Sorry, I had poor judgment
The picture on a Facebook account shows a young boy waving while sitting in an MRT train. The caption above reads: "Daddy where is your car & who are all these poor people?"
Another picture posted later shows a boy waving while sitting in a Porsche convertible. The caption reads: "Ahhhhhhhh reunited with my baby. Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me."
Screengrabs of the postings soon made their way to various websites and online forums, including HardwareZone and citizen journalism portal Stomp, on Monday. They soon went viral and sparked an online storm.
The Facebook account belongs to Mr Anton Casey, a Briton working here as a senior wealth manager in the financial sector.
Many netizens were outraged by what they perceived as Mr Casey's insensitivity and arrogance, among other things.
Mr Casey, who is married to former Singapore beauty queen Bernice Wong and holds Singapore permanent residency, issued a statement through a public relations company yesterday to apologise for his actions and regrets "having offended and disrespected the people of Singapore".
When asked if he had written the Facebook posts, his PR spokesman said: "He did not deny it."
He also said in the statement that there had been a "security breach" of his Facebook account. When asked to clarify if this meant that the account had been hacked, the spokesman said "no".
The New Paper understands that the breach could have been referring to his Facebook posts being lifted and re-posted elsewhere.
Mr Casey also made reference to a video that surfaced on Monday afternoon after his pictures went viral. In the 15-second video, which shows him and his son, he says: "Don't be angry at me. Be angry with your mum and dad for raising you a wuss."
It was mentioned online that the video was made as a follow-up to Mr Casey's comments on public transport.
While admitting the video was his, he said in the statement that it "was made weeks prior and has been misused to portray me as unrepentant".
His spokesman declined to reveal the original context in which the video was made.
Mr Casey added that his family, especially his Singaporean son, had "suffered extreme emotional and verbal abuse online" and received death threats.
He said he had reported the matter to the police.
His spokesman declined to give TNP a copy of the police report or reveal the report number.
When contacted, the police said they could not confirm the report without knowing the report number.
Comments on Facebook posts and elsewhere showed the extent of the outrage felt by the public.
Facebook user Hanaan Ali commented on a thread: "We may not have fancy cars and have to squeeze in buses and trains. But at the end of the day, we are blessed to have a HOME, TRUE friends and a HEALTHY family."
Another Facebook user, Jonathan Kent, commented: "No one in Singapore has any reason to feel less of a person than this overgrown barrow-boy... Very proud to count many Singaporeans amongst my friends and very ashamed of this ignorant oaf."
Mr Casey's Facebook and Twitter accounts were no longer available last night.
Ms Wong, a former Miss Singapore Universe, had also taken down her Facebook account
When TNP visited their home at Gilstead Road yesterday, no one answered the intercom.
- Additional reporting by Matthaeus Choo
Don't be angry at me. Be angry with your mum and dad for raising you a wuss.
- Mr Anton Casey in a video that he later said was 'misused' to portray him as unrepentant.
No one in Singapore has any reason to feel less of a person than this overgrown barrow-boy. Just another loser who couldn't cut it in Essex. Very proud to count many Singaporeans amongst my friends and very ashamed of this ignorant oaf.
- Facebook user Jonathan Kent