So what’s new? Gilbert Goh, who organised the protest against public transport fee hikes on 25th Jan 2014 at Hong Lim Park didn’t go ahead with the burning our poor transport minister’s effigy after receiving a stern warning from the police who are probably still suffering from Arsonphobia after their patrol cars have been set on fire at Little India.
Reactions to Gilbert Goh’s proposed antic were mixed, but it seems that brusquely brazen Gilbert may have lost quite a few fans who thought that he was going overboard. Let’s hope he’s not a Suthep Thaugsuban in the making.
Meanwhile, our Siderodromophobic (fear of trains) Porsche fan Anton Casey had hurriedly fled Singapore with his family. The Daily Mail reported:
Disgraced Anton Casey, 39, sneaked out of the city state on an economy-class flight to Perth in Australia with a hat pulled down over his face. Hours later his employer, Crossinvest Asia, pointedly used Facebook to announce his departure.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545824/Anton-Casey-British-banker-living-Singapore-provoked-fury-ridiculing-poor-people-parted-ways-company-gone-Australia.html#ixzz2rVpiPxSR
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Surprising or not, very few Britons appreciated Casey’s brand of “humour”. It’s such a pity that all the firefighting efforts by the Straits Times have been in vain.
William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement wrote in a Straits Times article asking: “What has gone horribly wrong, is our celebration of the justice being meted out.”
Yao mo gao chor ah? I just had a tiny bottle of Long Island Tea. You call that a celebration? And I didn’t see people dancing on the streets, setting off fireworks. Yes, our actor Tay Ping Hui asked him to get out, but hey, he’s only an actor. Even if he had pointed a gun at Mr Casey and asked him to leave, it’s probably a fake gun.
But the biggest pail of cold water had to come from a senior journalist Chua Mui Hoong. No, Ms Chua didn’t ask us to stop celebrating. She actually asked us to “self-reflect”. This is classic:
Mr Casey has [apologised]. He has lost his job and his family their peace of mind. As Singaporeans, I hope more of us will be able to forgive those who insult us. Perhaps we too need to do some self-reflection. Can we be a little less prickly when others poke fun at us? Can we learn to fight back online, without resorting to personal attacks, vulgarities or threats of harm? Do we have the grace to accept an apology and forgive? And to say: This man, who is our guest, has returned hospitality with insult. He has done us wrong, but he has apologised and is paying the price. Enough is enough.
Yao mo gao chor ah? Personal attacks, vulgarities and threats of harm (which I didn’t see), all this online vitriol is just about as harmful as Tay Peng Hui’s fake gun. The fact is, he has fled the country in spite of people having lodged complaints and made police reports for seditious remarks against him.
Brewing resentment against elitism was what sparked the fuse in Anton Casey’s case. Does Dr Wan and Ms Chua even realise that if they had not tried to douse the flames by asking for empathy and even advocating self-reflection, people might have forgotten and forgiven Casey already. Why is he receiving special treatment from the mainstream media? Is he somehow connected with the editors and their “supervisors”?
Empathy? Self-reflection? Why didn’t these kind souls say anything to help Mr Yaw Shin Leong when the media went into tabloid mode with his private life and virtually destroyed his political career without him committing any crime? Why are they insulting our intelligence and coming to the rescue of someone who is very obviously not repentant? The agenda of the virtual lynch mob is clear. But what is the agenda for these influential writers? While Dr Wan’s article may resonate with my philosophy of 得饶人处且饶人, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Ms Chua’s article advocating self-reflection will only add oil to fire, confirming that she is in the same league as Anton Casey.
Without resorting to fake guns or vulgarity, local actress Oon Shu Ann wrote an open letter to him and my favourite part is this:
So yes. Poor people smell. And its the smell of a fight. You. You. Have a different kind of stink.
The stink of entitlement. The stink of a rich person who thinks his money should buy him respect. Who thinks that his money is a result of his hardwork. And only his hardwork. Nothing to do with his race, with his birthplace, what he was born with, with his parents, with his education, with people that believed in him. None of those things. His hardwork, and only his hardwork, brought him his money, and therefore, he has earned it.
You stink, like the rich people who think of ways not to change the system that allows people to be paid less than minimum wage, that allows contracts that terminate you for bogus reasons because its cheaper to get someone else.
© Chan Joon Yee