Change of mentality necessary for good governance – Zammit Lewis

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Bringing about good governance did not just require a change of mentality for the government, according to Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis; the private sector also needed to follow suit.

Zammit Lewis was winding up debate on an extensive bill concerning the proceeds of crime. The bill was approved unanimously in its second readings, though PN MPs suggested it could be strengthened through the introduction of unexplained wealth orders (UWOs), allowing assets to be seized if their legitimate origin cannot be proven.

Earlier in the day, PN MP Claudio Grech said that he understood that introducing UWOs would require courage, but emphasised that it would render the existing bill into a very strong one.

In response, Zammit Lewis said that the bill was in any case a brave one which would help open a new chapter, before insisting that bringing about good governance went beyond laws.

He also highlighted that the authorities already looked into unexplained wealth in various cases, including when it came to social security benefits and criminal investigations.

Apologise and turn a new leaf – Fenech Adami

In his own speech, Fenech Adami argued that the various reforms that the government had introduced in recent months sought to rebuilt from scratch what had been destroyed in the past few years.

He highlighted that former PM Joseph Muscat had been chased out of office, and with his resignation on Monday, had now also been chased out of Parliament

But he lamented that the Labour Party chose to eulogise its former leader, highlighting Muscat’s dubious honour of being named man of the year in crime and corruption by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in 2019.

The government, Fenech Adami insisted, could not keep defending people like Muscat, stating that Malta was still suffering the consequences of the reputational damage he wrought.

“Apologise,” he insisted. “This country is in need of courage, and you need to turn over a new leaf.”