Briton’s remark sparks outrage in Singapore

Updated 23 January 2014
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Briton’s remark sparks outrage in Singapore

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 furore.
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-km metro network carrying about two million people daily.
“I would like to extend a sincere apology to the people of Singapore... for my poor judgement,” 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 furore, 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.”


Version of PM May’s deal can get through parliament: Hunt

Updated 23 sec ago
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Version of PM May’s deal can get through parliament: Hunt

LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday that the British parliament could back Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal if lawmakers received assurances from the European Union, but warned that a no deal Brexit was still on the table.
May pulled a vote on her deal this week after acknowledging it would be heavily defeated over concerns about the divorce agreement’s “backstop,” an insurance policy designed to avoid any hard land border for Ireland but which critics say could bind Britain to EU rules indefinitely.
“When the dust has settled, the only way we’re going to get this through the House of Commons ... is to have a version of the deal that the government has negotiated,” Hunt told BBC radio.
Following a summit in Brussels on Friday, May said it was possible that the EU could give further guarantees that the backstop would be temporary although the bloc’s other 27 leaders told her they would not renegotiate the treaty.
Hunt said the EU was likely to make concessions to avoid Britain leaving without any deal, a scenario that both sides say would be highly damaging for business and their economies.
“The EU cannot be sure that if they choose not to be helpful and flexible ... that we would not end up with no deal,” Hunt said. “We cannot in these negotiations take no deal off the table. I don’t think the EU could be remotely sure that if we don’t find a way through this we wouldn’t end up with no deal.”
The Times newspaper reported on Saturday that most of May’s senior ministerial team thought her deal was dead and were discussing a range of options including a second referendum.
“Brexit is in danger of getting stuck – and that is something that should worry us all,” pensions minister Amber Rudd wrote in the Daily Mail newspaper.
“If MPs (lawmakers) dig in against the Prime Minister’s deal and then hunker down in their different corners, none with a majority, the country will face serious trouble.”