Small Malta with big heart an inspiration

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

MALTA’S Min­is­ter for Jus­tice and Home Af­fairs tells ( ABC Ra­dio Na­tional, 27/ 2) how his t i ny coun­try i s pre­par­ing to ac­cept a large num­ber of Libyan refugees head­ing Malta’s way. Why? The Min­is­ter says, ‘‘ These are peo­ple in need, they are f l e e i n g s u f f e r i n g a n d dan­ger.’’ The Mal­tese hope other coun­tries will wel­come some refugees whom Malta can send on to them. There is no hint of turn­ing back the boats, no sug­ges­tion of do­ing so much and then no more, no push­ing of the idea that, ‘‘ We’ll de­cide who comes here’’, no plan to house the refugees on some re­mote part of the Mal­tese ar­chi­pel­ago. Malta has a pop­u­la­tion den­sity of 1318 peo­ple per sq km; Aus­tralia has three. Small Malta shows it is a coun­try with a big mind and a big heart. Big Aus­tralia is in dan­ger of be­com­ing known as a coun­try with a small mind and a small heart. Echo­ing t h a t f a m o u s M a l t e s e - Aus­tral i a n, J e f f Fenech, ‘‘ Malta, we ad­mire youse all!’’ GER­ARD HORE,

An­nan­dale.

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