Partit Demokratiku urges Joseph Muscat to make immediate statement on national security

The PD's request comes a day after the US filed a host of criminal charges against the company and its Chief Financial Officers

On Monday, the charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with multiple criminal accusations
On Monday, the charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with multiple criminal accusations

Partit Demokratiku (PD) is calling on the Prime Minister to make an immediate ministerial statement in Parliament on Malta’s security especially in terms of Malta’s relationship with Chinese company Huawei.

This comes after the United States government filed 23 charges against Huawei and accused China’s tech giant of stealing trade secrets, defrauding banks and laundering money among other charges.

The telecommunications company has been blacklisted on allegations of corruption and espionage in many parts of the world a few months after the Maltese government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company with the aim of motivating research and development in 5G mobile connectivity and surveillance.

The government project Safe City Malta was set up through a public-private partnership with the same Huawei and is an advanced surveillance project across the island.

“Is our security, and that of Europe, under threat, considering that this global technology powerhouse has been repeatedly caught out as having different intentions from its stated objectives? Does Malta have the means to check on this and keep Huawei in check?" said PD MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott.

Safe City Malta director Joe Cuschieri, speaking to MaltaToday, dismissed any security concerns, insisting nothing will be left to chance as far as security is concerned.

PD quoted Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perception Index, which has downgraded Malta to the lowest ranking in this regard. Malta lost six points in three years and is down to the 51st spot, behind countries like Costa Rica, Georgia, Qatar, Chile and the United Arab Emirates.

"We had everything going well for us in this sector, having sailed through two financial crises. Why have we been pushed by our government into business entanglements with companies which other Western countries are expelling for security reasons? Our government has sold us lock stock and barrel in the name of its shady crony deals," said PD MP Marlene Farrugia.

PD said it was concerned with issues of security and has been for some time. Recently it has tabled two Private Members’ Bills in Parliament: one proposing scrutiny of the MFSA, eGaming and FIAU, and the other to combat international organized crime in Maltese waters.

“We are calling on the Prime Minister to make an immediate Ministerial Statement in Parliament on Malta’s security to make it clear in which direction the country is headed, and what threats are being addressed or otherwise ignored,” it said.