x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fatal car crash involving $1.4m Ferrari stirs anti-immigrant resentment in Singapore

A Chinese expatriate crashed his Ferrari into a taxi on Saturday, killing himself and two others.

SINGAPORE // A Chinese expatriate who crashed his million-dollar Ferrari into a taxi killing himself and two others has sparked outrage in Singapore, where anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise.

Websites were swamped yesterday with postings attacking Chinese and other foreigners in the city-state after it was reported that a 52-year-old taxi driver had died of his injuries following Saturday's accident.

The crash instantly killed the Ferrari driver, Ma Chi, 31, while the taxi passenger, a 41-year-old Japanese woman, died in hospital two hours later, police said.

Media reported the Ferrari driver was a financial adviser from Sichuan who was applying for permanent residency and already living in a Singapore penthouse with his family.

Disgruntled residents seized on the incident as another reason to attack the government's immigration policies and the presence of more than a million foreign workers and professionals in the city-state.

Foreigners are blamed for pushing up living costs, straining public transport and stealing jobs, with mainland Chinese bearing the brunt of attacks.

The Straits Times newspaper said the Ferrari was a limited-edition model that Ma had bought for 1.8 million Singapore dollars (Dh5.3m) for his 30th birthday last year.

Pictures from a video of the accident show Ma's car apparently ramming the taxi after he allegedly ran a red light following a night out with friends.

Hundreds of indignant comments were posted online.

"I hate to drag nationality into this tragedy but the stupidity of a single [Chinese] possibly drunkard driver has caused such catastrophic damage to so many people," Tan Wee Meng posted on Facebook.

Singapore's population grew from 4.4 million in 2006 to 5.2 million in 2011, largely the result of a higher intake of immigrants as well as guest workers and professionals.