Former COP leader Joseph Toney thinks Trinidad and Tobago citizens should dip in their pockets for a good cause.
Not for cosmetic surgery for a baby girl who had a chunk of her face bitten off or to aid the recovery of the Diego Martin flood victims, offset legal fees for the 2006 Soca Warriors or beam the 2012 Caribbean Cup finals live from Antigua and Barbuda at a cost of US$5,000 per match.
Toney wants Trinidad and Tobago to “chip in” to foot soca star Machel Montano’s legal bills for assaulting four partygoers in a nightclub, five years ago. He further advised Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor that a custodial sentence would “be too draconian.”
Montano has never apologised to his victims. And Toney did not ask him to either.
Rather, it is Trinidad and Tobago that should say sorry for having the audacity to criticise the 38-year-old Montano for enjoying the perks of stardom, which may or may not include breaking the law and beating up fans.
Toney, an attorney, seemed to suggest the introduction of “Machel Law” which would allow successful artistes more far-reaching powers than policemen on Panorama duty and should provoke a name change from “Zen” to the more suitable “Fight Club.”
“Which person in our society, in his or her younger days, has not committed similar acts of folly?” Toney asked the Trinidad Guardian and, presumably, the two island republic. “He ought to have known better but let us not condemn him. He has much more to offer T&T and the world with his music and his energetic stage performances.
“What I find disturbing is that some members of the public seem to want blood from a national icon.”
Too bad sacked Minister Collin Partap cannot sing soca; the only thing he assaulted was a “Bloody Mary.”