The wisdom of Khan: good riddance to Tim Kee but Clyde Paul must follow him

Last Sunday’s column asserted that “the segregation in Carnival is a reflection of our wider society in which the worth of individual citizens is assessed not by merit first, but by reference to wealth, shade, address, connections and perceived status.”

The fall out from the remarks of now departed—forced to resign—Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee concerning the murder of a young female Japanese masquerader has immediately and depressingly exemplified what I wrote, about the the assessments we make by reference to those bogus touchstones other than merit.

Photo: Former Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) and councillor Farai Hove Masaisai. (Courtesy Farai Hove Masaisai/Facebook)
Photo: Former Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) and councillor Farai Hove Masaisai.
(Courtesy Farai Hove Masaisai/Facebook)

Tim Kee’s offensive remarks need re-stating to assist the top brass of the PNM to complete the necessary house cleaning.

The former Mayor linked the murder of the visiting female Japanese masquerader to vulgar behaviour of women on the streets at Carnival.

Assuming this was an accidental juxtaposition, he expressly invited us: “to let your imagination roll a bit and figure out was there any evidence of resistance or did alcohol control. Therefore, involuntary actions were engaged in, and so on.”

There is absolutely no room for “misconstruction” in those words.

Moreover, he grievously slurred the victim in this nauseating way before we knew a single thing about her movements on Carnival Tuesday.

Photo: Late Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya. (Courtesy I95.5FM)
Photo: Late Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.
(Courtesy I95.5FM)

He spoke from prejudice not from an interpretation, however twisted, of known facts.

Regardless whether there was value to other issues Tim Kee may have raised in the course of his remarks, it is not acceptable even to hint that a female victim of crime “looked for it.”

Thank goodness the Prime Minister, when fully apprised of what his party colleague and subordinate had said, declared the remarks “unacceptable” and concurred that Tim Kee should go.

Unfortunately, by the time the Prime Minister expressed his conclusion that the remarks were unacceptable, some high placed PNM holders of public office were angry that their political colleague had been criticised and mouthed off equally unacceptable remarks, plainly considering nothing else but defending their political party brother at all costs.

Such defence included adopting and expanding the use of slurs on the dead woman and on the section of society in which they perceived that she limed.

Photo: Protests against Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee in Woodford Square. (Courtesy Facebook)
Photo: Protests against Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee in Woodford Square.
(Courtesy Facebook)

In addition to use of the standard, if backward, tactics to dismiss protesters’ criticism as “politically motivated”, slurs referable to skin shade and assumed place of residence were used to attack the protesters.

There were also references to “gay agendas”, “hypocrites”, what some of the protesters wore on Carnival Days and who the murderer might turn out to be—all gross and brutish attempts to shoot those bearing the message that women “do not look for” rape or murder.

I referred earlier to Tim Kee as the Prime Minister’s political colleague and subordinate in order to set the stage for asserting that it is not open to an office holder in PNM colours to resist what the moral suasion of his Prime Minister and political leader requires of him or her in a matter like this, which touches and concerns the public interest.

In those circumstances, discussion of the legal powers of the Prime Minister was irrelevant and an insult to our intelligence. Just resign real quick when both the tide of your own leadership opinion and a substantial section of public opinion turns against you.

Photo: Former Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (left) and his vocal supporter Point Fortin mayor Clyde Paul. (Courtesy LoopTT)
Photo: Former Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (left) and his vocal supporter Point Fortin mayor Clyde Paul.
(Courtesy LoopTT)

Restricted independence is an occupational risk and a burden of party politics.

The more extreme slurs require our continued protest. They have supported what the Prime Minister has declared unacceptable. Those office holders who uttered them must, at minimum, deliver unqualified apologies and/or face meaningful sanctions.

We must press for this consistently with the Prime Minister’s declaration. Tim Kee gone, others must go.

That brings me to the wrath of Paul and the wisdom of Khan.

Clyde Paul is the Mayor of Point Fortin and he expressly supported Tim Kee. His performance was accompanied by hostile body language.

The unseemly wrath of Paul will not deter any commentator I know. I also know that he has flagrantly breached his Prime Minister and political leader’s principles of acceptable behaviour so he should be packing too.

Photo: Point Fortin mayor Clyde Paul. (Courtesy Point Fortin Borough)
Photo: Point Fortin mayor Clyde Paul.
(Courtesy Point Fortin Borough)

Cutting through this muck, came the wisdom of Khan like the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. I refer to Franklin Khan MP, Minister of Local Government and Chairman of the PNM.

Minister Khan, without the equivocation of even some in the Cabinet, agreed that Tim Kee should resign (the iron fist) but compassionately thanked him for his service (the velvet touch).

In addition, in the course of his television interview, Minister Khan referred to the world changing and warned against “applying 20th Century thinking to 21st Century problems.”

I think I even heard him list some of the contentious issues to which we must bring enlightened thinking.

It was a refreshing intervention. Hopefully Minister Khan will lead the residual brutish element in the PNM hierarchy to a more enlightened position.

Photo: Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Franklin Khan (right) and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. (Copyright Power 102FM)
Photo: Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Franklin Khan (right) and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
(Copyright Power 102FM)

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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  1. For the mess they leave the country in, we still have an opposition? Why nobody not calling on them to vacate office.

  2. Go point with all u b.s…. just try it…

  3. We still need catch Asami murderers or killer

  4. Stay put Mayor Paul.We need you to work with the new MP to take our Borough out of the morass that the last government left it .

    • Are you serious?! You speak as if Point was a Metropole paradise prior to 2010.

      A reasonable and unbiased observer will note the amount of infrastructure and utilities provided for Point people from 2010 to present. In fact, persons received educational and other facilities. The PNM treated Point no better than its other constituents which it leaves as derelict and underdeveloped.

      The mistake the last Govt made was to neglect their supporters in Cedros, Icacos, Granville etc to provide for Point Fortin and La Brea. But it is a mistake all UNC Govts make….and as you see, they pay for it.

      By all means, support your PNM party, but don’t deny facts.

  5. Murder solved
    Tim Kee resigned
    Case closed
    Let’s solve some more ppl ….???

  6. All yuh didnt call for Mrs Bissessar to go when she left you all high and dry in Rienzi and in the Constituency Office in Penal Election night….all aint say a ping when it was alleged that Anan abused his significant other…..a man leh he whole family buy shares whilst on the board of directors, in other words insider trading. Any other place, he an he nenen woulda be facing jail…

    De man talk he outta timing ting..twice..pack up and gorn and like he was holding the country to ransome and we suddenly free of him. Meanwhile Donald Trump in front in the Presidential race calling for the expulsion or immigrants…

  7. Caveman attitude Clyde Paul should go…

  8. Has Asami ‘ s murder been solved since Tim Kee ‘ s resignation . Why don’t you all focus your energies on more positive issues . Bunch of hypocrites !

  9. The Trinidad media is highly sensationalistic and Sat makes for sensational stories.

    The victim is neither Indian nor Hindu ….. asking Sat for comment makes as much sense as asking Sabga!

  10. It’s unfortunate that the media still seeks opinion from Sat because in so doing they give him credibility.
    I think he is to be swiftly dismissed in every sense of the word. And if he ever held position on a state board or some other public position, I’d be lobbying for his removal.
    Can’t say I’d have any strong objection with the government ceasing any assistance it gives to anything he’s associated though.

  11. I know I shouldn’t ask, but how Sat come een dis?

  12. Well, I feel Sat has lost his shock value now and it won’t be easy to make an impact on him as he isn’t a State employee. But I agree we, the people, should be prepared to call him out when he transgresses.
    But you have to pick your battles. With Sat, it might be every other day.

  13. ..The medical examiner said he was not finished and then I read the final report was shared with the Japanese. Ok. This case has such a high profile and I am just tired of cop investigations that somehow become lost in the mist. And re: Sat, it surely can’t be solely a matter of illegality Lasana. But do the women of the MS have anything to say? Just observing..

  14. I thought the autopsy was done already and info was provided on TV6. I’m not 100 percent sure. The cops are investigating… I don’t know more than that.
    And Sat’s morality is the Maha Sabha’s business unless he does or says something illegal in my opinion.

  15. ..1) When will we hear the results of the autopsy? 2) What’s the latest from the cops? 3) Good luck with Sat. More luck with getting him to resign..

  16. Based on the comments so far, is it that we think it unrealistic to call for Clyde Paul’s departure as well?
    Or is it that we consider it excessive?

    • The PNM can’t lose two Mayors on one controversy. They would prefer to ‘spread out’ the dismissals and not use them up in ‘one shot’. So Paul will stay…ent Marlene Mc Doogle still there?!

  17. Public officials do not have the luxury of expressing one’s personal opinions. It is that simple. They are public officials and their public statements reflect the opinion of the office not the person. That was not freedom of speech it was abuse of power.

  18. It so nice to know that there is so many righteous people living in this country , proverbs 11 vs 31 says If the righteous will be recompense on earth, HOW MUCH MORE THE UNGODLY AND SINNER

  19. We uphold so much crap in this country is a shame .real underlying issues the really affect us .and yet people like daily and all these learned heads cant solve any ..politicians are not the answer

    • We do put up with plenty crap. Shame on Clyde Paul, we should not put up with that crap from him either, he represents Pt Fortin in an official capacity. You come out Carlos & stand up for what you believe in, because you are right, politicians are not the answer. I support those who do something. Hope you are as well.

  20. This article is eleoquent bullshit ..I’m not politically inclined ,but I totally believe that freedom of expression is mandatory population like it or not ..

    • Freedom of expression has a place & time and those in public office need to be mindful when they making comments

    • Freedom of speech/expression while a human right comes with responsibilities and consequences…and in public office one must be mindful of his/her utterances as they may have backlash or unfavorable responses which may result in dismissal. We must always be reminded that the people in government are public servants and the people via their votes decides who is hired to lead and manage the resources of the country. As such they are to be accountable to the people for their action or inaction as the case may be. Yes, you are free to say what you want, but that doesn’t mean that people cannot respond or act on what you say (within the confines of the law).

    • Public servants ? After the last 5 years we still believe in political system where we hire people to run our affairs. Total disappointment .if so we need serious constitutional reforms to place more power after the elections and not just every 5 years .

    • Suresh once I cannot express my true feelings on an issue .public life or not then anything I say is hypocrital .he expressed his feelings on the matter and as insensitive as it was .to me its just his feeling .my take is that a religious leader in the capacity to judge moral values of modesty should have spoken n instead of Tim kee .who should have been focusing on venders and keeping the capital clean and vibrant

  21. Limitations on freedoms

    It should be notorious by now that no freedom is absolute, but that these may be constrained by, inter alia, the extent to which they may impinge on the recognized freedoms of others; by sundry public interests such as health, order, safety, defence or morality, among others; or, of course, to the extent that their exercise is already proscribed by law. Even so, the law requires a balancing of interests in this context, so that except for the last instance, the abridgement of a freedom is subject to the doctrine of proportionality- that such abridgement is “reasonably required” or, as some have put it, “reasonably and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”.

    In this regard, first, the measure must be rationally connected to the objective sought to be achieved by it, in that it must not be merely arbitrary or based on irrelevant considerations. Second, the means employed to impair the freedom should do so to the minimum extent possible and, third, there must be a justifiable and proportionate relation between the effects of the measure and the achievement of the objective.

    In recent days, there has been a plurality of claims, whether wittingly or unwittingly, made by some people that there has been, is, or is likely to be, an unjustifiable curtailment of some freedom to which they are entitled, either by statements made in the public domain or by proposed policy measures. Our present inquiry relates to whether these claims of purported infringement are indeed justifiable or whether they amount simply to illegitimate assertions of licence to do as the claimant pleases, without any let or hindrance whatsoever.

    One of these claims that has been asserted relates indirectly to the rather tragic circumstance of the murder in Trinidad & Tobago of a young Japanese visitor to the recent Carnival festivities. Even before a motive for her killing or the exact cause of her death had been determined, the then Mayor of Port-of –Spain, Mr Raymond Tim Kee, opined, in a rather ill-chosen moment, that women specifically had a duty to ensure that they were not abused and proceeded to admonish them generally for their wanton vulgarity and lewdness exhibited during the festival.

    It might have been bad enough had he stopped at this general level, even though the connection with the lady’s death was clear, but his Lordship proceeded to pinpoint the subject matter of his soliloquy –“…was there any evidence of resistance? Was it alcohol-controlled and therefore involuntary actions engaged in? It is not that she was hit by a truck, it is a matter that she was jumping up in a costume…”

    The popular antipathy to these unfortunate comments eventually led to the Mayor’s resignation last week, a phenomenon that is itself worthy of further analysis in the larger context of limited freedoms being explored here. The more immediate issue, however, is that the Mayor directly challenged the Trinidadian woman’s traditional right to freedom of expression –her right to “play herself” at Carnival.

    Given both the geographical and circumstantial context in which Mayor Tim Kee sought to proffer his controversial view, it may be argued in hindsight that he unwisely picked a battle he had to lose. And while it would be witless to contend that the near-nudity of some of the costumes “worn” by females during the festival should unfailingly provoke any man into an act of sexual violence, the more fundamental issue of whether there should be any restriction, other than the law of indecent exposure, on the freedom of the individual female to “play herself’” at carnival time, or whether there should be unlimited licence in this regard, was regrettably lost in the brouhaha

  22. Honestly eh, if you remember Rowley flip flopped on the Tim Kee matter, at first expressing no need for his removal then supporting it.

    The impression I get isn’t that Rowley insisted the Tim Kee resign on some moral grounds, but rather out of political expediency since it became clear that too large a cross section of the population was calling for his head.

    Tim Kee was merely the PNM’s sacrificial lamb, it would be unrealistic to expect them to insist on Point Fortin’s mayor to perform political seppuku as well ….. that could possibly estrange Rowley from the party’s hacks who’s support he’ll need in the future.

  23. But we must also bring Sat into the conversation. He drew a direct reference between the “behaviour” and the murder.

  24. Minister Khan’s comments were truly refreshing and I really do hope that the PNM’s legislative agenda over the the next four and a half years or so reflects definitive leadership out of the Stone Age on some of these divisive issues. Won’t be easy but I do hope they at least try…

  25. It almost seems like too much to hope for.
    If we judge based on content of their utterances, it was Clyde Paul who said that we will all change our minds and back Tim Kee when we learn the “truth” of Asami’s death.
    If that isn’t worse than what Tim Kee said, then it isn’t better by much.
    So, if we go on principle, he should go too.
    But if Tim Kee’s departure was due to public response, then Clyde survives as I don’t think he got anything like the backlash Tim Kee did.
    And it’s a pretty long drive to picket the Point Fortin Mayor’s office! We will need to coordinate lunch plans and so on for that. 🙂

    • Yes, Paul should also go, as should the mendacious Councillor Masaisai, who busily kept media and the public apprised of the conduct of a nonexistent Council meeting.

  26. Well I feel so too, quite frankly,but I suspect that they will draw the line at having another PNM Mayor gone. So – poor hopes!

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