Anton Casey leaves for Perth with family, hopes to return 'when we feel safe'

Senior wealth manager Anton Casey with his wife Bernice Wong, a former Miss Singapore Universe pageant winner. The two have a five-year-old son. (Reuters photo)

“This week, I have made the greatest mistake of my life,” he wrote in an email.

And he has paid dearly for it.

British expat Anton Casey, who in the course of this week sparked world headlines for his "poor people" and "stench of public transport" posts on Facebook, has left the country.

Fired by his employer, wealth management firm CrossInvest Asia, private wealth manager Casey has packed his bags for Perth after living in Singapore for the past 12 years.

According to national daily The Straits Times, fellow passengers spotted Casey with his wife, former Miss Singapore Universe winner Bernice Wong and their five-year-old son, on a Singapore Airlines economy class flight to Perth early on Friday morning.

The 39-year-old, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was sporting a cap and looking tired. In an email to the paper, he said he was leaving the country because of “threats made towards (his) family”.

“I hope the people of Singapore will allow me to volunteer my time and resources to community projects in order to make amends for my mistakes,” he wrote. “I also hope the people of Singapore, my adopted home, will forgive me over time… Singapore is our home, and we hope to return when we feel safe.”

Wong and their son are Singapore citizens, he added, noting also that he has lived here for 12 years.

Casey’s departure echoes what happened to former NTUC assistant director Amy Cheong, an Australian citizen born in Malaysia who was fired by the trade union and subsequently returned to Perth.

The private wealth fund manager incurred the wrath of Singapore’s internet users when screengrabs of two Facebook posts started circulating and were published on citizen journalism site STOMP.

In the posts, he shared a picture of his son with the caption, “Daddy where is your car & who are all these poor people?” as well as a second image of his son in a silver Porsche with the line, “Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me.”

In a separate public post, he had also taken a picture of a taxi driver, calling him a “retard” for wearing gloves and covering himself with towels in 37-degrees-Celsius weather. He eventually deleted all his social media accounts after the backlash.

His comments triggered a strong response from Law Minister K Shanmugam, who said on Thursday morning that the posts were “deeply offensive”.

On Friday, Pasir Ris-Punggol MP Zainal bin Sapari also weighed in.

Sharing a link to a story by British publication The Independent on his Facebook timeline on Thursday night, Zainal wrote, “NTUC was decisive in sending a clear message when our staff crossed the line. Will CrossInvest Asia do the same?”