I will work beyond the disability sector, Oliver Scicluna tells the House

Newly co-opted MP Oliver Scicluna says he plans to work on a number of sectors rather than just disability

Labour MP Oliver Scicluna
Labour MP Oliver Scicluna

Newly co-opted MP Oliver Scicluna has told the House of Representatives his work will not only revolve around the disability sector.

In his maiden parliamentary speech, Scicluna, who was born with spina bifida and had occupied the role of commissioner for rights of persons with a disability since 2016, said that he plans to go beyond his former line of work.

The MP spoke about the country’s role in helping to push forward contemporary arts.

At 25, Scicluna was making headlines with his freestyle hip-hop dance routines on stage and in skateparks, as Jimbo Thinlegz.

He also taught breakdancing to young performers.

“I started from the streets, and today I have the opportunity to speak in the house. I remember how I used to fork out my own money in order to sustain my passion,” he said.

Scicluna said there are still a number of contemporary artists who have to rely on public funding in order to pursue their goals.

“We have to understand that art is not just there to be appreciated, but also to convey a message and help create an identity,” he said.

On disability, the MP recalled government’s work “in helping the sector to make big strides forward.”

“There is still more to be done, like the implementation of proper educational inclusion and alternatives to institutionalisation,” he said.

Scicluna also insisted that despite his disability, he cannot understand the realities of all disabled people.

“It is a mistake to put all disabled people in one group,” he said.

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