Today, during the earlier announced extraordinary meeting held by the Union for Maltese Composers, Singers and Authors (UKAM), the Malta Song for Europe 2005 regulations, published by the Malta Song Board, were discussed. The main point of discussion was the clause permitting the participation of foreign composers and authors in this year's Maltese national selection, according to a UKAM press release.
During the meeting, the absolute majority of UKAM members in attendance (including leading composers, authors, singers and recording engineers) have decided against this clause and are formally requesting the Malta Song Board to remove it. They strongly feel that participation in Malta Song for Europe 2005 should be limited to Maltese composers, authors and singers including those with dual citizenship.
This year, as had happened last, the regulations for the festival were published without consultating the UKAM and all interested parties, although Ms Grace Borg had last year publicly promised to meet all interested parties before publishing the regulations.
If the Malta Song Board does not remove the clause allowing foreign participation immediately, UKAM formally will equest the resignation of all members of the Malta Song Board. Furthermore, no further submissions should be received. Submissions should only be received on the closing date in the presence of UKAM representatives as happened in previous years. Until a reply for this request is received by UKAM, no further submissions should be sent in. Any submissions, which have already been received by the Malta Song Board, should be returned without delay.
UKAM appeals to the general public to support local composers, authors and singers, who for years on end have contributed to the much awaited and popular Malta Song for Europe festival which is the only national festival, that offers local talent to be promoted and enjoyed by millions of TV viewers through the Eurovision Song Contest.