Badge Lady Back in Court for Offences Made in March This Year

Singaporeans, we have complained regularly about having to wear masks.

It feels especially stuffy when it is hot out, sweat collects inside, and we can smell our own breath. Yuck.

But for the sake of public safety and our health, we grumble and tough it out.

The Badge Lady though, now she’s a whole different being, because threats of jail terms and fines are not enough to make her don a mask.

She was caught without a mask, not once, not twice, but five times in total.

The New Offences

On Wednesday (7 Sep), Phoon Chiu Yoke, 55, returned to a district court and was handed new charges linked to the COVID-19 outbreak.

She was charged with two counts of breaching COVID-19 regulations by failing to wear a mask when it was required and one count under the Infectious Diseases Act for not cooperating with an officer during investigations.

On 6 March, she was seen walking along Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road without wearing a mask at around 3:02pm to 3:04pm on 6 March.

Later that same day, she was seen unmasked again at a nearby Victoria Secret outlet between 3:34pm and 3:37pm.

Note: wearing masks outdoors only became optional from 29 March onwards.

Due to these two breaches, she was summoned by a health officer to the Tourism Court at the Singapore Tourism Board in Orchard Spring Lane for an investigation on 31 March.

However, she failed to show up.

Court Proceedings

On Wednesday, Phoon showed up in district court unpresented.

The prosecution stated they were ready to present their case, and intended to proceed on a mask charge and the charge of failing to comply with the investigation, while the remaining mask charge will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

After asking the prosecutor to explain what “taken into consideration” meant, Phoon told District Judge Lorraine Ho she will “probably be self-represented”.

If you’re under the assumption that she won’t be defending herself at all, then you are wrong.

Phoon said that she was planning to “plead with mitigation factors”.

Her case has been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on 14 October.

Her Claim to Infamy

Phoon gained her moniker as “Badge Lady” when she was caught on video berating safe distancing ambassadors at Marina Bat Sands (MBS) while unmasked on 15 May 2021.

In the clip, she could be seen questioning safe distancing ambassadors, “Who are you? Who are you representing? Where is your badge? Show me your badge.”

Even when the safe distancing ambassadors counter with the fact that even police officers wear masks—and they were also surrounded by people with masks—the Badge Lady still held the attitude that she could do no wrong.

Phoon left Marina Bay Sands without wearing a mask that afternoon.

She was hauled to court later that month and pressed with five charges under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measure) Act.

The court heard that Phoon used to hold the rank of major in the Republic of Singapore Navy before she retired in 2002. 

After getting charged, Phoon committed the offence again by removing her mask outside the State Courts building and smiling in front of members of the media.

While on bail, she failed to wear a mask again at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel. A secretary officer reported her behaviour to the police.

She was charged for the incident one month later. Consequently, her bail was revoked, and she was detained.

On 6 September 2021, she was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, which she already completed serving.

First-time offenders of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

Repeat offenders can be sentenced to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $20,000.

But masks have become part of history nowadays, though many people are still wearing them. Watch this to the end and you’d understand:

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Featured Image: Yahoo News