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?