The whole of Malta (and the world it seems too) has heard about or at least seen the now-infamous pictures showing the five Maltese ‘gentlemen’ playing with their moustaches, drinking Coca-Cola and fiddling around with their toe-nails, whilst sitting outside the local Courts. In case you haven’t (I very much doubt it), here is the photo:
These ‘gentlemen’ were brought to Court after assaulting another man during a brawl last Sunday.
These five oafs have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They bring Malta to shame and instead of going into hiding as I would have done, they further parade their ignorance outside the law-courts, all of them laughing and smirking, happy that they’ve made the local (and international) news, not realizing how stupid they look.
We can spend millions of Euro on educational reform, we can have all politicians preaching about changing lifestyles and habits, yet really has anything changed? Such a petty fine will surely not frighten any wannabe thug out there from doing what these men, or even worse.
Tighter laws and increased police surveillance might help solve the problem. We now know education alone will not change our ingrown cowboy instinct. For we are a country of cowboys. We ignore laws, we get angry if we’re told off for doing so, and we insist we’re always right. Take a driving experience. We think it’s okay to suddenly stop a car in the middle of the road to unload something or someone, without checking to see if there is anyone driving behind us. We think it’s okay to ignore using our indicator lights, and driving behind someone with our bright lights on is nothing that wrong is it. You’d think local wardens would insist on punishing these incidents, but no. They seem only intent on slapping out traffic fines to people for petty things. They don’t mind the cars blocking house entrances or other side-streets. They don’t mind the human gorillas driving bare-chested around the island and they definitely don’t mind the big goons ignoring the seat-belt rule.
I never have and probably never will understand the lack of enforcement of laws on this island. We have our laws, the majority ignore them, everyone seems to know of this, yet nothing is ever improved upon. I happen to live on perhaps one of the busiest squares on the island. Everyday I learn a new driving technique. Never stop on a stop sign, never give way even if you have to, never stop on a zebra crossing and whatever you do, don’t you ever bother about where you park – if you lock a car inside a parking space, that surely is not your problem. It is your car after all, and nobody ought to be able to dictate where and how you park your car.
I could keep going for hours, but I’ll stop for my sanity’s sake.
Enforcement works – living in England has shown me this. It’s just a matter of not being afraid of any thug out there and getting the job done.
I happen to write this post at a time when The Rock is being taken over by the Bigger Rock. The Maltese have invaded Gozo as is the normal thing for this time of the year. And so have the ‘hamalli‘. You hear them talking from streets away, you see them littering the streets, you smell their sweat for minutes after they’ve passed you by and you learn new swear-words by the minute.
Education does not seem to work for everyone. But for the love of God, let’s increase law enforcement, make stricter punishments and recognize the fact that we have not changed. We are still the land of cowboys, following the law of the jungle, obeying no one and doing whatever we want, whenever we want to. And we do so, because we know we can.