Anton Casey MRT comments (2014)

From Wiki.sg
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A screengrab of one of Anton Casey's Facebook posts in January 2014. Photo from ASIAONE.

On 20 January 2014, two Facebook posts by British expatriate Anthony S. Casey (Anton Casey) blew up on social media. The content of the posts angered many locals, due to the insensitive comments he had made with regards to Singaporean public transport and the people who took it. Apart from local media coverage, the incident also caught the attention of British newspapers and tabloids such as The Independent, The Standard and Daily Mail.[1] Anton Casey is a Singapore Permanent Resident, who had lived in Singapore for 12 years prior to the date of the incident. Before his eventual departure to Perth on 24 January 2014, Anton Casey worked as a stockbroker under the company Crossinvest Asia.[2] His wife, Bernice Wong represented Singapore at the 2003 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in Panama City.[3] Both Bernice Wong and their son are Singapore citizens.

Details of incident[edit | edit source]

Netizens mainly found issue with the captions attached to the photographs in the two Facebook posts. In the first post, Anton Casey had attached a photograph of his young son in a MRT cabin with the caption: “Daddy where is your car & who are all these poor people?”. It was insinuated that the other commuters in the MRT were the “poor people”. The second post which followed later in the same day pictured his son in his silver Porsche. The caption to this photograph read: “Ahhhhhhhh reunited with my baby. Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me FFS!”.[4] Both posts were uploaded onto Anton Casey’s personal Facebook profile.

Escalation of incident[edit | edit source]

On the same day of the incident, satirical Facebook page SMRT Ltd (Feedback), posted the personal details of both Anton Casey and his wife online. The page source is no longer publicly visible. In response to the flurry of negative attention from local netizens, Anton Casey changed his Facebook name to “Anson Stasey”.[5] Following the initial incident on 20 January 2014, an older post of Anton Casey mocking a local taxi driver resurfaced on Facebook. The original post was dated 10 March 2013. The caption attached to the post read: “And today’s cabbie retard award goes to…..Mr Arm Warmers, stripy mittens & towel on the lap man. After all, it’s only 37c outside today!”.[6]


On top of the three Facebook posts, a YouTube video titled “Anton Casey mocks Singaporeans a 'wuss'” was uploaded by YouTube user “Philandering Smith” on 22 January 2014. The identity of  the YouTube user is unknown. In the video, Anton Casey told the viewers, “Don’t be angry at me, be angry with your mum and dad for raising you a wuss”.[7] The video has over 12,000 views on YouTube. However, according to UK news site London Evening Standard, Anton Casey claimed that the old video had been taken out of context and he had been misrepresented.[8]

Responses[edit | edit source]

The Scoot advertisement that was inspired by the Anton Casey incident. Photo from Scoot's Facebook page.
Businesses such as The Tuckshop Bar used the Anton Casey incident as an opportunity to advertise their drink promotions. Photo from Marketing Interactive.

Anton Casey[edit | edit source]

Anton Casey issued a public apology through a public relations agency on 21 January 2014. In his statement, he clarified that the YouTube video had been uploaded by an unknown external party and added that his family had become victims of the incident.[9] Anton Casey and his family left Singapore for Perth, Australia on 24 January 2014. They were also spotted in an economy class cabin.[10] He later cited his family’s safety concerns as the main reason for leaving Singapore.[11]

Businesses (Crossinvest Asia, Scoot & The Tuckshop Bar)[edit | edit source]

On 25 January 2014, Anton Casey’s employer Crossinvest Asia published a Facebook post to officially address the company’s position on the matter. Crossinvest Asia reiterated that they did not share the same sentiments as Anton Casey. It was also stated that Anton Casey had been formally relieved from his position in the company.[12]


Following Anton Casey’s departure from Singapore, local airline company Scoot released an advertisement inspired by the recent incident. The advertisement was published to Scoot’s Facebook page on 26 January 2014.[13] The advertisement promoted Scoot’s fare promotion to Perth, Australia through comical illustrations of Anton Casey, Bernice Wong and their son. The text in the advertisement also read “Escape Plan: Fly to Perth Cheap Cheap, Poor or Not!”. A spokesperson from Scoot clarified that the advertisement was made in jest, citing previous examples of Scoot’s humorous takes on current local affairs.[14] The Tuckshop Bar, located at Guillemard Road in Singapore, also had a signboard at its entrance which displayed a promotion for drinks, in the context of the Anton Casey incident.[15]

Politicians (K. Shanmugam & Zainal Sapari)[edit | edit source]

On 23 January 2014, Law Minister K. Shanmugam personally addressed his view on the Anton Casey incident via a Facebook post. In his post, Mr. Shanmugam expressed solidarity with majority of Singaporeans stating that Anton Casey’s comments were “deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable”. In the concluding lines of his post, Mr. Shanmugam still urged Singaporeans to limit the online animosity directed towards Anton Casey’s family members.[16]


Labour MP Zainal Sapari, who is also the Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, likened Anton Casey’s incident to the Amy Cheong Incident which occured on 7 October 2012. While holding a position at NTUC as assistant director of membership, Amy Cheong posted a racist comment on her personal Facebook regarding void deck Malay weddings. NTUC took immediate action, and she was swiftly fired.[17] In his Facebook post dated 23 January 2014, Mr. Sapari prompted Crossinvest Asia to take swift action against Anton Casey’s actions. Mr. Sapari had shared a related article from The Independent and his accompanying caption read: “NTUC was decisive in sending a clear message when our staff crossed the line. Will Crossinvest Asia do the same?”.[18]

Further developments[edit | edit source]

Months after the events that transpired in January 2014, multiple posts about Anton Casey emerged between 29 April 2014 to 2 May 2014. These posts were mostly written to portray Anton Casey positively.[19] On 29 April 2014, a 76-second video featuring Anton Casey’s professional career highlights was uploaded by a YouTube user called Anton Casey.[20] The video titled “Anton Casey - Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur & Wealth Management Professional” is the only upload on the user’s channel.


Websites, namely anthonyscasey.com, anthonyscasey.net and anthonyscasey.org also surfaced around the same time.[21] The content of these websites ranges from Anton Casey’s global philanthropic activities to financial advice blog posts. Specifically, antonscasey.com contains an in depth biography of Anton Casey featuring his achievements in all aspects of life.[22] The latest blog posts on all three sites date between 2017 and 2018.

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Ho, Derrick. “Anton Casey’s comments on “poor people” in Singapore make headlines in British press”. January 23, 2014. The Straits Times. Accessed on 23 January 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/anton-caseys-comments-on-poor-people-in-singapore-make-headlines-in-british-press
  2. Tadeo, Maria. “Anton Casey fired and flees Singapore in economy class over “poor people” comments”. The Independent. January 23, 2014. Accessed on 23 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/british-expat-anton-casey-causes-uproar-in-singapore-after-mocking-poor-people-calling-a-taxi-driver-9077795.html
  3. Parry, Simon. “Out of a job: Banker who sneered at poor and ‘the stench of public transport’ sneaks his family out of Singapore… in economy class”. Daily Mail Online. January 25, 2014. Accessed on 23 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545824/Anton-Casey-British-banker-living-Singapore-provoked-fury-ridiculing-poor-people-parted-ways-company-gone-Australia.html#i-90b00e17
  4. To view the full posts by Anton Casey, refer to the screen grabs on: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545824/Anton-Casey-British-banker-living-Singapore-provoked-fury-ridiculing-poor-people-parted-ways-company-gone-Australia.html#i-90b00e17
  5. Tadeo, Maria. “Anton Casey fired and flees Singapore in economy class over “poor people” comments”. The Independent. January 23, 2014. Accessed on 23 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/british-expat-anton-casey-causes-uproar-in-singapore-after-mocking-poor-people-calling-a-taxi-driver-9077795.html
  6. To view the full post by Anton Casey, refer to the screen grab on: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/british-expat-anton-casey-causes-uproar-in-singapore-after-mocking-poor-people-calling-a-taxi-driver-9077795.html
  7. Philandering Smith. “Anton Casey mocks Singaporeans a ‘wuss’”. YouTube. January 22, 2014. Accessed on 23 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ2RZBjuTmE
  8. Razaq, Rashid. Drummond, Andrew. “Expat banker who mocked 'stench of poor' on public transport faces fury of Singapore”. London Evening Standard. January 22, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/expat-banker-who-mocked-stench-of-poor-on-public-transport-faces-fury-of-singapore-9077127.html
  9. Yeo, Sam Jo. “British expat, husband of former Miss Singapore, apologises for calling commuters "poor people”. The Straits Times. January 21, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/british-expat-husband-of-former-miss-singapore-apologises-for-calling-commuters-poor
  10. Chow, Jermyn. “Anton Casey and family leave for Perth amid threats”. The Straits Times. January 25, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/anton-casey-and-family-leave-for-perth-amid-threats
  11. “Anton Casey and employer Crossinvest Asia have 'parted ways'”. The Straits Times. January 25, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/anton-casey-and-employer-crossinvest-asia-have-parted-ways
  12. Channel News Asia. Facebook. January 25, 2014. Accessed on 23 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/ChannelNewsAsia/photos/a.106297597933/10151905907642934/?type=3&theater
  13. Chow, Jermyn. “Scoot takes a dig at Anton Casey”. The Straits Times. January 26, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/scoot-takes-a-dig-at-anton-casey
  14. Rezwana Manjur. “Scoot takes a jab at Anton Casey”. Marketing Interactive. January 27, 2014. Accessed on 24 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.marketing-interactive.com/scoot-takes-jab-anton-casey/
  15. Ibid.
  16. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from K Shanmugam Sc’s Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/k.shanmugam.page/posts/646349898744877?stream_ref=10
  17. Durai, Jennani. “NTUC assistant director sacked for racist remarks”. The Straits Times. October 9, 2012. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/ntuc-assistant-director-sacked-for-racist-remarks
  18. Zainal Bin Sapari. Facebook. January 23, 2014. Accessed on 24 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/S.Zainal/posts/10203160995724893?stream_ref=10
  19. Yeo, Sam Jo. “Anton Casey goes for online makeover”. The Straits Times. May 18, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/anton-casey-goes-for-online-makeover
  20. Anton Casey. “Anton Casey - Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur & Wealth Management Professional”. YouTube. April 29, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uunud65ZCKA
  21. Yeo, Sam Jo. “Anton Casey goes for online makeover”. The Straits Times. May 18, 2014. Accessed on 16 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/anton-casey-goes-for-online-makeover
  22. Home”. Anthony Casey. Accessed on 24 January 2019. Retrieved from: http://anthonyscasey.com/