British expat Anton Casey's posts 'deeply offensive': Shanmugam

Elena Torrijos
Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K. Shanmugam speaks to reporters at parliament in Singapore on July 8, 2013

Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Thursday deplored the online posts of British wealth manager Anton Casey, calling them "deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable".

In a post on his Facebook page on Thursday morning, Shanmugam said like many Singaporeans he was terribly upset and offended by Casey's posts.

Shanmugam said that those who have done well in life should always be looking out for others, especially the less well-off or need. "It is basic human decency," the minister noted.

However, he expressed hope that Singaporeans would not attack or flame the expat's family.

"He has attempted to apologise to Singaporeans. But some feel that the manner of his apology showed a lack of sincerity. And I think there is some basis for thinking that," Shanmugam said.

"At the same time, I hope that Singaporeans will not attack or flame his family because of his actions,"  the minister said. "We, Singaporeans, can be bigger than that."

Casey, a senior wealth manager, was the subject of public outrage after screengrabs of his Facebook posts surfaced on various Singapore websites and forums on Monday.

In the posts, one of which showed his silver Porsche, he referred to public transport commuters as "poor people" and looked forward to washing "the stench of public transport off me".

He also said a Singapore male cabbie deserved a "retard award" for wearing arm warmers and mittens and having a towel on his lap though it was 37 degrees Celsius.

Casey on Tuesday apologised for his behaviour and asked people to give him a second chance.

"I deeply regret having offended and disrespected the people of Singapore. I have the highest respect and regard for Singapore and the good people of Singapore; this is my home," he said.

Casey, who is married to 2003 Miss Singapore Universe Bernice Wong, said his family, especially his five-year-old Singaporean son, have suffered extreme emotional and verbal abuse online.

Casey added that police investigations were ongoing into the matter, including death threats his family have received.

Meanwhile, Casey's employer, Crossinvest (Asia) Pte Ltd is looking into the wealth manager's conduct.

"Crossinvest does not condone the offending comments. We believe they were made in poor taste," said Christophe Audergon, managing director of Crossinvest Asia.

"Crossinvest has clear policies regarding the codes of conduct expected of its employees. That code of conduct extends to social media. We are currently investigating the comments made by our employee and will take appropriate action once we are in possession of all the facts," Audergon said.