Jan 24, 2014

    Stop the rot from 'stinky' comment

    EACH time a foreigner does something silly nowadays, the anti-foreigner sentiments flow unabated online.

    Mr Anton Casey, the Briton who's become an overnight sensation with his remarks about "stinky" Singapore's MRT commuters, has been trolled like never before.

    So much so that he and his wife, former Miss Singapore Universe Bernice Wong, have removed their social-media profiles. Still, netizens have managed to dig up stuff on him and his family.

    But this is just someone who, well, just happens to be Caucasian.

    As we have seen in recent months, idiotic comments can come from people of all races, nationalities, gender and age. Let's not let this episode drag the name of all foreigners here down the gutter.

    Many have done plenty of good here, too.

    There is the Austrian couple who started a charity, Food from the Heart, 12 years ago by collecting waste bread from restaurants and bakeries. The charity distributes food to about 14,500 needy people, collecting leftovers from 100 eateries.

    Then there's American Debbie Fordyce, who cares so much for foreign workers that she offers her own condominium unit to those in need of shelter. The widow started volunteering with Transient Workers Count Too, which helps migrant workers in Singapore, and is a member of the group's executive committee.

    The level of xenophobic comments cast Mr Casey's way is almost as bad as his comments in the first place. Some posters even made downright insensitive remarks about his son and beauty-queen wife.

    There is absolutely no need to go down this route every time a person makes a stupid remark online.

    Mr Casey appears to be well-educated, and a father to a young son. He should have known better that a comment like his would set off a typhoon of criticism.

    Criticise his comments all you want. Just remember that his nationality has little to do with it.