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British banker stirs up storm by mocking Singapore’s ‘poor’

A British expat in Singapore stirred up an Internet storm after his Facebook posts mocking the "poor people" using mass transit went viral, hitting on the city-state's touchy issues of anti-foreigner sentiment and a growing wealth divide.

The storm began after Anton Casey, a wealth manager at Crossinvest Asia, posted two photos of his son on Facebook. One showed his son on the subway and was captioned "Daddy, where is your car and who are all these poor people?" and the other showed his son in a silver Porsche with the caption, "Ahhhhhhhhh, reunited with my baby. Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me FFS!"

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Although Casey has since issued a public apology, deleted his Facebook account and hired a public relations firm, the Internet storm, which has included alleged death threats, has continued, even sparking a response from a government minister.

Many online commentators urged that Casey's permit to remain in Singapore be revoked and others urged that he be charged under the city-state's sedition laws, which prohibit promoting racial tensions.

Local media websites reported Casey's employer has said in a statement that the comments were in "poor taste," and that it is investigating the matter and "will take appropriate action."

"Like many Singaporeans, I am terribly upset and offended by what he has posted. Deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable," said K Shanmugam, minister for foreign affairs, said in a Facebook post.

(Read more: More money, more problems – Asia's unhappiest workforce)

"I am glad the community has come together to condemn what he has said," Shanmugam added. "At the same time, I hope that Singaporeans will not attack or flame his family because of his actions. We, Singaporeans, can be bigger than that."


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