Mallia: ‘No one will stop me from doing my job’

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia announces free screening of World Cup matches for 2014, 2018 and 2022 on PBS.

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia
Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia said "no one will stop him" from doing his job after Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi said Mallia was not fit for the job.

Addressing parliament on the budget vote for home affairs, Mallia said it had been his responsibility to visit the Corradino Correctional Facility, "contrary to my predecessor who, in five years, never set foot at the prisons".

He said this inspection had revealed that punch clocks and CCTV didn't work and guard dogs who were "pets".

"I embarked on a reform of the prisons which was left in disarray by the previous administration," he said, adding that the government's crackdown on drugs at the prisons was leaving fruition.

"We have a zero tolerance attitude towards drugs at the prisons and for the first time, effective security was introduced together with rehabilitation. Surprise urine tests also being carried out on CCF personnel and those who test positive are fired."

In a spirited speech, Mallia said no threats from the Opposition side will tarnish his determination and effect him in his role as minister.

He said, that the Faculty of Architecture was working on the design of a new wing for young offenders. Mallia said the overhaul of the CCF had also addressed the "daylight robbery" of the racket that had engulfed the prison's tuck shop.

"Looking forward, and with new enthusiasm, we have allocated an extra €300,000 for the home affairs budget," he said, announcing the setting up of new structures to assess inmates.

Plans include the maintenance of the forensic ward at Mount Carmel Hospital and the construction of a YOURS section. Another proposal was for private companies to outsource their services, allowing inmates to work for these companies from CCF.

A public call will be issued for a music teacher while the play room for inmates' children would soon be completed.

"Jason Azzopardi should wake up and start looking at all this positive work we are doing. He should wake up and inject a bit of life in the PN," Mallia said.

On the Armed Forces of Malta, Mallia said 24 soldiers took part in an EU operation against piracy off the coast of Somalia. For the second consecutive year, AFM's King Air was used for a whole month in a Frontex operation.

"This year the AFM saved over 2,000 persons caught out at sea," he said, adding that the AFM and the Police Corps joined forces in operations to apprehend criminal organizations.

During 2013, the AFM were involved in a number of capital projects both financed by the Maltese government and the EU.

"The government will continue investing in the AFM during next year and has voted over €40 million, an increase of €800,000 over the previous allocations," he said.

€230,000 have been allocated to send soldiers on several missions outside the country. For the training of the AFM, the government has allocated €340,000.

Among several other projects, the government plans on the development and the restoration of a hangar, previously used by the RAF. The project will cost €2.3 million and will be co-financed by the European Union.

Another €4.2 million, partly financed by the EU, will be allocated for the modernization of the building of the AFM's maritime base. €1.7 million will be allocated for the installation of new fuel storage tanks.

Mallia said that all World Cup games will be screened for free for 2014, 2018 and 2022.

"PBS audience will be watching 64 football matches for free," he said.

PBS and RAI also reached an agreement on the training and development of human resources between the two national entities. The agreement will include training for journalists, producers and technical experts.

Mallia said the government had clear visions for the film industry in Malta. The Film Commission has developed a new detailed marketing plan on an international level.

Measures include the reduction of red tape for permits and the introduction of a public private partnership for the development of a sound stage.

The government will for the first time allocate funds for the co-production of films, with a total investment of €1 million.

€250,000 have been allocated for the Malta Film Fund while further grants would be issued.

Mallia announced that once the land of the Rinella Film Studios is returned to the Lands Department - pending an appeals judgement - an expression of interest will be issued.

For the Civil Protection Department, the government has allocated an additional €215,000. He revealed that CPD members, under the former administration, used to be given second-hand protective uniforms from other member states.

The government was in the process of rewriting the Malta Disaster Master Plan.

Funds for the Police Corps have increased by €1,400,000. Among the projects planned for the Police Corps, Mallia referred to the completion of the Police Academy, the purchasing of new motorcycles, minibuses, dogs, SUVs and equipment to identify number plates. 

More in Budget 2014
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MM, I am sure you are capable of eating JA for breakfast. Please give a Jason some leeway. He is being pushed to the forefront in this sweeping negativity craze, so he will look bad in the eyes of citizen/voters that have eyes to see. That way, there will be one less contender (they cannot do the same to Chris, the wily ol'Gozitano) when the real Capo (adieu stepping-stool Xmun) is chosen from the PN reigning princes' families.
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I commented this morning on this post but for some stupid reason, has not been included. Surely you are not objecting to a different [email protected]
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Mr Minister you are in the enviable position that whatever you do when measured against the last twenty five year of so called Justice Ministers, you will be brilliant especially with your drive and super intelligence....I am sure you shall leave the opposition stunned especially since the opposition is a bunch of useless administrators
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Keep it up Dr Mallia. Tal PN jafu li f dan il qasam ghamlu dizastru u issa qieghdin jippruvaw ipenguk ikrah ghax qieghed taghmel xogholok
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Ma jahmluhx ghax qed juri d-differenza bejn ministru serju u tal-affari tieghu, u l-inkomptenti ministri nazzjonalisti li kienu responsabbli minn dan il-qasam !!!
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Well done and keep it up Dr Mallia
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(1)Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi said Mallia was not fit for the job. One longs to see Dr Jason Azzopardi debate Dr Manwel Mallia. One is convinced that Dr Mallia would shred Dr Azzopardi to pieces in any Court of Law. Any Court of Law refers to local Courts, the European Courts and even International Courts. (2)"land of the Rinella Film Studios is returned to the Lands Department - pending an appeals judgement". One asks cannot the appeals judgement be expedited as was in the case of ex Minister Chris Said some years back?
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"PBS and RAI also reached an agreement on the training and development of human resources between the two national entities. The agreement will include training for journalists, producers and technical experts." While RAI can be commended on most aspects of broadcasting, great journalism is not one of its strong points. The BBC would be a much better option where they can be trained to dig deep and ask awkward questions. The broadcasting system in Italy is very partisan and RAI, the national station is itself split into the party culture with RAI 1 being centre right, RAI 2 fairly neutral and RAI 3 heavily biased towards the left. The individual journalists on each channel, including a few good ones, tend or obliged to reflect those biases. That culture does not encourage great journalism. PBS on the other hand does not need any training in replying to emails, but yet they do not do so. Maybe Mr. Mallia can also ask PBS to reinstate the Radio Malta 93.7 on the net so that us that live abroad can hopefully keep in touch with Maltese affairs through a good national stations that reflects the whole national opinion. @symbolrate