An Australian who according to his Facebook has been working in Singapore for less than a month has lashed out at Singapore as being a “shit country”, just because he cannot get to play Pokemon GO like his countrymen can.
Pokemon GO, is a free-to-play augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices and has taken much of Australia by storm. Forbes resported today that the game is about to surpass Twitter in daily active users on Andoid. That’s how popular the game is. Pokemon GO isn’t available in a few countries yet, with one of them being Singapore.
The Australian, Sonny Truyen, was soon taken to task by Singaporeans who were outraged by his comment. They even CSIed where he worked.
Sonny Truyen is a much sought after digital marketer. When he left his previous employer, iPrice Group, his departure was reported as a setback for his previous employer. Sonny’s notable past employers include eBay, First Rate and iCar Asia Limited.
The company Sonny works for in 2015 secured a funding of US1.6 million from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Sequoia Capital. In the same year, 99.co was named by the Singapore Business Review as one of the hottest startups in Singapore to watch out for, while CEO Darius Cheung was named by the Singapore Computer Society as the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year.
99.co’s CEO was quick of the mark to diffuse any backlash Sonny may cause his business. He fired him a little after midnight. This is what he said in a local forum Hardware Zone.
“15 years of reading HWZ forum and finally signed up for an account!
Hi everyone, this is Darius, I am the CEO of 99.co.
And yes i am the one who hired Sonny as an SEO consultant. (and yes, he has been terminated immediately)
Thank you for everyone’s reaction, I am a proud Singaporean too and I apologise for the incident.
I’ve also written a full article regarding this and my related thoughts –
[ it seems i cannot post links – u can google it and find it on 99 co blog ]
IMHO, you have every right to be angry at this incident and Sonny specifically, I am too.
But I also sincerely hope that we would not generalise this to be a sweeping discrimination against Australians or Vietnamese or FT. We are better than that as a society!”
Sonny has since deleted all his social media accounts. But he is of course not the first Australian to make an insensitive comment about Singapore and Singaporeans. There is of course Amy Cheong. Amy, a 38-year-old Australian was given a stern warning by the police over her expletive-filled racist rant in Facebook in the year 2012.
Amy was employed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as an assistant director of membership before the incident happened. She was fired soon after from her job and moved back to Perth, where she lives.