MBS: Behaving like the PAP?

In Casinos on 14/11/2011 at 6:21 am

When I read On Saturday that Marina Bay Sands (MBS) had finally decided to concede, I wondered whether the initial refusal to pay was because the person in question was a lady,  a hawker, and a S’porean? Was MBS trying to take advantage of her?

 I then wondered if he or she (an FT perhaps?) picked up this attitude because of the perception among may S’poreans and FTs that the governing PAP is forever trying to put one over S’poreans, especially the less educated and well-off? Finally, I wondered if there were lessons for the PAP too in this PR disaster for MBS?

Mdm Choo had visited MBS casino on 18 October and won a jackpot of S$416,742.11. The casino told her that the machine had malfunctioned. She was offered a sports car worth S$258,962 and S$50,000 in cash instead. She refused the offer because there was CCTV camera footage and witnesses (including casino staff) to support her account.

It was reported on Saturday that an MBS spokesperson said in a statement, “Marina Bay Sands regrets any confusion over the numbers displayed when Madam Choo Hong Eng won the Lotus Evora slot jackpot in our casino … After carefully reviewing this matter, [MBS] will pay the patron the amount that was displayed on the slot machine … We deeply regret the inconveniences caused.”

The difference was S$107780.11, “peanuts” in money-terms to the casino. Granted the difference was 26%, but management should have paid up on the spot, or soon thereafter to avoid bad publicity: “Customers can come to lose but not win any money” was the message that the Heartlanders got. MBS can be assured that Chinese punters from neighbouring Malaysia will get the same message.

Now now only did it admit that the machine had displayed what the lady had claimed, thereby suffering more adverse publicity; but the Casino Regulatory Authority is investigating whether MBS broke the law.

MBS is in triple jeopardy for trying to take advantage of a lowly educated lady S’porean hawker? Come the next general election, will the PAP pay a heavy price if the less educated and well- off S’poreans still think that they are being taken advantage of by the PAP? 

Finally why the does local media keep calling the lady a hawker juz because that’s her occupation is beyond me. The reporters and editors see her no “ak”? Or juz envious of her gd luck?

  1. YA! i have this feeling too! i am wondering even until now the CRA is so quite. If our hawker is an ANG MO foreigner then things will be definitely handle differently. Chow MBS! CHOW CRA! In fact CRA should penalise MBS for this “fiasco”. Let us see what,s next. i think CRA will just let MBS go very lightly or hope the matter will die a naturally slow death. i think in the West MBS will be sued for compensation too by the “victim”. i wonder on the Internet how many people in the World have read it . And still reading it. Ha! Ha!

  2. Actually that lady hawker is earning more than most managers in Singapore, easily over $20K a month. She is more of a F&B businesswoman, just that her circle of competence does not come with superficial MBS 5-star trappings and Raffles Place fake-ang moh accent.

    And PAP don’t have to worry. Just threaten that your HDB or condo or GCB will become slums and go for $10psf is enough to get >50% to vote PAP.

    • All the more impt for WP in Aljunied to show that flats will appreciate in WP area.

      On her neing F&B bizwoman, taz what annoyed me abt local MSM calling her a hawker. Implying she poor and stupid?

  3. I am not surprised. In many places, the overriding goal is to avoid failure rather than exercising sound judgement and doing the right and proper thing. No one wants to be one admitting they are wrong and taking a hit which might potentially get them fired or retrenched when times are bad.

    If its prevalent amongst our top ministers, no one should be surprised if you find it amongst the staff of a casino operator.

    I have yet too see any service provider in Singapore follow the Nordstrom mantra: Use your best judgement in all situations. There will be additional rules.

  4. Oops, the mantra should be “Use your best judgement in all situations. There will be no additional rules”

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