Most people are waiting for an update on the “Badge Lady” who refused to wear a mask in a viral video taken at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) on 15 May.
In the video, she was seen refusing to wear a mask despite repeated prompts from a safe distancing ambassador, and responded by asking the ambassador if she had a badge for verification.
On 25 May (Tuesday), she was arrested and given five charges under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act over similar offences.
Here’s what happened.
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Phoon Chiu Yoke, 53, had already been facing one charge under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act prior to the viral incident.
She was also given one charge under the Infectious Diseases Act on 25 May.
On 8 May 2021 between 7.20pm and 8pm, she had not been wearing a mask “at all times” while at Newton Hawker Centre.
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She then left for Britain shortly after, and according to the police and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), she came back to Singapore on 28 June 2020.
She was instructed to serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) from 28 June to 12 July.
However, she had left her hotel room at MBS between 8.07pm and 8.23pm on 28 June. She is believed to have lingered around various locations in the hotel, and apparently she had been maskless all the while.
She also did not wear a mask when she visited public places on several occasions between 2 Dec last year and 24 May this year.
These offences were committed at MBS, outside the State Courts building, as well as Clarke Quay Central and Bras Basah Complex.
Phoon was unrepresented. On Tuesday, she told District Judge Adam Nakhoda that she had not breached COVID-19 regulations intentionally.
She claimed that she was unaware of the regulations mandating the wearing of masks. She also said that she had attempted to obey the law and abide by the regulations but thought that it was “abnormal”.
She said that she had “almost never seen any campaign advertisement” asking citizens to put on masks, and had forgotten to bring a mask out with her or to wear it.
Phoon’s case has been adjourned to 8 June and she will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric observation for a period of two weeks.
Phoon requested for bail, stating that she was a “professional”, an “ex-Naval officer” who had “good conduct in [her] history”. She claimed that she saw no reason for being remanded.
However, the judge said that he would still have her remanded even after hearing her explanation.
First-time offenders breaching regulations under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act can face imprisonment for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.
Repeat offenders can face imprisonment for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.
Featured Image: Facebook (AlEx ThAm)
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