Robert Musumeci claims not to know what a conflict of interest is

Published: January 6, 2017 at 8:29pm

This is the background to David Thake’s telephone call, on air, to Robert Musumeci, the architect who works as a consultant to the Parliamentary Secretary for the Planning Authority, Deborah Schembri, and who is now working for her in a personal capacity as she applies to raze a building and construct her new home on the site.

  • MarloweChris

    Isn’t that the modus operandi of most Maltese lawyers? Either feign ignorance and hope they go away or complicate and obscure the issue as much as possible and hope they then go away.

    • Robert Musumeci is an architect, not a lawyer. You cannot hold two professional warrants. A degree in law no more makes him a lawyer than a degree in archaeology makes me an archaeologist.

  • Major Tom

    Poor Robert Musumeci must be suffering from some form of disorder that significantly limits his ability to communicate. I cannot understand how someone with such a disability can act as consultant. Franco Debono and Robert Musumeci are indeed birds of a feather in many ways.

    • pronoia

      Waffling and diverging discourse is common with all Labour acolytes placed in positions of trust or other senior positions in government institutions.

  • Le, ta – we have to listen to listen to Charles Wotsit, spinning those discs with his DJ patter like it’s 1979, bid-diska tal-gimgha u t-temp ghal-ghada ha jkun and the bits of fascinating facts ta’ zmien PO Box Ghaxra.

  • Godfrey Leone Ganado

    When someone tries to ‘threaten’ his interviewer by saying “Int trid tallega xi haga? “, that person is actually going on the defensive and trying to avoid other questions.

    Had Thake answered in the affirmative, Musumeci would have borrowed his paymaster’s words by replying aggressively and arrogantly “Oghqod attent ghax tesponi ruhek ghall-libell”.

    It has become very worrying that the Labour government members and all their associates have no clue as to what conflict of interest really means and when it should be avoided or at the least declared.

  • Rumplestiltskin

    It was/is a stupid decision. David Thake was singlehandedly reducing the large majority that the Labour Party had in the 2013 election.

    This supposed principle of being fair to the other candidates is asinine. The important thing is for the Nationalist Party to win the next election and if David Thake was helping to make this possible then he should have been left on air.

    I would have expected that for the good of the party ALL the other candidates would petition the party leadership to leave Thake and his Taghna Llkoll programme on air. That would have demonstrated esprit de corps.

    As it turned out it just appears that the other candidates are only interested in safeguarding their personal chances rather than that of the party.

    They played right into the hands of Muscat and his merry men. Surely the Nationalist Party leadership understands this.

  • r jones

    Standards in this country have fallen so very low. In his role of consultant to the ministry, Robert Musumeci is instrumental in the shaping of policy and legislation.

    Musumeci then uses those same policies and legislation to advise his clients. The conflict of interest is blatant.

    When advising on/drafting the policies and legislation, it is possible for Musumeci to have an eye out for the specific interests of his clients.

    His reference to the Users’ Committee is ridiculous. The advice of the Users’ Committee carries very little weight in the Planning Authority and the ministry. The same cannot be said about Musumeci, who is the point of reference to the minister on all technical matters.

    A case in point is the rural policy. Certain provisions of this were made on his advice or even drafting. He then used those same rural policies to facilitate permits for rural developments.

  • pronoia

    His consultancy is legal or architectural? Which hat is he wearing? As far as we are informed he has a warrant as an architect not a lawyer.

    • Robert Musumeci is NOT a lawyer. He is an architect.

      • c calafato

        Didn’t he graduate in law last November? He was all over his Facebook page about thesis and graduation.

      • It’s not your degree that makes you a lawyer, economist, whatever. It’s your work. I’m an archaeology graduate, but I’ve never been an archaeologist. Robert Musumeci is a law graduate, but he’s not a lawyer. He’s an architect.

        Somebody who has a law degree but has never worked as a lawyer – say, running a business instead – is not a lawyer but a managing director and business operator who read law at university X number of years ago.

  • Gladio

    The irony is that while the Planning Authority for which she is responsible has launched a scheme to encourage people to buy houses in the village core and restore them, Deborah Schembri has applied for a permit to demolish her house.

  • Sowxal

    Musumeci has really found his natural home in the Labour Party.

  • No, he is not a lawyer. He has a law degree.

    And often, lawyers are the last to understand conflict of interest.

  • He is the station manager, but it’s time for him to move on because he is a relic from another era. He just doesn’t know how to reach an audience in 2017 and is still using the methods of 1979.

    • Pappagallu

      Being station manager then accounts for the stupid and insipid two-hour programme after lunch. Is it poissible that the Party is so weak that it doesn’t see the fatality in such a waste of time ?

  • You are VERY wrong about this. The Nationalist Party bled votes in the tens of thousands over the last 10 years because it CAN’T and WON’T understand that the people who put it into power and remove it from power are people who don’t think as the post-Eddie Fenech Adami hierarchy of the Nationalist Party does. Besides that, there have been major shifts in social demographics, but the Nationalists are still using an early 1990s communication style to reach people who no longer exist except as a rapidly declining minority.

    I never listen to the radio, ever. My friends never do. My colleagues don’t. They certainly never listened to Radio 101 (“qabda churchy creeps u vucijiet tad-dwejjaq with alien accents and thought patterns”). But then suddenly they were all listening to David Thake. They actually had to remember how to use their radio and find the setting for 101 to do it.

    I’d actually drive around longer than necessary on my way home not to miss the good bits in the time it took to get out of my car, get in and put on the home radio. I’d meet businessmen who’d never dream of listening to radio and they’d bring up something they’d heard on Thake’s show.

    He reached an audience the Nationalist Party just wasn’t reaching otherwise. And now, since his departure, they haven’t been reaching it again. And you can see it, feel it and touch it.

    • Marinton

      You couldn’t have described my relationship with radio any better. Mr Thake was the only reason I went back to the airwaves and actually enjoyed being stuck in traffic.

    • Macduff

      I agree completely. But I can’t help noticing we speak of the Nationalist Party as a faceless bohemoth lumbering towards self-destruction.

      Yet there are actual people taking taking decisions: Busuttil, Fenech, Demarco, Aquilina, Metsola, Thake, and the rest. But who is responsible for this madness?

    • margaret cassar

      I think someone should get a petition going, aimed at getting Thake back on 101……urgently.

  • Those days are gone. The days of grass roots and all that rubbish are over. The Nationalist Party was never a grass roots party, anyway. It was brought to power and kept in power by the key voter segment made up of a sociodemographic profile like mine or similar to it. When these people deserted the Nationalist Party in droves, starting in 2004 with the EP general election, there was no turning back.

    And they deserted the Nationalist Party precisely because they are not ‘grassroots’ types of people and will only vote for a party if it reflects their mindset. The Nationalist Party since 2004 has NOT represented our mindset at all. Many didn’t vote at all in the 2008 general election, and in the 2013 general election most of them voted Labour.

    Then there were those like me who never fell for Muscat’s bullshit and recognised the Labour Party for the same old criminal outfit it always was, and voted Nationalist anyway. It doesn’t mean we identify with the Nationalist Party. It just means we think it’s a safe option compared to the dangerous option that is Labour.

  • Well, not in the case of law. The warrant is only required to practise in the Courts. If you don’t wish to practise in Court, then you can be a lawyer without a warrant, working for a firm, giving advice. There are many non-Maltese lawyers working in Malta in just this capacity, who don’t have a warrant.

  • Not really, no. The people who were ‘enticed away’, as you put it, simply failed to relate to the Nationalist Party in its failure to evolve with the times and grasp the Zeitgeist. That’s why it was so easy to ‘entice them away’ – because they were already off the Nationalists.

  • Charles Paul Cilia

    They are playing to Muscat’s devious tactics.