Rosianne Cutajar is currently running as a candidate for the Labour Party in the 6th District. She is currently the Mayor of Hal Qormi, and has won awards for being the first female Mayor of Hal Qormi, as well as being the youngest female Mayor in the European Union. Ms. Cutajar currently presents the news review on One Radio, and is also a Labour Party activist, being the chairperson for education at NL (Nisa Laburisti). The Yuppie recently spoke to Ms. Cutajar about the upcoming election:
What motivated you to come out for this general election as a candidate?
From a very young age, at home and at school, I was taught to seek to make the world around me, the places where I live and work, better than I found them. Today, as an adult and a town mayor hailing from the teaching profession, that principle means for me working hard to create a more emancipated and better educated society. I say this responsibly — politics is the art of bettering people’s lives. Anything short of that is a misnomer. I am contesting these general elections because I firmly believe the time has come for me to put to use, especially to those who need it most, some of what I’ve been so lucky to receive along the way — from my teachers, from other politicians, from my own parents. Politics is a tool and a platform. Representing people in parliament means not only speaking on their behalf, but making sure that their lives are actually made better as a result.
In the forthcoming elections, I will be contesting the sixth and eight district. Following the 2012 and 2015 local council elections, in each of which I was elected with the highest amount of votes, my believe is stronger than ever that we should start to inject a new faith in politics. Politics should be an opportunity to deliver on creating a healthier, more equal, and more knowledgeable society.
What made you want to come out on your respective party’s ticket for this election?
Look — a politics that has its priorities right is never about partisanship, but about belief — in other words, picking what you believe to be the best and most effective place where to pitch camp, roll up your sleeves and start working. You cannot work hard enough, or happily enough, unless your heart is in the right place. For me, that place is Labour. Those who know the party’s long history well, would also know how selflessly many people have worked within it over the years to create the rapidly-progressing nation and EU member state my and younger cohorts have inherited today. Labour stands for improving workers’ conditions, creating more and better opportunities for lower-income-earning families, lifting people out of poverty, delivering quality education and health services — we all know this. But most important of all, what Labour has historically stood for is doing justice by those who have been deprived of the chance to have a better life, a recognised voice in this country, equal working opportunities, rewarding careers, possibilities of studying abroad, better chances of living comfortably and enjoying the benefits of a healthy life.
If elected, I will strive hard, like I’ve always done, to deliver on these key goals. Labour is not just the name of a party. It is a humble promise to do more, and to do better.
What are you going to bring to the table if you are elected?
I will strive to make sure that the raft of legislation we have pushed through in the past four years — civil unions, gender equality and LGBTQI rights, the MAP, all that we’ve achieved on the social front will be felt, and the social goods delivered, in the day-to-day life of our country. This means working and educating towards an inclusive and open mindset at all levels of our society. I will get down to work on creating better and upgraded infrastructure and transport facilities for Malta. My track-record on a local level at Qormi, one of the country’s largest towns in terms of population and a business hub, speaks for itself. As we’re modernising this country, attracting more investment and priming the services industry, we need to ensure an infrastructure that can adequately service the needs of an economy that is growing and thriving without precedent. I will ensure that our workforce is equipped with the necessary skills-based education for the new and expanding sectors now growing in our midst or coming our way. The ever-evolving IT sector, financial services and financial tech, digital technologies, gaming, aviation, distance learning — yes, all of these. But we must also do some future-gazing on this front, and explore the possibilities of attracting investment in the manufacture of cutting-edge eco-friendly, health and education technologies.
I look forward to stay in the beating heart of society, and to feel the pulse of its evolving needs and horizons. Working hard to beat poverty, social exclusion and gender inequality are among the top-five priorities on my agenda.
Considering that both the PN and the PL are tainted with corruption either in the near past or in past legislatures; what can your party do to prove to people that they should vote for them?
Labour will need to keep its ear to the social ground, and to get through the message that — as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has put it — the creation of prosperity has a clear and evident purpose. I continue to insist that economic prosperity needs to go hand in hand with better-educated communities that can better grasp how to handle and how to experience better living standards. A higher quality of life means higher investment in getting across those values that make health, equality, and learning worthwhile. Labour needs to focus more closely on making sure that no one is left behind in the creation of a wealthier Malta. It’s not an easy task, but it is one that keeps us over mindful of our social commitment as party. Over the past four years, we have worked in earnest and the results are evident to all — people now read us as a people of our word. In the next five years, we will continue to attract investment and to make sure that better income, health and education become people’s everyday reality.
Speaking in terms of the future now, where do you see Malta in 10 years time if your party is elected?
However physically tiny it is, Malta can never be big enough. As Labour has shown in the past four years, we have the ideas, the will and the aptitude to perform. Our guiding principle is economic growth coupled with social improvements at all levels. If we renew this commitment, I am sure Malta will be at the forefront of some of the world’s best economies, and at the forefront of some of the world’s happiest societies. It is important that we continue attracting growth in this direction, but it is also of the essence that we keep an environmentally strong Malta. In the coming months and years, Labour will be working to make growth environmentally sustainable — that is a pledge we’ve made, and we’re certainly not known for making promises we can’t keep. That’s the stock-in-trade of others. We will just make sure that no one of us gets in harm’s way for the sake of short-sighted, divisive political gambits.
And where do you see Malta in 10 years time if your party is not elected?
It depends on what goes on over the next ten years, of course! Should Labour not be elected, then we’ll need to take stock of the situation, go back to the drawing-board and make a long and deep soul-searching exercise. The big difference with Labour here is that, as the entire country knows, it actually does carry out its post-mortems in earnest. Look at how we examined ourselves following past defeats — a thorough exercise that practically rebuilt the party afresh in so many directions. Look at what the Opposition has been doing over the past four years? Would you call that a self-examination in earnest? I leave it up to your readers to decide. A “coalition” already riven with internal fractures and divides ahead of the elections certainly does not bode well for our economic prosperity. Would people want to risk taking the plunge? I personally don’t think so. And even if they do, there is every reason to believe — on the basis of the “coalition” ’s proposals so far, their economic record will not quite cut it.
Rather than speculating on what will happen in ten year’s time, I’d rather focus on having my party on the path to electability, now and in future — the only way to do that is a competent team of people and a true belief in where we want to get.
Since we are a youth oriented media house, we wanted to ask; what is going to be done by your party – if elected – to guarantee a better future for us youths?
If there is an age cohort of Maltese society right now that has felt the good will and the results of hard work in the past four years, it is our young people. The Youth Guarantee, free childcare for working parents, incentives on young couples buying their first home, social and gender equality, better opportunities for young people with disabilities, more and more openings in post-secondary and tertiary education — the future is looking up for our young people — to say the least. Really and truly, creating a better future means building the right foundations for those at a young age today to be in the right place fifty years down the line. Time and time again, Malta has felt the brunt of short-term planning. As people get informed on Labour’s Electoral Programme, as they hear us unfolding our proposals, I think it is more than clear that we are well-prepared, organised, with realistic and achievable plans and targets. We have already announced realistic tax benefits and proposals in the educational, health, investment sectors that will translate into better opportunities and services to our upcoming generation. It’s a question of making that happen in the next five years.
Most importantly of all, perhaps — we have promised we will keep listening — and that includes listening to recommendations as to how we can step up our act as we go along.
Finally, why should people vote for your party?
The Labour we’re building is a pro-business one, yes, but it will never be in the business of harming Malta’s hard-earned reputation to satisfy the agenda of the power-hungry few. We know what it feels like to be a party in Opposition. Even simply on those credentials — of how we built Labour afresh in silence and through sheer hard work and a good will — people can judge us. I will not answer you that the results of a Labour government in the past four years speak for themselves —I will only say that the only way to respect our citizens’ choices is to actually let them decide on the basis of the difference felt in their everyday lives, and on our willingness to keep learning as we go along. Labour is a young government — to say that in four years we have taken our country’s economy forward in leaps and bounds is not a far-fetched conclusion, I think. It is now our supreme duty to make sure the wealth reaches all, and to educate people to wield well the opportunity of better living standards.
We have a very clear definition of what “winning” entails — with Joseph Muscat at the helm, people feel they are safe in the knowledge of a government with ideas, vision, and aptitude to perform. Division has only ever led us into historic walls. A stronger, wealthier, healthier, united Malta in every sense — how’s that for a people’s victory?
The Yuppie wishes to thank Rosianne Cutajar for speaking to us! For more interviews with political candidates, follow us on Facebook HERE!
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