On May 12, 2012, a horrific accident involving a Ferrari, a taxi and a motorcycle occurred on the streets of Singapore. The accident has since claimed 3 lives (the driver of the Ferrari, the driver of the taxi and the passenger of the taxi) while leaving 2 others injured (the motorcyclist and the passenger of the Ferrari). A video of the accident which was shot by another driver who was lucky to escape the crash by mere seconds has gone viral after being posted on YouTube. The video showed that the taxi involved in the accident was driving on after waiting for the light at the traffic junction to turn green when the speeding Ferrari appeared out of the blue from the left and crashed into the vehicle.
Who was the Ferrari driver?
The Ferrari driver has been identified to be Mr Ma Chi (马驰), 31. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Ma Chi was a private investor from Si Chuan, China. It was reported that Ma Chi was applying for permanent residency in Singapore.
Who was the taxi-driver?
The taxi-driver involved in the accident was Mr Cheng Teck Hock (秦德福), 52. He was declared brain-dead after being sent to the hospital and later passed away on May 13, 2012. He left behind his wife and 3 children. He was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Who were the other people involved in the accident?
Ms Shigemi Ito, 41 was the passenger in the taxi. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Mr Muhammad Najib Ghazali, 26 was the motorcyclist who was injured in the accident.
The female companion of the Ferrari driver has been identified to be Ms Wu Wei Wei (吴薇薇). She is a student from Wuhan, China who has recently graduated from East Asia Institute of Management (EASB). It is reported that she was celebrating the completion of her degree in hospitality management when she bumped into Mr Ma Chi who offered to send her home. Ms Wu has claimed that she did not know why Mr Ma Chi accelerated suddenly during the ride. She has denied reports of her being a hostess in Singapore.
Since the accident, the public has been interested to know who the mystery women aka Ms Wu Wei Wei is. Photos of a young lady believed to be Ms Wu Wei Wei have surfaced online.
Of Crash and Clash
The accident has generated intense debates in Singapore and China. In Singapore, netizens have expressed fury over the reckless driving of Mr Ma Chi as well as their unhappiness over the presence of Chinese immigrants in Singapore. Many have taken the opportunity to blame the immigration policy of the Singapore government for opening the “floodgates” to the Chinese immigrants, also referred to as the PRCs.
In addition, many have also came forward to express their displeasure over the failure of Ma Chi’s family to apologize to the victims and their families. Those following the incident were further outraged when the family members lashed back at the netizens for their “poisonous tongues” and said that “I saw a lot of netizens saying my brother [Ma Chi] was a ‘rich second generation’, and that he deserved to die. I feel like telling you, even if you cannot afford a Ferrari 599GTO, you don’t need to say those who can are of the ‘rich second generation’ “.
In China, a witch-hunt has been launched to reveal the background of Mr Ma Chi. Many have questioned the wealth of the Ferrari Driver and have speculated that he might have been a second generation of an official or rich family. It has been rumored that Ma Chi is the son of of Ma Kai (马凯), a high-ranking Chinese official.
The Chinese Embassy in Singapore
The Chinese Embassy in Singapore has also responded to accident. The following content was released on the Embassy’s webpage:
The Consular Department of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore has been informed that a serious traffic accident which occurred in the early hours of 12th May in downtown Singapore resulted in the deaths of a Chinese car owner, a Singaporean taxi driver and a Japanese taxi passenger. Two others were hurt.
We are saddened and regret this unfortunate accident.
We offer our sincere and deep condolences to the victims and their families.
We hope that Chinese citizens living in Singapore will respect life, value the safety of themselves and others, abide by its laws and regulations, and live responsibly and gracefully.
We hope that such tragic and unfortunate incidents will not recur.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore
The late apology
A week after the accident, it has been reported that the wife of Mr Ma Chi, He Ting Ting (何婷婷) has finally stepped forward to apologize to the victims and their families. The apology was made over WeiBo (微薄) in Chinese and consisted of five key points. First, the family apologizes to the victims and their family for the mistakes of Ma Chi and will take responsibility for his actions after the official reports are out. Second, the family has never requested any individual to speak on behalf of them and will also not be responding to any of the debates online. Third, the family was in the midst of welcoming the birth of a new child when such a tragedy happened and requests the public to display empathy and respect. Further, Ma Chi has paid heavy price for his actions. Fourth, the family respects the private life of Ma Chi and is concerned about the female passenger in the vehicle. However, they do not know who the female companion is. Finally, the family is not “second generation of an official family” or a “second generation of a rich family” and they are just commoners like everyone else.