‘Sai Mizzi not prepared, unfit to serve’ – Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil insists latest Gaffarena scandal smells of corruption; says Labour's politics is harming Malta's relationship with China

After meeting Sai Mizzi Liang, Simon Busuttil has branded the energy minister's wife as
After meeting Sai Mizzi Liang, Simon Busuttil has branded the energy minister's wife as "not fit and prepared to serve."

The Nationalist Party’s trip to China and subsequent meeting with Malta Enterprise’s trade envoy Sai Mizzi Liang appears to have left a bad taste in Simon Busuttil’s mouth, with the PN leader insisting that the energy minister’s wife is “not prepared and is unfit to serve her position.”

“After meeting this person [Sai Mizzi Liang], I can safely say that she is not prepared or fit to serve her position. Her mistaken appointment hindered Malta’s relations with China,” he said.

Speaking during a radio interview on Radio 101, Busuttil – who is on his way back to Malta following a “bizarre” meeting with Mizzi Liang – insisted that Malta’s relationship with China has experienced several shortcomings and controversies.

“During the first two years of a Labour government, Malta’s relationship with China has suffered, mostly due to the way the government handles its politics,” he said.

Busuttil’s main bone of contention was the appointment of Sai Mizzi Liang – Malta’s trade envoy to China who is enjoying a €13,000 wage.

“A serious country does not have a minister’s wife appointed to a public post … Her mistaken appointment is a complication Malta could have certainly done without,” he argued.

Citing Enemalta’s deal with Chinese state-owned Shanghai Electric Power, Busuttil also argued that the government’s lack of transparency is also hindering Malta’s relationship with China.

“In a meeting with Shanghai Electric that barely lasted an hour the PN learned more information about its deal with Enemalta than the government disclosed in two years,” he said.

The PN leader also said that China is not seeing the PN as a party in opposition but also a party who may be governing in the future. “The cooperation between the countries should be built on honesty and transparency, the Maltese government has not done this, but the Nationalist Party is ready to change tack and pave the way for the way things are done,” he said.

Turning his attention on the latest Gaffarena scandal, Simon Busuttil insisted that the Opposition would be putting all the necessary on the government for all the truth come out.

On Sunday, the Sunday Times of Malta reported that Mark Gaffarena was in negotiations with the owners of Palazzo Verdelin in Valletta last March to buy their property for €3.5 million to sell it to the government at a profit.

The PN leader said that the Palazzo Verdelin was being used as a police station, yet Gaffarena offered €3.5 million to buy two thirds of the building.

“Could anyone imaging wanting to buy a building used as a police station if not because he was already promised a sale. All the facts of the case pointed at one direction: corruption,” Busuttil insisted.

He was adamant that the Opposition will not allow this scandal to go on, and that it would be putting all the necessary pressure for the truth to come out. “The Opposition will not this to go on, we will do anything to uncover the truth and for political responsibility to be shouldered.”

On the party financing bill, Busuttil pointed out that the PN proposed a limit on the electoral spending of political parties. “The more parties spend could mean the more obligation they have with those who donated funds.”

“The government is refusing it because it has something to hide. This creates a lot of questions, there are a lot of scandals because the government is showing that it does not believe in transparency,” he continued. 

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