As an British expat living in Singapore (but not a banker!), I’ve been ashamed by this fella’s comments. He’s known locally as being a bit of a knob and there are a minority of Brits here who behave like this all the time.

However, the backlash here has been COMPLETELY over the top and actually pretty sinister. Death threats (allegedly, but I can believe it based on death threats a mate received for something completely unrelated), some pretty hideous and unwarranted abuse of his son and wife, people cancelling their HSBC accounts because that’s where Casey works(ed), someone reporting him to the police for sedition! Today, we’ve even had a senior politician jumping on board telling everyone how upset the comments made him. There’s also been a deluge of anti-Caucasian and British comments posted online, including some nasty racist stuff.

The ridiculous over-reaction is (yet another) sign of simmering local discontent and resentment – both of foreigners and of the widening gap in wages and living standards. It also shows what happens when you don’t have a free press and educate people like robots – they become incapable of reacting rationally to any form of criticism. Only last week the locals were up in arms over some harmless comments made by a local singer who said she wasn’t very proud to be Singaporean.

For a taste of local opinion and racism have a look at a particularly nasty site called ‘the Real Singapore’.

In recent years Singapore has been a stable and calm place to live and work, but the signs are that that’s going to change, not least as a result of the ludicrous and ill-thought out plans to increase the local population by over 30% (by importing foreign labour) and because of the local governing political party’s failure to reform. All it will take is a few years of economic struggle and things could get really nasty here…


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