Government replaces ‘objectionable’ planning chairman

Outcry by ENGOs has led to the removal of controversial chairman.

Moviment Graffitti

Perit Simon Saliba has been removed from the Chairmanship of the Planning Board which sees applications within the development zone. In a statement issued by The Ministry for Planning and environment advising changes to the planning boards, Perit Saliba was substituted by Perit Claude Mallia who has extensive experience in planning decisions. Meanwhile, Perit Saliba has been appointed member of a regularisation planning committee. “Just as I felt the need to make changes in the Commissions in February, I felt that we should make changes in the current commissions. I would like to thank all members for their work in such a sensitive and important sector” said the minister Aaron Farrugia

Periti Saliba was heavily criticised by Moviment Graffitti for allegedly turning off the microphone of an activist during a hearing in public. According to Moviment Graffitti, the mic was turned off after the Planning Commission Chairperson, Simon Saliba, ‘deemed her intervention to be out-of-point’.

Subsequently, eleven non-governmental organisations have called for the removal of Simon Saliba from chairperson of the Planning Commission for obstructing the right to a fair planning process.

In a joint statement on Monday, the NGOs said that Saliba has consistently shown disrespect for residents and other objectors during sittings held at the Planning Authority. However, the Planning Authority later reacted saying that Saliba was being unfairly targeted.

Saliba has often openly and aggressively sided with the developers instead of fulfilling his role as an impartial arbitrator, the NGOs remarked.