Pointe-a-Pierre constituents don’t care about MP Lee’s legal troubles

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pointe-a-Pierre constituents Christopher Charles, left, and his brother speak to Newsday’s Yvonne Webb Saturday about their MP David Lee who is on two fraud charges. – Marvin Hamilton

WHO is David Lee?

That was the tongue-in-cheek question from his Pointe-a-Pierre constituents Saturday, who reacted to the two fraud charges laid against their MP on Friday. Lee is out on $1 million bail and will make a court appearance on October 12 to answer the charge of fraudulently receiving a $1.4 million tax exemption on a luxury car and conspiracy to defraud.

One man in a bar at St Margaret’s Junction, who did not want to be identified by name, made reference to two Chinese-American actors, when he told Newsday, “I know Jet Li, I know Bruce Lee, but I don’t know David Lee.

“I born and grown here (in Claxton Bay) and you say he represent this constituency, and I don’t know him. Nah man.”

Christopher Charles, who said the green T-shirt clad commentator was his brother, also described Lee, “as a waste of time. He is the worst MP Pointe-a-Pierre ever had.”

While not wanting to sit in judgment as to the guilt or innocence of his MP, Charles opined, “(Colm) Imbert warned him, you know, but he did not take heed.”

“I am not judging him, I don’t want to tag him with guilt, but if he do the crime then he will have to do the time.” A few women who did not want to go on record agreed.

Charles expressed doubt about the charges having political connotations.

Another limer, who agreed to be photographed but not identified by his name, said simply, “I don’t care.

“Who is David Lee? He is supposed to be the representative from the area, but I don’t know who he is. Whatever go on with him, that is his business, not mine. That not bothering me. My business is my two sick children at home.

“Whatever he do or didn’t do, that is his choice. What I am doing here, today, is my choice. I drinking puncheon.”

His partner Krish John Katwaroo, with whom he shared the brew, also offered his opinion.

“When is the next election? Next six months? Oh my God, if he do anything like what they accusing him of, let us vote and kick out his a…”

Vendor Evanson Smith, plying his trade near Plaisance Park Junction, offered, “With the high volume of corruption in this country, it is time we start holding people to account.

“People who are supposed to be our leaders – honestly, I call them misleaders because that is all they are doing, misleading – it is time things start happening.

Pointe-a-Pierre constituents Arnold Gobin, left, and Harrynarine Bissoon chat with Newsday’s Yvonne Webb about their MP David Lee who is on two fraud charges. – Marvin Hamilton

“People who hold high offices have tax exemption. The people on the low end don’t. Everything that is taxable, we have to pay taxes for it. When they (office holders) talk about the bad economic situation in the country, it is the small ones who have to tighten our belts and they just continuing along a high and mighty road.

“Look at the condition of this road. What is our MP doing about it? They could buy million dollar cars but they not driving here.

Contrary to the claim by the United National Congress (UNC) that the charges have political motivation written all over it, Smith disagreed.

“I would not say the charge is politically motivated. Let the matter go to court and let the court decide. He is either innocent or guilty. He will have to prove his innocence. I am jot judging anybody. Let the wheels of justice turn and let the chips fall where they may,” Smith said.

Of the people Newsday spoke to, only a few had complimentary remarks about their MP.

Although supportive and remarking he is a good MP who has done a lot for the constituency, Harrynarine Bissoon said of the charges, “it is kind of embarrassing.”

“The police have done their work and if it is that he bought a vehicle for somebody else to save money, then he will have to answer in the court.”

Arnold Gobin, who concurred with Bissoon that Lee is a good MP felt, “He do stupidness. I not saying he innocent or guilty but I feel he lapse.”

Both Lyle “Crabby” Seechan and Esther Lewis felt he should not have been charged.

“It have right and wrong. I feel they could have sat in the Parliament and talk it out. He is not the first MP accused of wrongdoing, and what come out of that?”

Lewis agreed, “Plenty people holding high office doing worse and they getting away.”