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Porsche-owning UK expat infuriates Singapore with 'poor people' gaffes

Brian Leonal
Porsche-owning UK expat infuriates Singapore with 'poor people' gaffes

By Brian Leonal

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A British wealth manager in Singapore is facing death threats, government criticism and public anger after his social media posts about mixing with "poor people" on public transport and being reunited with his Porsche went viral.

Anton Casey has been forced to hire a public relations firm in a bid to fend off the growing outrage over his Facebook posts.

"Ahhhhhhhhh reunited with my baby," said the caption of a photo he posted on Sunday, in which his son sits inside his sports car. "Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me!"

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?"

Those posts went viral in the city-state, where 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.

The online rancour sparked a response on Thursday from Singapore's Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs, K. Shanmugam.

"Like many Singaporeans, I am terribly upset and offended by what he has posted. Deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable," the minister wrote on his Facebook page.

Casey, who is married to the 2003 Miss Singapore, has since deleted his posts and apologised after he received thousands of online complaints from Singaporeans and said he has received death threats.

"I have the highest respect and regard for Singapore and the good people of Singapore; this is my home," he said in a statement released through his PR firm.

"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 incident has also sparked some more humorous responses.

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 "the rest of us poor Singaporeans".

(Editing by Nick Macfie)