Law Minister K. Shanmugam said he was "terribly upset and offended" by Briton Anton Casey's comments which referred to public transport commuters in Singapore as "poor people". But he urged Singaporeans not to flame the Briton's family because "Singaporeans can be bigger than that".
Mr Casey's comments were "deeply offensive, wrong and unacceptable", he said in a Facebook post on Thursday. "Those who have done well in life should always be looking out for others - especially the less well-off or needy. It is basic human decency. Instead Mr Casey showed contempt. Having money and a Porsche does not automatically mean that one is superior. Character is important," he wrote. "I am glad the community has come together to condemn what he has said."
Mr Shanmugam also noted that some also felt Mr Casey's apology lacked sincerity, and "I think there is some basis for thinking that".
Two of Mr Casey's Facebook posts began circulating on the Internet on Monday, sparking fury among local netizens. In one, a picture of his five-year-old son on an MRT train was accompanied by the caption: "Daddy where is your car & who are all these poor people?"
In the other post, his son is pictured in a silver Porsche with the comment: "...Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me..."
A YouTube video of Mr Casey was later posted in what seemed like a taunting response to his detractors, but he insisted in his statement that this was a "misuse of an old video by unknown sources".