Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/23/2014 11:49 | By Channel NewsAsia

“Poor people” comments by Anton Casey "deeply offensive": Shanmugam

“Poor people” comments by Anton Casey "deeply offensive": Shanmugam

“Poor people” comments by Anton Casey "deeply offensive": Shanmugam

SINGAPORE: Law Minister K Shanmugam said he is glad that the community has come together to condemn what Mr Anton Casey had said about Singaporeans.

Mr Casey, a British banker based in Singapore, and who is married to a former Miss Singapore, had labelled public transport commuters as "poor people" in his Facebook post.

In another post, he said he had to wash "the stench of public transport off" him.

Writing on his Facebook page on Thursday, Mr Shanmugam said like many Singaporeans, he is terribly upset and offended by what Mr Casey has posted, describing the statements as "deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable".

Mr Shanmugam, who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said those who have done well in life should always be looking out for others, especially the less well-off or needy.

This, he said, is basic human decency.

Mr Shanmugam said Mr Casey showed contempt.

He said having money and a Porsche does not automatically mean that one is superior, and stressed that character is important.

Mr Shanmugam noted that Mr Casey has attempted to apologise to Singaporeans.

But he added that some feel that the manner of his apology showed a lack of sincerity, and said he thinks there is some basis for thinking that way.

Mr Shanmugam added that he hopes "Singaporeans will not attack or flame Mr Casey's family" because of his actions, saying that Singaporeans are bigger than that.  

39-year-old Casey, who is a wealth manager at Crossinvest made his comments after taking public transport while his Porsche was under repair.

Mr Casey later released an apology through a PR firm, saying: "I have the highest respect and regard for Singapore and the good people of Singapore; this is my home. I wish for nothing more than to be forgiven for my poor judgment and given a second chance to rebuild the trust people have had in me as a resident of this wonderful country."

The former London stockbroker is reported to be facing "appropriate action" from his Singapore-based wealth management company over the issue. - CNA/nd/sf

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