on fairness and opportunity, where drive, ideas and hard work are rewarded, rather than connections to the ruling elite.

A Malta of clean, green towns and cities, quietly buzzing with life and possibility. Yet one whose natural spaces are effectively protected, restored where necessary, and widely and respectfully enjoyed by its citizens.

A Malta in which development is not at odds with our environment, but serves to enhance it, focused on long term sustainable growth and not just turning a fast buck.

A Malta plugged into Europe and the rest of the world, open to the future and contributing to the latest trends and developments.

A Malta that is respected internationally again, punching above its weight and attracting the best investment. Whose officials are known to be tough, serious negotiators who get things done, and get them done right.

A Malta where everyone – teachers, nurses, social workers, journalists, professionals, employees, blue collar workers, civil servants – can do their work in a respectful, fair environment. Where small businesses and the self-employed are allowed to work in peace, confident that they operate on a level playing field. Where competition is fair, tenders are transparent, and disputes are mediated efficiently.

A Malta in which people’s diversity is valued and allowed to enrich us, where everyone can contribute according to their ability. Where progress is measured in terms of human happiness, and no one is left behind.

A Malta where public servants, politicians and political appointees are held to account. Where justice is served without delay, where public institutions operate competently, independently and without favour.

A Malta in which citizens and civil society are routinely consulted, listened to, and relied upon to improve the legislative and regulatory process.

A Malta that your children will be excited to call home, instead of one that they plan to make their escape from as quickly as possible, as too many do right now.

This is the Malta that I want to live in. Unfortunately it is not the Malta that we currently have. If we want this Malta it is not enough to wish for it, or to grumble about all the things that are not going right. We have to work for it, to fight for it, to build it together.

And next week, we have to vote for it.

In many respects we have lost sight of our values, traveling fast, but in the wrong direction. If we keep going we will get even more lost, even further away from where we want to be, from the Malta that we want.

Let’s have the courage to change direction, to say ‘that’s enough, we want something better’.

Let’s make that choice, roll up our sleeves and get to work.

I am ready to do my bit. And whatever you choose, I will remain with you, for Malta.