There is not one country on Earth in which corruption hasn’t reared its ugly head: it’s no secret that, wherever there are humans, and whenever there is the possibility of accruing money or gaining power, some will become unscrupulous.
So much has happened on these islands over the past fifteen years that it’s become practically impossible to say when it all started. There is no definite point; this isn’t like a war where people can say this was life before and this was life after. It was a process to which many of us shut an eye to, were oblivious to, or even gained from.
All the reasons in the world… And now look where it’s got us.
- Because the destruction of our own beautiful architecture in exchange for soulless high-rises wasn’t enough;
- Because the rape of our countryside for the sake of more petrol stations and wider roads wasn’t enough;
- Because buildings collapsing without casualties wasn’t enough;
- Because all the money our economy has allegedly benefitted from through the destruction of our heritage, environment and national identity wasn’t enough;
Now we have a dead woman and a homeless family left to grieve her.
No sense of accountability!
You know, it’s incredible how, in such a tiny country like ours, there is no sense of responsibility or obligation towards others. We all seem to live in isolation, in a world in which we are the be-all and end-all: so long as I’m fine, I don’t give two hoots about my neighbours, the people living in my village or town, or my fellow countryfolk.
There is very little left to say which hasn’t already been said about Miriam Pace’s dreadful demise. People have already called it ‘murder’, they’ve already stated that the regulations weren’t properly adhered to, they’ve already pointed their fingers at the developers and the politicians, they’ve already said that our political apathy was a big factor in this tragedy. And, rightly so, I might add.
Will we take this lying down?
But there’s one final thing that we have to pledge if we don’t want what happened to Miriam Pace to happen to other hapless and innocent people: businesspeople in this country need to be shown their place. Being a businessperson with money to burn and ample influence should not make you better or more able to get what you want in spite of the laws that are there to protect citizens. We need to stop accepting the fact that rich and powerful people get off scot-free for their crimes and remember that, under our Constitution, we are all equal.
Finally, we also need to demand real change from those who govern us: how can an architect be able to decide whether a proposed project is safe and sound if the very same architect is also an investor in the same project? How can developers who have caused someone else’s house to come tumbling down get away with not providing those people with lodging and a new property? How can justice ever be served if we pretend that all this began with Miriam Pace’s tragic killing and not years ago when people started taking advantage of everything and everyone they could?
For this reason, I am signing Newsbook.com.mt’s petition. Will you?