Malta mourns 'il-Perit'

As news of Dom Mintoff's death broke, Malta paid tribute to the leader whose towering figure still creates division.

Saviour or anti-Christ, Mintoff’s towering figure will cast its shadow far beyond his death.
Saviour or anti-Christ, Mintoff’s towering figure will cast its shadow far beyond his death.

The news of Dom Mintoff's death spread like wildfire on internet and prompted flash news bulletins on the main television stations.

The news was broken just after 9pm yesterday evening by Labour deputy leader Anglu Farrugia who announced the former prime minister's death on Facebook. As online news portals carried the news, the internet was flooded with comments and tributes to the former Prime Minister.

Minutes after the news broke, Labour's One television interrupted its scheduled programmes and aired videos of Italian singer Andrea Bocelli's Ave Maria.

Minutes later, a visibly upset Labour leader Joseph Muscat was on One television paying his homage to Mintoff.

As scores of people started visiting Mintoff's residence in Tarxien, the television stations aired a series of documentaries and interviews with a number of politicians and commentators.

While One television carried interviews with former Labour ministers who served under Mintoff, the PN Net television ran a documentary portraying the 'dark years' of Mintoff-led Labour administrations.

National broadcaster TVM screened Where Everybody's Biografiji programme dedicated to Mintoff, produced a couple of years ago.

As Facebook and other social networks were swamped with video tributes and messages of grief, Malta Independent columnist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia posted  a blog entitled "Glory Glory Hallelujah" in which she said "Now excuse me while I rush out to celebrate."

This was met with a glut of comments on internet, condemning the columnist, who has never made a secret of her hatred for the former Labour leader, for her blog.

Mintoff has always been a divisive figure, eliciting both adulation and vilification throughout his long political career, spanning over 53 years.

Recently, Mintoff's figure stirred great debate following the screening of Pierre Ellul's docu-film Dear Dom.

The docu-film depicted Mintoff as a dual personality, a statesman with a sense of brinkmanship and vision but whose rule was tainted by authoritarian and despotic traits, a hero turned villain.

"il-Perit" will be long remembered for his social revolution, secularism and oratory skills as much as he will be remembered for his crackdown on the university, intellectuals and his collusion with corrupt and violent personalities within his party.

Saviour or anti-Christ, Mintoff's towering figure will cast its shadow far beyond his death.

Get MaltaToday's special edition on Mintoff, out today. Available from all newsagents.

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Prosit xifajk. Il-veru mara li hlief hdura ma johrog minn halqha u l-istonku taghha jekk ghandha. Jaqq tqallajt naqra il kummenti ta hdura li hemm fil blog imnitten taghha. Itik li tirremetti. Possibbli li il knisja nisranija li ghandna ma titkellem xej possibbli? Imissa tisthi jekk taf kif. Mara hadra u go gisimha hlief valenu ma ghandiex, u mhux demm. Ivvalenata hi u min qed jibbekkja. JAQQ X MONSTRU TA MARA MOQZIEZA TA VERU HI U KULL MIN JAQBEL MAGHHA.
Carras1 . U int taghti kaz ic-cwiec?
Aktar ma tohrog hdura u mibgheda kontra Il-Perit Dom Mintoff aktar nemmen kemm kien KBIR il-Perit Mintoff. Mintoff kien l-Akbar Nisrani li qatt rat Malta, sa ghamel paga lil qassisin, dawk li ikkundannah u maqdruh bhal mal-qassisin ghamlu fi-zmien Kristu.
@Carras1: Ignore her...she has already condemned herself. The best we can do is to pity her and maybe pray for her. Let us keep alive the good Mintoff has done and work on that...the rest is trivial.
Rita Pizzuto
It is not only Malta that is mourning Dom mint off, the statesman and political figure who dominated Maltese politics for more than half a century. This is the man who lifted the Maltese people from misery and made us proud that we are Maltese. He is the man who changed the course of history and gave Malta it's dignity, giving its people the pride and the stature to live among the world's best without any inferiority complex. He gave all the Maltese people the chance to shout to the world tha Yes, We Are Maltese. Then comes this bedevilled woman to express her hatred for such a great man. If there wasn't he'll, a one would be created to accommodate her. At least she can celebrate, but on her death, not even the worms would celebrate as they would find nothing but rotten bones. And she calls herself a journalist.
Perit you were and always will be my hero, from the bottom of my heart i thank you and salute you.You will always be in our heart.