Marlene Farrugia defends short-lived stint as voluntary minister assistant

Labour MP Marlene Farrugia defends her short-lived decision to take up unpaid assistant role besides her partner, health minister Godfrey Farrugia.

Marlene Farrugia
Marlene Farrugia

Government MP Marlene Farrugia said her decision to become assistant to her partner, the health minister Godfrey Farrugia was motivated by her willingness to make her part for the country.

Farrugia described the cross-party consensus on the 2013 budget as a "personal triumph," explaining that he started off her political career within the Nationalist Party's ranks only to switch sides and eventually be elected as a Labour MP.

"I left my clinic behind and fulfilled what I thought was a call of duty and gave my contribution within the health ministry," Farrugia said in defence of her controversial but short-lived stint as an unpaid assistant by the side of her partner, health minister Godfrey Farrugia.  

She added that she was motivated by her urge to fulfil Labour's mantra 'Malta for all' and stressed that each and every MP must contribute in the country's quest to improve the country.  

Last week, Farrugia decided to abandon her role, after saying that she feared that the "excessive attention" her role had attracted would undermine the work of the ministry.

MaltaToday had revealed that it was Farrugia who asked the Prime Minister that she be allowed to lend her assistance to her partner Godfrey Farrugia, the health minister.

Comments from the OPM's spokesperson contrasted statements by Farrugia herself, who insisted that it had been Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who assigned her the role when quizzed by the press on Monday on her unpaid assistant's role to the minister.

Farrugia added that this spirit of consensus should be built upon, calling on both the government and the opposition to focus and cooperate on the creation of jobs and economic growth, which were the foundation of all budgetary measures. 

Later, the Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia, held his first speech in Parliament and his first thoughts went to his partner, his Zebbug constituents and his patients, thanking them for their constant support.

While thanking his predecessor Joe Cassar for his efforts, he went on to defend his decision to set up an office at the emergency department at Mater Dei hospital and Marlene Farrugia's voluntary role within the ministry.

"I set up an office at the emergency department to be close to the workers and to be accountable, instead of taking up office on the fourth floor of the administrative building or in the ivory tower."

On his partner's brief role by his side, Farrugia said that critics should be ashamed for failing to recognise the importance of voluntary work.

it is evident that no amount of trashing will get diehard gonzibusuttilpners come to their senses. they have now embarked on a hate campaign against a member of parliament who offered her services voluntary in order that they heath services will be improved. shame on you........keep the good work dr farrugias the country needs you
MIN TILEF FL-AHHAR MILL AHHAR? IL-PAZJENTI MALTIN! Min hu kuntent issa, min hu ferhan? Min jixtieq id-deni u MHUX IS-SAHHA TAL PAZJENTI! Ma jahmlhux jaraw il-xi had jahdem U JMEXXI IL-QUDDIEM!