British expat's 'poor people' remark sparks outrage
SINGAPORE – A Porsche-driving British wealth manager in Singapore who referred to public transport commuters as "poor people" has apologized after his Facebook posts sparked an online furor.
Anton Casey, a 39-year-old who is married to a former Singapore beauty queen, had also referred to washing "the stench of public transport off me" in one of his posts on the social network.
Furious Internet users lashed out at Casey, a Singapore permanent resident, with many subjecting him and his family to verbal abuse.
Singapore has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, with official data showing it stood at Sg$65,048 ($50,890) in 2012. The city-state also boasts one of Asia's most modern public transport systems, with its 150-kilometer (93-mile) metro network carrying about two million people daily.
"I would like to extend a sincere apology to the people of Singapore... for my poor judgment," Casey said in a statement late Tuesday.
"I have the highest respect and regard for Singapore and the good people of Singapore; this is my home," he said.
One of Casey's posts showed a picture of a boy, apparently his five-year-old son, sitting inside a metro train with a caption above the photo saying: "Daddy, where is your car & who are all these poor people?"
Another showed a waving boy sitting inside a silver convertible Porsche, with a caption saying: "Ahhhhhhhh reunited with my baby. Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me."
As the Facebook posts went viral online, a YouTube video of Casey emerged on various websites in which he appeared to be taunting his critics.
But Casey in his statement denied that the video was made in response to the online furor, saying it was an old video that had been "misused" by "unknown sources".
Casey also said his Facebook page had been "breached" and his family had "suffered extreme emotional and verbal abuse online".
Police were investigating death threats received by his family, he added.
"This guy is rich materially but poor spiritually," one furious Internet user wrote about Casey.
"Why oh why do you think you are so much better than others just because you happen to have cash... Shame on you mate, shame!" said another user.
Casey's employer, Crossinvest (Asia) Pte Ltd, said it does not condone his comments which "were made in poor taste".
"We are currently investigating the comments made by our employee and will take appropriate action once we are in possession of all the facts," it said in a statement. – Rappler.com