Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing

Imagine what you would do if ...

In the peak of summer you receive such an email, exactly on the 7th of August.

I would like to inform you that my Permanent Secretary is in receipt of the attached correspondence from the Office of the Prime Minister.

In this connection your attention is drawn to the fact that on the basis of paragraph of the PSMC you may not hold the post of Secretary General with the Alternattiva Demokratika. Notwithstanding this, paragraph of the PSMC allows public officers below Scale 5 to avail themselves of unpaid leave in order to occupy a statutory post in the central executive of a political party.

You are thus kindly requested to inform either my Permanent Secretary or the undersigned of your decision on the matter. For your information the e-mail address of my Permanent Secretary is as follows:

Your early attention to the matter would be highly appreciated.

A few minutes later you receive this:

Dear Mr Galea,

Further to my e-mail which I have sent you this morning and my subsequent teleconversation pl note that the Office of the Prime Minister is awaiting a reply from you today.

Referred for further necessary action from your end, pl.

And so on the same day I replied as such:

Following your e-mail communication this morning, kindly note that I am forwarding this communication to the Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika Prof. Arnold Cassola.

I am sure that you understand that although communications between the OPM and your permanent secretary were dated the 17th July 2008; I am only being informed now through your communications yesterday and this morning.

I am sure that you understand that for me to take a decision on this very same day is unrealistic.

May I also ask for a clarification: Could you kindly scan for me what paragraph of the PSMC says exactly? Otherwise you may indicate from where I can access this information.

Moreover I understand that paragraph of the PSMC is irrelevant. I was forced to renounce my interest in applying for the post of College Principal for the sake of my love for country - thus being the secretary of a political party which represents 23,000 voters at national level, i.e. 9.4% of the whole population.

Your offices may
wish to be informed that for the service I am rendering to my country and to the 23,000 voters I represent, I am NOT BEING PAID A SINGLE EURO CENT by my party.

I therefore applied for the post of an Education Officer which is not "a public officer below scale 5".

As Ms Caruana Colombo stated in her request to your Perm Sec., I am currently a Teacher: "Mr. Victor Galea is substantively a Teacher on Salary Scale 9"

Thanks for your understanding and I appreciate further clarifications.


Victor Galea

c.c Prof. Arnold Cassola - Chairperson AD

Immediately I received this:

Dear Mr Galea,

Thanks for your mail.

I have referred its contents to Ms Caruana Colombo at OPM.

Paragraph of the PSMC is produced verbatim hereunder: Restrictions for officers inn Scales 1 to 13. Officers in Scales 1 to 13 are debarred from:

(a) holding office in party political organisations impinging on the political field. “

The above is referred for your information.

Barely 4 days later, I again receive this deadline:

Mr Galea,

Pl refer to the subjoined mail and your interim reply thereto.

It would be appreciated if you would give this Ministry a definite reply on the matter by return e-mail by not later than Friday 15 August 2008.

Thanks and regards.

But I did not wait for Santa Marija and replied as such, on the 13th of August, and sent a copy to the leaders of the Parties. Thus the Prime Minister was informed directly by myself first and not through the media as was reported by The Times of the Republic of Malta. I also informed Muscat (MLP) and the he also choose to remain completely silent even though I ensured that my correspondence reached him through his secretary Ms. Henriette.

Dear Sir,

I refer to your e-mail of the 7th August wherein you drew my attention to provisions of of the PSMC.

The said provisions states that "Officers in Scales 1 to 13 are debarred from:

(a) holding office in party political organisations impinging on the political field"

Subsequent to your letter and after carrying out the necessary checks it does result to the undersigned that I have been singled out for the implementation of these provisions of the Public Service Code when various other public officers have been permitted to hold office within the party structures of the Malta Labour Political Party and the Nationalist Political Party.

I consider that this is discriminatory in my regards and request that in view of your having permitted for years on end public officers to be active in the MLP and the PN you act in a similar manner in my respect.

I trust that you are fully aware of the political and legal repercussions of your discriminatory treatment and unprecedented actions in my regards.

I have always carried out my duties within the civil service in a professional, unbiased and apolitical manner and I consider that my political contribution is a free service to the democratic development of our nation.

Victor Galea

c.c. Prof. Arnold Cassola, Chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party

Hon Lawrence Gonzi, Prim Minister and Leader of the Nationalist Party

Dr. Joseph Muscat, Leader of the Malta Labour Party


Today, from the online version of The Times, I am told that the left hand does not know what the right is doing. Read HERE

So, I need to thank my wife for having lived through these dark times with me while listening to the petards and marches of Santa Marija and while we rejoice with our baby, and our hearts aching in silence. I also thank the people who celebrated with us the christening of our son and with the look on their face showing us that they understand what we were going through.

A big thanks goes to the journalists of Malta Today who publicised the story of political discrimination so the Maltese and Gozitan people realise what is really happening in this country which was supposed to have become a full member of the EU some four years ago. (See HERE).

I am grateful to Lino Spiteri, writer and ex-politician, for the excellent article he wrote in the Times of Malta. (See HERE)

I also thank all those that were brave enough to comment on the online version of The Times, revealing their names and expressing their opinion.

I thank also many other people who sent me personal messages of support, including those I have never met or communicated with before.

And the members and friends of Alternattiva Demokratika that together we fought to demonstrate what we should be living through in the 21st century.

I just hope that from this trauma affecting my family and I, some benefit will ensue.

I just hope you will pluck enough courage and realise that when it is YOUR RIGHT you should not be scared to fight for it.

I promise I will continue to do my work in the most dignified and professional manner.

I promise I will keep on struggling so there will truly be an alternative for the ‘democracy’ that we are witnessing today.

Thanks for the support and COURAGE.

Victor, Miriam and Savio


Dr Inġ. Patrick Attard said...

Prosit tal-Kuraġġ li kellek li tagħmel dan il-pass!!!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Victor and family on their successful claim for their own right of not being discriminated against. Cheers

Marvic said...

Sewwa jghid il-Malti li xi darba jew ohra z-zejt jitla' f'wicc l-ilma. Prosit tal-kuragg li ghandek li tibqa thaddan dak li temmen fih avolja hemm sagrificcju u tbatija. Nawguralek aktar hidma fejdiena ghal futur tal-pajjiz taghna u l-generazzjoniet tal-futur. Grazzi mill-gdid.

Brigitte said...

Dear Victor,
Obstacales are frightful things, so don't take your eyes off your goals!

Joseph Caruana said...

I feel admiration at the way you reacted and the calm manner with which you and your family responded. Now at this stage we all hope as Cassola is claiming that whichever legally obsolete provisions were being persued are completely scrapped.
Wish you the best for you and your family and hope it will all flow without harming your career.

Joseph Caruana

PS.Let's get back to work on Gozo ;o)

Anonymous said...

NIXTIEQLEK KULL gid wara il-battikata li kellek wara dawk l-kummunikazzjonijiet. Ghamel kuragg. Int taghati lilna il-kuragg li niddefendu id-drittijiet taghna ikunu xi jkunu id-diffikultajiet. Hemm min iridna nbaghtu.

Il-PM se jikkoregi strettament lill min ma qallux li se jghamel praspura Nazzjonali bhall din, Jew kollox jghaddi u jibqa ghaddejj, anke meta se jbaghati il-PM stess?

Pauline said...

Vic, prosit tal- kuragg u dan nammirakom kemm lilek kif ukoll lill Miriam, u tajjeb li kuhadd jibda jara dak li hu abjad aabjad u dak li hu iswed iswed u ma narwx il-kulur li jaqbel lilna. Jien nemmem li kull wirhed ghadu jiehu dak li hu bi dritt u nahseb li l-post tax-xoghol huwa dritt ghall kull individwu li jixtieq li jahdem hu x'inhu t-twemmin tieghu. Li taghti s-servizz tieghek ghall gid ta pajjizek ma jnehhilekx id-dritt tax-xoghol u li tghajjex il-familja b'mod onest u dicenti Nawguralek aktar success fil-hidma tieghek.

Victor Galea said...

Grazzi lilkom kollha u aghmlu kuragg halli uliedna jsibu pajjiz ahjar milli nafu ahna.

Meta nircievi mill-OPM (jekk nircievi) ninfurmakom u b'hekk is-sewwa jibqa' maghruf.

Anonymous said...

Dear Victor,
The minority govt. of GONZIPN is in
complete shamble. Their only interest is of going abroad and show off with other E.U. leaders.
No word regarding this undemocratic decision was commented
by the usual pn apologists the likes of: andrew, austin. daphne and the edwardian eddie. Keep it up victor, you showed one and all what you are made of.

Victor Galea said...

do you mean Daphne Caruana Galizia?

deirdremccartin said...

Bravo Victor Galea, Miriam and Salvio: you represent the vibrant layer of Gozo people who are determined that this unique island of Gozo shall be transformed through knowledge, commitment and humane action to foster growth,cultural celebration and development that can bring Plenty for all its citizens. As an artist inspired by your understanding that real democracy comes from DEMOS - the people, I hope that more and more will gather in action around the vision of Alternattiva Demokratika.
Deirdre Mccartin

Odette Mallia said...