Minister Julia Farrugia should be more transparent and state in whose name she is proposing such laws, whether to safeguard the victims or help certain NGOs make money.

Yesterday, Malta Today gave us the story that Minister Julia Portelli is proposing to introduce what are known as measures against gaslighting as part of our criminal code. This may appear as an innocuous piece of news from our minister responsible for inclusion.

But when such news is published and supported by the mainstream media, one immediately starts smelling a rat. First of all, Malta Today reported this news straight away. Minister Farrugia made this appeal in parliament. It was the only news portal to report it a few minutes afterwards. This already gives the impression of a vested interest, hidden collaboration, and complacency between the inclusion ministry and Malta Today.

In her speech to parliament, Minister Portelli discussed her own life experience, stating that she was a victim of psychological abuse in a past relationship. Psychological abuse is known as gaslighting. Then, when reading what is being proposed, one is presented with the usual narrative that was employed in the past when gender issues were concerned. One starts reading about the need to push coercive control, offering training courses, and criminalizing what feminist groups consider psychological abuse circumstances. I’m afraid I have to disagree with these sorts of criminal measures as these will lead to abuse. But what I found more scandalous is that when the government states that there is a need for education, one finds the usual suspects – that is, the same NGOs and Foundations already getting the funds from this ministry – already proposing the same measures that Julia Farrugia spoke about in parliament!

For this reason, journalists need to start asking whether there were organizations and NGOs behind these proposals of Minister Portelli. Portelli did not mention names. She did not state that she has consulted academics or individuals. However, academics and individuals who are normally behind these types of proposals were in the past posting about the need for the state to introduce criminal legislation, amongst others, against gaslighting. This post below is a case in point.

For this reason, when Minister Julia Farrugia gives press conferences or delivers a speech in parliament to inform the public about legal reforms she proposes, she should be more transparent and state in whose name she is presenting such laws, whether to safeguard the victims or help certain NGOs make money.

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