LETTERS | Sunday, 14 October 2007

Gas plant hazard at Kirkop

One recalls the accident that happened at the gas plant in Qajjenza on 29 September, when residents had to be evacuated from their homes, and the one and only road in the vicinity had to be cordoned off.
Here, in the village of Kirkop, there is a gas plant as well, with the difference that if something like the Qajjenza incident (which was only a gas leak), had to happen here; apart from having to evacuate residents from their houses, which are as close as 70 metres from the plant, the roads which will have to be cordoned off are the branches from the intersection that leads these roads to the villages of Kirkop, Safi, Zurrieq, Qrendi and Mqabba.
For anyone who needs to travel to and from any of these villages, the only other access is a long narrow road from Hal Far, or another road (which is in a bad state) from Ta’ Kandja. So just imagine the outcome of the commotion this will create.
Apart from this, one wonders: will all this affect the airport as well, considering that the runway is just across the road from the plant? One has to bear in mind that during take off, planes create a flame.
The intention of all this is to draw the attention of the concerned authorities to consider the safety and peace of mind of all those who live nearby and/or travel close by this plant.
It is to be pointed out that this plant was built at a time after the vicinity was inhabited by residential homes; and this despite the advice that this was not the right site for the plant, as it is too close to residential areas and the intersection that leads to all the villages previously mentioned. But even though 96 per cent of people being against it, work still carried on.

S. Debono

PN deserves to win

I think, and hope, that the Nationalist Party should win the next general election with a greater majority. What makes me think so? Because the PN has been in office for nearly 20 years and for nearly 20 years successive nationalist administrations have served the country magnificently. Not perfectly, because perfection can be seen only in front of a mirror!
First the PN had to spend 16 whole years fighting for survival in the real sense of the word. Between 1971 and 1987 Malta was terrorised by a despotic government and the PN was the only shining light in the darkness. Then after that glorious May 1987, they first had to restore democracy and re-establish the rule of law. They had to squash the organised violence which had characterised the 16 years of socialist rule. They had to reorganise and build from scratch the forces of order who very often joined the criminals to suppress the freedom of expression and then they had to embark on an endless list of major projects that changed Malta from an impoverished police state into a prosperous and healthy democracy. The immense prosperity all around us can be seen by all. With such a track record there is no reason on earth why the NP should lose the election.
The Labour Party is already threatening the free press now that they are in opposition. Imagine what they will do once they are in office. After all we all know what they did to the freedom of the press when they were in office. The burning of the Times and the enclosed leaflet prove my point. But what about giving Labour a chance? Some did exactly that in 1996 and Labour made such a mess of the situation that it succeeded in losing some 1,000 votes in less than two years. About 15 votes a day! A popular adage in football circles is; never change a winning formation. This applies also to politics!
Last week I referred to Dr Mifsud Bonnici as Prime Minister. It was a typing error because he became prime minister a few weeks later.

Giov. DeMartino

Every life must be protected

I was surprised to see that a good number of people turned out to protest in favour of the gift of life while Dr Gomperts was conducting a public debate on the issue of abortion. These people project themselves as crusaders for the protection of the unborn child. However, such show of force is unfortunately never expressed on other issues which also entail defence of other human lives.
In fact, just less than a week ago, a solidarity demonstration with the Burmese people was held. None of these champions for the protection of life turned out. Hundreds of people are being killed in Burma as a result of the harsh military regime, but why should we bother about such deaths in Burma and for all the lives of all those human beings that are suffering as a result of wars and other atrocities? Why should we? Dr Gomperts is coming to Malta!

Chris Mizzi

Stop the politics of demonisation

The vile and personal comments made by Austin Gatt on the Leader of the Opposition during the PN general conference last Sunday deserve public condemnation. Dr Gatt is a cabinet minister. He should stop behaving like the worst of his canvassers. The electoral campaign is on. Let us commit to the battle of ideas, not the vilification of each other.

Edward Fenech
Alternattiva Demokratika Sliema


A unique species it is verily, whose protected status is so exceptionally well respected that it not only flourishes, but prodigiously proliferates in this place.
Indeed, it does so in such abundant numbers that it threatens to supplant the hitherto unassailable emblematic primacy of the fabled falcon, or even Il-Merill itself.
This ascendant specimen unquestionably merits special designation as an endemic breed: The Maltese Crane.
Oisin Jones-Dillon
St Paul’s Bay

Stuffed bird collections

A lot has been said and written about shooting protected bird species, yet nothing is being done effectively about it.
Protected bird species are shot for food by a few hunters but mostly these end up stuffed in a showcase.
My suggestion is, anyone having stuffed birds in his possession is to be registered with the Police, whether the birds are protected or not. If the number of birds is small, say, five or six, these may be deemed as being of sentimental value and to be registered, tagged and kept without a collector’s licence. Anything above that number are also to be tagged and registered and the owner to pay a hefty collector’s licence.
Such collections to be examined from time to time to check for any additions, and that applies also to non-collectors who only have a small number of stuffed birds.

C. Borg

Where are those animals?

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our country, as well as the various organizations and authorities within it, is so animal-unfriendly in words as well as in deeds.
I am referring to the latest episode of animal cruelty that has taken place – this time, at the Razzett tal-Hbiberija, where a good number of animals, many of which were exotic, were reportedly stolen.
Hardly anyone has spoken out to condemn this latest act, from the animals’ point of view – various bodies which are supposedly the guardians of animal wellbeing in our country were very conspicuous by their silence.
Animal lovers surely need to know what action has been taken and is still being taken by the police regarding this serious matter.
Furthermore, one should also investigate whether the authorities at Razzett tal-Hbiberija were responsible enough with the animals that were under their care.
It is true that it is, indeed, a pity that the young children making use of the amenities of the Razzett are now bereft of the animals that are so important for all kinds of therapy. However, I am very disgusted that the Razzett tal-Hbiberija’s short comments were simply directed at the loss that the young patrons have suffered because of the theft. Not a single comment was made about their worry as to where these animals are now. Or about the deer that was savagely killed.
It remains to be said, and with emphasis in my opinion, that animals are not simply a means to an end but they are an end in themselves – they are sentient beings as much as you and I are. Hence, it is simply not enough to see that these animals are replaced as if nothing has happened.
Before any animals are used by Ir-Razzett again, its authorities have to see that there is the necessary level of security around the premises in which the animals are kept. Preferably, there should be an overnight watchman to oversee the safety of said animals.
The competent authorities must not give up their search to retrieve the animals and to bring the culprits to justice: particularly in view of the atrocious death of one of them, a deer, a gentle and beautiful animal, which I, for one, have never seen in real life.
Is there anyone out there who wonders where these animals are? Surely, in a small country like Malta, it is not easy to harbour these exotic animals in one’s yard or garden, without the neighbours getting to know about it. Unless, of course, these animals are being kept in some isolated farm or garage till the hue and cry dies down.
But then again, what hue and cry?

Franco Farrugia


A delightful service

I recently used the seaplane to Gozo and found it a delightful service. It was quick, easy, no fuss, no long queues and just ran like clockwork. Normally I would be driven from the airport and then the ferry and it makes it a longish journey after a flight, so the seaplane is a welcome change.
The people executing the service were so pleasant so helpful and booking via email was simple. The flight itself was wonderful and the views flying over Malta were superb. I enjoyed it much more than the helicopter as you can see the scenery so much better and the photographic possibilities are enormous.
The take off and landing are just so smooth and the comfort of the plane, although small, is fine. I thoroughly congratulate Mr Azzopardi and his staff for a wonderful service and look forward to meeting them all again soon.

Lynda McWilliam

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