Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Where has all our empathy gone?

Anton Casey is the latest in a list of infamous social media users who said things on their social media pages which outraged Singaporeans. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF BERNICE WONG

Something has gone wrong with us Singaporeans.

The year is barely a month old, and look at what's happened. In three short weeks, we have made famous Anton Casey and "Heather Chua". The latter, we now know, is a man pretending to be a woman online and trolled his way into the police investigation room.

They join an infamous list of social media users whose unfortunate choice of words resulted in rather serious consequences - Amy Cheong, Eve Tan, Andy Chan and a host of others who, at one point or another, said things on their social media pages which outraged a nation.


Head of government-sponsored Singapore Kindness Movement Dr William Wan bemoans Singaporeans' lack of empathy and understanding for Anton Casey in ST article
Hardwarezone Forum, 24 Jan 2014
"Empathy for your fellow human being, no matter how bad that person, is a large part of what makes us humans.

To be fair, while a large portion of the community felt good about the "punishment" for Anton Casey, many also called for forgiveness since he has apologised. So the feeling of gloating when someone gets his come-uppance isn't exactly unanimous.

It is, however, significant enough for us to ask ourselves if we are losing touch with our empathetic nature.

It is indeed hard to reach for empathy and understanding, especially when one gets swept up in the emotions that such offensive conduct invariably brings out in us. Yet we must do so, to resist the tide of least resistance that would sweep us into concurring or even celebrating the condemnation of others who offend people like us." - Dr William Wan, Sec Gen Singapore Kindness Movement Full story

Related:
  1. A difference between empathy and forgiveness - The Online Citizen
  2. Cheryl Marie Tay takes Dr William Wan to task for blaming Singaporeans lack of empathy towards Anton Casey - Facebook
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A difference between empathy and forgiveness


Perhaps it’s my disdain for the standard of “journalism” ST is known for, or perhaps I’m just missing the empathy chip, but Mr. William Wan, please spare me your highfalutin calls for “empathy” for “the least deserving”, i.e. Anton Casey.

I didn’t say much on the issue because, well, he isn’t the first rich person to have such a condescending attitude towards those whose entire net worth is but a monthly salary for him. I’ve met locals and foreigners who think money alone makes them superior, so I wasn’t surprised. Also, I knew very well that an angry Internet mob would form in a matter of hours and rip him apart, and I was right.

But of course, trust ST to publish an article encouraging us to be “empathetic” towards him, and to take the opportunity to slip in pro-PAP lines such as “those who chastise the Government for groupthink also themselves fall prey to a groupthink mob mentality”.

related:
Anton Casey and firm part ways
Anton Casey's employer "investigating" his comments

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Refuting S’pore Kindness Movement wrt Anton Casey


Dear William Wan of the Singapore Kindness Movement, I heard your plea for empathy. It is indeed a call worthy of your lengthy essay. In this regard, I hope you will speak up for me when the police harassed me again for making a political film, organising a political forum or any such activity.

I hope you will make a similar plea to the government to exercise empathy for cartoonists, artists and bloggers whose homes get raided and computers confiscated by the police for merely expressing their views.

I hope you pen 10,000 word essays on behalf of the JB Jeyaretnams, the Chee Soon Juans, the Yaw Shin Leongs and all the bankrupted, exiled and vilified politicians and activists whose only crime was to oppose the very people who fund and supports your organisation – the PAP Government.

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Something Is Wrong With William

Singaporeans would never go that far to avenge an insult. At worst they could subcontract the sticky task to the Ah Longs, to superglue the door locks of the racist's condominium or spray paint his precious Porsche, as Michael Fay would do.

Why would this William side with a foreign trash who taught his precocious 5-year-old to mock an ethnic group with the offensive buck-teeth and slope-eyes gesture? The offspring of copulating with a Miss Singapore? Talk about Singaporeans being screwed! And the greatest crime of this wuss of a wealth manager has to be depriving us of a rare COE. The car population is limited to 0.3 per cent growth, while the immigrant population is allowed to gallop at double digits. Way before the advent of the Year of the Horse.

Even a Shanmuganm called his apology a sham, "But some feel that the manner of his apology showed a lack of sincerity. And I think there is some basis for thinking that." That's a lawyer talking.

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William Wan: Where is our empathy?


I spotted this article early this morning way before the online version was available. I thought to myself who is going to read such a long article? It turned out I was wrong. Disgusted readers must have forwarded this to their friends and they in turn forward to more people.

As with many readers, I wasn't happy with what William Wan had written. Mr. Wan forgets that he is not Nelson Mandela or Pope Francis to be telling us this. He grossly exceeded himself.

Patsy Goh put it well on ST Facebook. William Wan should explain himself.

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WHERE HAS ALL OUR EMPATHY GONE?

Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, publishes an article in The Straits Times' Opinion pages, asking people who condemned Mr Casey to show some empathy. The commentary goes viral, and the response is mixed - some praise Dr Wan for his "rational and compassionate" thought; others say he is "not a true Singaporean"

Dr William Wan calling for more empathy in the wake of the unceasing online rants, believes it is time to take a step back.

"It is right that we stepped up and reprimanded the wrong committed. But to continue to be angry and bitter is not helpful," he said. "He has already apologised and paid the price. We should be big-hearted enough to let people redeem themselves. That is what empathy is about."

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SINGAPORE KINDNESS MOVEMENT ON ANTON CASEY: WHERE HAS ALL OUR EMPATHY GONE?

A more disturbing phenomenon is the concept of social media justice.


Let's not mince words, the offenders' words deserved some kind of punishment, not just for the actual offence they caused, but perhaps for the sheer stupidity of what, how and why they said what they posted.


Whether the punishment was disproportionate to the crime is a matter of opinion.


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Be kind to William Wan

The Secretary General of the Singapore Kindness Movement spoke to Sinkies to show some kindness to foreigners like Anton Casey and was slammed harder than Anton by the Sinkies.

I am thinking of calling Sinkies to be kind to Willaim Wan with due respect to his appointment as the Sec Gen of SKM. Would I get slammed by the Sinkies as well? I think I better not try to be kind for the wrong reason or when the mood of the people is very unforgiving at the moment.

I rather call on William Wan to show some kindness to the poor student that was charged in court and fine $400 by SMRT. Or was it by LTA? Or was it fined by the court? William could make amends and show some real kindness that would be appreciated by the Sinkies like this case. Let’s see if he can get the SMRT and the court to erase this bad memory in the life of the poor student so that he/she need not carry this millstone on the neck for life.

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Keep Calm and William Wan

Keep Calm and William Wan. As general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movment, Mr Nice Guy William Wan feels that it is his job and duty to tell haters that we’re overreacting and taking this Anton Casey bashing a tad too far. Perhaps it’s an exaggearation to say that we’re ‘celebrating’ his ‘punishment’ when what most of us are doing is merely gloating silently at some twat’s misfortune, someone who happened to be white, drives a Porsche, and has a Ms Singapore Universe for a wife. To most people, this is a perfectly normal response.

Mass disapproval in all its forms is a mechanism that has evolved as a penalty for anyone who flouts the unwritten rules of basic human decency. Anton was a consummate tosser, and needed to be put in his place. Issuing death threats, however, makes you as much as a ‘wanker’ as he is. Personally I didn’t bang my screen or hurl my mouse across the room like an angry keyboard warrior when I saw what Casey wrote on FB. In fact, I’m wondering what if the inverse happened and I walked into a posh golf club and posted ‘Daddy who are all these rich filthy bastards?’ and ‘Normal service can resume. Once I wash the stench of atas consumerism off me’.

I did not pump my fist in sweet victory when he was forced to make a public apology. I may have chuckled at a few memes and lame puns here and there, but I wouldn’t make a police report or throw eggs on his front porch and all over his ‘baby’ Porsche. I also wouldn’t go to the extent of saying ‘Hang in there, buddy’. That’s like giving someone comforting last rites before an execution. I can, however, IMAGINE what it must be like to be him right now. That is empathy. Absolving him of sin, calling for a group hug and singing Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’ is another matter altogether.

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Is William Wan PAP’s chief ‘mind bender’?

The Singapore Kindness Movement is clearly another PAP cloak designed in the same fabric woven by the PAP to disguise the People’s Association as a non-political entity.

SKM’s location at Old Hill Street Police Station, 140 Hill Street is even more ominous in its relationship with the PAP, and one can only wonder what possibly could be its real agenda.

Perhaps we can understand the agenda if we take a peek into Dr William Wan’s remarkable background as a lawyer, pastor, academic, and a psychometric analyst before becoming the general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement in 2011.

related:
A senior to Anton Casey: Why some seniors ‘stink’

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Foreign Talent Anton Casey dug his own grave!

Our Foreign Talent Foreign Trash Anton Casey has fled to Perth and taken refuge there. He is running away from the egregious inferno created from his folly. Up till now it seems unabated and still raging with much more ferocity. It mirrors eerily a similar incident more than one and half year ago in the case of Amy Cheong. Another FT working here who had sought refuge in Perth when the heat was on her. She made some contemptuous racist remarks about Malay traditional weddings at void decks. Like Anton Casey, she also lost her job and faded into oblivion after some time. Click here to read the story.

But this Anton Casey is much worst. He is incorrigible. He is a repeat offender making many contemptuous remarks against the whole of Singapore. He offended the “poor” and those taking our trains which almost every working class and “poor” locals commute to work or leisure. He even offended more than 29,000 taxi on the road with more than 100,000 taxi vocation holders when he called a taxi driver on his Facebook a “retard!” He is a hardcore son of a bitch isn’t it?

Anton Casey is a foreigner having benefited so much from our Singapore economy that he simply bites the hand that feeds him without any qualms. Do we need such ungrateful foreigners in our country? Amy Cheong’s case was a storm in a teacup. What about Anton Casey? Does he deserve sympathy and forgiveness? Let’s analyze and dissect this interesting phenomenon. I think experts and students on the new social media will also be interested to study it’s far reaching implications. Welcome to the brave new world of the new social media.


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The Anton Casey Case – Time to Think Before We Type, Because Anger Begets Anger

The recent case of Anton Casey has gained much attention on local social media platforms and some international news sites, further highlighting that what is ranted on seemingly personal (internet) space, may not be so any more

What is worrying is not just the protagonist per se (he is wrong definitely), but the amount of online rants that followed, some of which are terribly fiery and crude. While most of the comments are directed at his actions, many were directed towards his wife, his child and the foreign community as a whole. Many of these comments are vulgar, unrefined and insulting. His wife is the centre of many stereotypical beauty queen ‘jokes’, from SPG typecasts to ugly name-calling – from the ‘b’, ‘p’ to ‘w’ words. All these came from people without knowing who she really is.

I felt more for the child, who is just a minor. Regardless of how he looks or behaves, having other grown-up adults calling him ‘retarded’, an ‘idiot’ or ‘devil’s child’ on the online sphere is not doing him any good. Neither does it reflect well on the ones who made those comments, many whom I believe are educated adults and parents themselves. Why have some of us turned into ugly netizens?

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Understanding Anton Casey

What really puzzles me is what motivated Casey to be so contemptuous of poor people. He has said that this was the worst mistake of his life. But was it a mistake? I really don't think so. I think a person who taunts and laughs at poor people publicly cannot say that he "has made a mistake". What he can say is although he really hates and despises the poor, he should not have done so publicly because the repercussion on himself is severe. In other words, the fact remains that he has nothing but contempt for the poor. In his mind, the only "mistake" he has made is in expressing his contempt openly.  That is why the public did not accept his apology because the truth is nothing has changed. He's only sad that his actions have caused harm to himself and his family.  That's not remorse; that's self-preservation.  He will only learn to be more tactful but the rot in his heart remains unaltered

Anyone who has seen the photo and video he posted online will no doubt notice with horror that he involves his five-year-old son in all his antics.  On his Facebook page, he tells the world how his son asks him in surprise why there are so many poor people on the train.  In the video in which he tells the people not to be angry with him but to be angry with their parents for raising them weak and presumably poor, he has his son next to him smiling supportively at every word he utters

Why anyone would drag his own young child into this is something I find hard to understand.  Surely if anyone is going to make himself public enemy No. 1, the last thing he will do is to make his innocent child a party to his disgraceful conduct?  Because he somehow linked his actions inextricably to his son, no newspaper reporting the incident could leave his son out of the picture. Some publications I have seen tried to blot his son's face out of the photos he himself published to the world but others just left the photos intact.  What kind of a father would do that to his own son?

related:
Rudeness is Not a Crime
Amy, Amy, Quite Contrary

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SMRT Stinks


Like thousands of others, resident foreign talent Casey has a bitch about Singapore's public transportation system. No, it's not about the fare hike and the frequency of breakdowns. Casey had to send his Porsche to the workshop and downgrade to an alternative malodorous mode of travel to his day job as Senior Portfolio Manager (Team Leader), HSBC International Banking Centre.

My friend's wife knew it was a bad move her husband bought a Ferrari when she overheard her son's exchange at the kindergarten playground:
"Did you come to school in the sports car?" 
"Nah, we used mom's crappy Japanese SUV."
So who's the retard, father or son?

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Hounded Out – Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish?

They left for Perth on economy class. After all that posturing and big talk, they sneaked out like a family of refugees. What a letdown! My compassionate thoughts are with the residents of Perth, now that it will stink of economy class plus Singapore’s public transport.

Anton Casey, an arrogant, ugly – I mean, really ugly – and obnoxious Briton working here, husband to an ex-Miss Singapore, and father to a five-year-old brat of a son (famous for that photo of him sitting in his father’s Porsche), was insensitive enough to label public transport users “poor” and bragged on his Facebook that he couldn’t wait to wash off the stench of public transport when he got his Porsche back from the workshop. Then someone dug out all this moron’s personal information, including all his email addresses, his home and office addresses, all his phone numbers, details of his employer, etc and worse, a video showing him making more comments deemed insulting to Singaporeans.

The backlash was fast and furious. Anton Casey, who allegedly received death threats, issued a half-baked apology (through a PR agency, no less – how sincere is that?) and hired lawyers to harass sites that carried screenshots of his Facebook posts. The Minister of Law weighed in, calling his remarks “deeply offensive and unacceptable” and said he was glad that the community has come together to condemn what Anton Casey had said about Singaporeans.

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Welcome, Anton Casey, to Social Media

The Internet is everyone’s new second home (first home for some). That includes entitled mockers like Casey, bigger trolls like SMRT Limited (Feedback) and some outright liars and twisters of the truth, like that-website-that-shall-not-be-named, which propagated a Youtube video Casey apparently made and uploaded weeks before the incident and tried to pass it off as taunting Singaporeans in the wake of the FB expose (when in fact Casey was probably mocking someone else).

As in life, there’s always a bigger fish. Online, there’s always a bigger bully. Everyone who wants to die of old age must watch his own words and steps online, offend only those he/she can afford to offend, and only to a degree that he/she can afford to offend them. The most offhanded comment, taken out of context and twisted grotesquely, can draw a frenzied crowd of bloodthirsty online zombies.

Welcome to Social Media 101. It’s a jungle out there.

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The power of The Word

In Singapore, within the span of about one week, a certain expatriate banker by the name of Aston Casey has become public enemy number one merely by posting a few lines on his now removed Facebook account a couple of very derogatory and insulting remarks about us Singaporeans and our public transport system.  These words of his became “viral” in more ways than one.  This virus spread so quickly and suddenly all of Singapore and even other parts of the world became aware of this person’s open disdain for the poor and “smelly” public transport user that vitriolic spewed from many Singaporeans’ keyboards so much so that the “offender” took on the defensive and has since fled the island republic to seek refuge in Perth, Australia with his Singaporean wife and young son.

There have since been several calls by various people to forgive the stupidity of Mr. Casey, and truly, at the bottom of this act is really his stupidity that caused him such a sudden fall from a lofty height.  Many would quote the unenlightened saying, “it is easy to forgive but we cannot forget”.  I call this unenlightened because there is hardly any reason to forgive a transgression if one is in fact lacking in memory or demented in any way.  True forgiveness is on grand display when one truly remembers and chooses to forgive, despite the pain, hurt and the memory of having being offended.

Mere civility may ask that we as Singaporeans ‘put aside’ this incident and ‘move on’ in life, as there are much more important things in life other than harping on someone’s stupid, callous and careless remarks made of us.  But not everyone is a civil person.  There are many people who are bent on having their own sense of justice and as an old Cantonese saying goes, to want to “bite till the dead come to life again”, meaning that one just cannot ‘let go’.

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of Anton Casey and his greatest mistake

This idiot called Anton Casey (google for 'idiot Anton Casey' here) really deserves the heat! (By the way, well done CrossInvest Asia for decisively throwing him off from the company.)

This 39-year-old British expat has showed the empathy like, well, none! See, he referred to public transport users as "poor people" in a social network post on Monday. C'mon, what the hell is that for?!?!

He also scoffed at ‘the stench of public transport’. Guess he doesn't like the perfume of hard work, huh? All this stupidity that the idiot called Anton Casey proudly showcased in his Facebook leads to the biggest puzzle: why, oh why, his Singaporean wife has not divorced you yet. After all, his wife is a former Miss Singapore Universe, Bernice Wong. Should she not have a national duty as she who once represented Singapore to kick this idiot called Anton Casey out of her life?

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Why Singaporeans need to Revoke Anton’s
 PR Statu


Why has a person who has a 12 –year Permanent Residency, continue to be a Permanent Resident ? Both his wife and son are Singaporeans, he has an expensive property and a successful Singapore career. Because the government allows him to do so. This is a major policy flaw that allows PRs to continue enjoying all the benefits of being a Citizen (except the right to vote), without actually committing to a country to grow their roots and defend their way of life. How long is enough? 5 years, 10 years, 50 years? The governments’ position is that they want to be flexible and allow PRs to decide when they want to become Citizens. But it just cultivates people who will flee when a crisis hits Singapore or themselves, such as Amy Cheong and Anton Casey. Do we really want these PRs ? Currently the criteria for issuing PR status are arbitrarily done focusing on job status, wealth, relations. Do we need a more transparent list of criteria that includes social and volunteer work?

We are continuously accused of being keyboard warriors, hiding behind the computer and ineffectual. But if Singapore netizens can force a Minister to issue a facebook statement on the matter, make a bigot get fired from his job and flee the country (in that chronological order), we actually punch way above what the government tries to portray us to be. We need to send a strong message to the Government and the foreigner community living in Singapore, that we reject such a foreigner and revoke his permanent residency. Singaporeans are tolerant, non-confrontational and generally accepting to new people, ideas and concepts. But never push us to the wall, good-will is finite and patience has a limit.

Singaporeans need to make a clear stand to purge the bad and keep the good. If our government behaves like a 51-year old prostitute, it does not mean that Singaporeans have to. We need to be more discerning and we have the power to do so. 

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“Mummy, flying economy is worse than taking the MRT!”
” Shouldn’t we be travelling apart from ordinary S’poreans?”
“Baby, I don’t know what to say. Anton, why liddat leh? Where’s the private jet?”
“Darlin’, pls don’t shout at me. I lost my job.”
“Daddy doesn’t have money, Mummy? I got to take the MRT, not sit in the Porsche?”
“Anton, you poor now?” 
“Don’t be liddat, Ms Gold Digger 1959.”
“I should have married Ah Beng not ang moh.”
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Anton Casey

– Limpeh is Foreign Talent: Finally the last word on Anton Casey
– Singapore 2B: Friends and Values – a Reflection
– Singapore Adventures: The Ballad of Anton Casey
– My Singapore News: Be kind to William Wan
– S M ONG: Will there be a backlash against the backlash against Anton Casey?
– This and that from mama: What a week
– The Girl in the White Dress: The Anton Casey case
– Marry Thai Girl Singapore: Anton Casey Left Singapore with Family
– TOC: Should we punish Anton Casey?
– Reflections and Ruminations: The power of The Word
– Daniel Food Diary: Time to Think Before We Type, Because Anger Begets Anger
– Dum Fata Sinunt, Vivite Laeti: Understanding Anton Casey
– Gintai_昇泰: Foreign Talent Anton Casey dug his own grave!
– Loh and Behold: Hounded Out – Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish?
– Tots of a Cynical Investor: “Mummy, flying economy is worse than taking the MRT!”
– Better Off Ted: Why Singaporeans need to Revoke Anton’s PR Status
– Anonymous_X: Of Anton Casey and his greatest mistake
– Everything Also Complain: People are all ‘tulan’ with Anton Casey
– Singapore Notes: Something Is Wrong With William
– [FB] Oon Shu An: Open letter to Anton Casey
– TOC: About respecting people and blending in
– Cynical Investor: Bernice Wong: Anton’s masculine, not sheltered, babyed & childish
– Just Speaking My Mind: Tough Action Needs to be Taken on Anton Casey
– Limpeh is Foreign Talent: The Sedition Act and Anton Casey?
– Musings From the Lion City: No Death Threats Please
– Iron Bowl: Rich Expats in Singapore get different treatment by the law
– A Singaporean In Australia: Monsters Beneath the Skin
– The Fida: Anton Casey – #1 Public Enemy?
– [FB] Andrew Loh: Go Home, Mr Casey
– The Gingerbread Mum: Singapore, My Home, Where I Belong
– Bertha Henson: The PR case for Casey
– Sg Hall of Shame: Casey apologises but gets PR firm & lawyers to hound Sporeans
– A Singaporean In Australia: The Worst Local Bank
– New Nation: S’poreans touched by British expat Anton Casey’s heartfelt apology
– All Singapore Stuff: EXPERIENCES WITH COCKY BRITISH EXPATS
– TOC: Anton Casey’s employer “investigating” his comments
– Signs of Struggle: Welcome, Anton Casey, to Social Media 101 (3 credits)
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Open letter to HSBC S’pore on Anton Casey
– Ravi Philemon: Proud of my ‘poor’ Singaporean stench
– Singapore Hall of Shame: British FT Anton Casey is a mf ch**bye kia
– LimpehForeignTalent: Why Sporeans have no influence on Anton Casey’s employer
– Mothership: Former Miss S’pore Universe’s husband’s in massive online backlash
– Singapore Notes: SMRT Stinks
– New Nation: Poor S’poreans apologise to rich white guy
– Thy-Dowager: Miss SG’s Foreigner Husband calls Sporeans: “POOR PEOPLE”
read more

related:
Remember Anton Casey, he’s back!
Expats in the News

We can afford to forgive this arrogant twerp
Where has all our empathy gone?
British Expat Banker Apologises For Poor Judgment
MRT Hero Stood Up To Bully