Asia Malaysia Property agent & partner say sorry for rubbishing Grab drivers, delivery riders...

Property agent & partner say sorry for rubbishing Grab drivers, delivery riders on live stream

They boasted. They showed off. They poured scorn on delivery riders and disparaged those who depend on them to deliver meals. Then the terrible two apologised. Will their auras change now?

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A Malaysian property agent and his partner, who is described as an entrepreneurship educator, got flamed online recently for mocking food delivery riders and private hire drivers and calling them “parasites”.

Paul Lim, 28, a senior real estate negotiator from Penang, and his partner, Maggie Fong, held a Facebook live stream on Nov 7. It had been intended to recruit more agents to build up their property business targeted at rich people.

Towards that end, Mr Lim showed off a watch that he said cost  100,000 ringgit (S$36,000) which he said he had bought from the money he had made.

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Their boastful presentation seems to have turned many viewers off and even drawn a reprimand from the Malaysian Institute of Real Estate Agents (MEIA). Some  viewers called  out both of the presenters for disparaging private hire car drivers and delivery riders.

As for ordinary folk, the two displayed some amount of scorn, which ended up backfiring.

Ms Fong asked in Mandarin, “How rich can those who order takeaway food be?,” which elicited laughter from Mr Lim.

“How can you have a future doing food delivery?,” she then added. Ms Fong also said: “Only parasites drive Grab; they have no culture.

While she claimed she was not disparaging such jobs, she pushed for better-paying ones, saying that a person’s aura would change if they sold “something with million-dollar price tags to the rich”.

People watching the live stream then defended these jobs to the two, underlining that people who work in these sectors are making an honest living.

However, Ms Fong upset the applecart further by answering, “Only parasites drive Grab, they have no culture”.

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The backlash was swift, and severe, with netizens roundly condemning the attitude of the pair.

On Thursday, Oct 11, the Malaysian Institute of Real Estate Agents (MEIA) issued a public statement that sought to distance itself from the pair. It  described the livestream as  “most disparaging” and that MEIA neither agrees with nor supports their “insidious” statements.

The CEO of the group,  K. Soma Sundram, went on record to give his opinion of Mr Lim. “He has set a very bad example and has dented efforts to ensure that real estate negotiators are professionals. He has destroyed all the hard work that we have been doing. The trust levels have gone down.”

One news report says that Mr Lim is a “super-agent” who has gotten rich enough to afford a Vellfire, a personal driver and a very expensive watch.

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Mr Lim issued an apology via a video he posted on Facebook on Nov 9. Speaking apparently tearfully, he said, “I am sorry, please give me a chance to change my ways” and asked viewers not to involve his family and company over his poor judgment. 

Ms Fong, who was later discovered to be Mr Lim’s aunt and not a real estate negotiator, is also said to have apologised, and is quoted in Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily as saying she had learned a lesson from the incident. She claims to have wanted to encourage the youth to have better lives.

While the original live stream has been taken down, Mr Lim’s apology is still on his Facebook account. /TISG

Read also: Sylvia Chan’s apology note claims disputed by NOC talent Samantha Tan

Sylvia Chan’s apology note claims disputed by NOC talent Samantha Tan

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