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A Singapore-based British wealth adviser who set off a firestorm by publicly insulting Singaporeans who have to rely on public transport has fled to Perth, according to an AFP report.
Anton Casey, 39, is said to have been the subject of death threats, government criticism and public outrage after his social media posts about mixing with “poor people” on public transport and being reunited with his Porsche went viral.
Casey was forced to hire a public relations firm to fend off the growing outrage over his social media comments which has been the subject of amusement to a number of Singapore observers. Only recently having recovered from its own version of contempt towards the poor in the Little India riots, Singapore watchers see this as a confused and perhaps over reaction by Singaporeans over Casey’s comments.
“Tongue in cheek but a bit too subtle for over sensitive self righteous Singaporeans” observed a British Airways pilot who is also married to a Singaporean and spends a considerable amount of time in the Island state.
Casey’s offending caption reads “Ahhhhhhhhh reunited with my baby,” with a photograph of his Porsche sports car which he posted on Facebook Sunday. The Facebook posting in which his son sits inside his sports car with him further proclaims “Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me!”
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Another photo showed his son sitting inside the intra-city train with the caption “Daddy, where is your car & who are all these poor people?”
Casey has since apologised and deleted the offending posts. Photo: Reuters/Facebook
The city-state has had to contend with an influx of wealthy foreigners in recent years has fuelled growing public discontent among a population beset by rising costs in one of the world’s most expensive cities. At least 38% of Singaporeans are foreigners whilst more than 28% have migrated to other less costly destinations like the US, Canada and Australia.
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Casey’s employer Crossinvest (Asia) Pte Ltd said in a statement: “Those comments go against our core corporate and family values that are based on trust, mutual understanding and are respectful of diversity.”
“Bull dust” was the response of a local journalist to the Crossinvest statement. “This is and has always been the core values of Singaporeans who look down on those less fortunate as being lazy and deserving of their misery”. All Casey did was to echo that long held sentiment of Singaporeans towards the [poor. The irony is that many of them now faced with the super rich in their midst are the poor Casey refers to”.
In a statement issued on Friday, Casey, a Singapore permanent resident, said he had left for Australia “due to threats made towards my family”, asking for forgiveness.
Local bar Tuckshop has dedicated a special happy hour for Casey, offering him a special S$120 ($93.83) rate for a pint of beer, and S$12 for poor Singaporean.
(The above is credited in part to a recent AFP report)