​Singaporeans slam offensive quips by Briton

January 24, 2014 - 6:32:27 am

SINGAPORE:  A Singapore-based British wealth manager’s Facebook posts deriding public transport commuters as poor are “deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable”, the city-state’s foreign minister said yesterday.

Furious Internet users lashed out at Porsche-driving Anton Casey, who is married to a former Singapore beauty queen, after he referred to public transport users as “poor people” in a post on the social network.

The 39-year-old, a Singapore permanent resident, had also referred to washing “the stench of public transport off me” in another post.

“Like many Singaporeans, I am terribly upset and offended by what he (Casey) has posted. Deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable,” Foreign Minister K Shanmugam, who is also the country’s law minister, said in a post on Facebook.

Seoul official freed in Libya

TRIPOLI:  A South Korean trade official who was kidnapped in Libya has been freed three days after he was taken hostage by armed men, the Libyan and South Korean foreign ministries said.

Han Seok-Woo, the head of the Libya unit of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), was freed Wednesday and was in good health, they said.

Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Abdelrazak al-Gridi, told the Lana news agency that Libyan security forces freed him.

Seoul’s foreign ministry confirmed the release, saying the four gunmen who had kidnapped him on Sunday were arrested by the Libyan authorities. 

Java landslide  kills woman

JAKARTA:  A woman has been killed and 12 others are missing after torrential rains triggered a landslide that buried sleeping villagers on Indonesia’s main Java island, an official said.

Rescuers were digging by hand through mounds of earth in Kudus district, central Java, to reach six houses buried by the landslide as the area was too remote to be reached by heavy machinery.

“The victims were sleeping when the landslide struck,” said local disaster agency official Junaidi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

He said rescuers had so far found the body of a woman after Tuesday’s landslide and had also rescued one man alive but 12 people were still missing.

Deadly landslides and flooding are common during Indonesia’s six-month rainy season, and in the past week several parts of the country have been affected. 

Chinese official handed death

BEIJING:  A municipal official was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting more than $1m in bribes, the official news agency Xinhua said yesterday, highlighting the government’s crackdown on graft. 

Zhou Jianhua had chaired the standing committee of the People’s Congress of Xinyu city in the southern province of Jiangxi, citing the Jiangxi Higher People’s Court.

It said Zhou had accepted 10.2m yuan ($1.6m), tens of thousands of US and Hong Kong dollars as well as three gold bars and objects worth 236,000 yuan ($38,991). 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made fighting pervasive graft a priority since taking office last March and has warned, like others before him, that corruption threatens the ruling Communist Party’s very survival. Agencies