Only 182 songs were received by the Maltese broadcaster for their national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Although it still can be considered a rather high number for one of the smallest participating countries, this means 43 songs less than last year were submitted.
A reason for the decreasing numbers might be the bad results achieved by the country in recent years. After a second place in Kyiv in 2005, Malta finished last in Athens and did not qualify for the final both in 2007 and 2008. The country had been one of the most succesful ones in the 1990s finishing in the top ten eight years in a row.
The Maltese national final will be held in February after a series of ten semi finals. You can read more about the selection process here.