The circuit breaker (CB) is now a thing of the (not-so) distant past.
Memories of having restricted movement still linger in our minds.
No social gatherings, no going out and by extension: no gathering in other people’s houses.
So if you were somehow caught doing the latter of those restrictions during CB…
…you’re going to have a bad time.
Mass House Gathering
The virus could’ve been strong with this one.
According to CNA, Cassie Ong Shi Hong, 32, was fined S$4,000 on 26 August for one charge of allowing others not from her household into her Compassvale Crescent flat for a social gathering.
And it wasn’t even like one or two but 16 other people.
Her then-fiancee Leong Chee Mun, 37, was also there at that time.
A second charge was also considered for the incident.
How It Happened
It wasn’t their idea, at first.
A friend of the couple suggested that they do a gathering in their place and for some reason, they agreed.
The 16 guests came from areas ranging from Tampines, Punggol, Hougang and Bukit Panjang and arrived sometime on 8 May.
You could tell they partied late because the last guest arrived at 1.15am on 9 May.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Wei Liang noted that they ate, drank and played games within close proximity of each other.
You can’t hide from the law forever.
A neighbour called the police at around 2am, saying that there are “young people” entering and leaving the flat.
She added that this has happened “almost every night”.
When the police officer came, loud ‘shushing’ could be heard when he knocked.
Real subtle, guys.
Leong opened the door and lied about the number of people inside, initially saying there were only him and Ong, then stating that there were around eight to ten people inside.
The police entered the unit to find 16 guests.
Splitting Up and Fines
The couple had a huge fight after the incident and decided to call off their engagement.
One of their defence lawyers stated that their relationship was ‘toxic’, largely coming from Leong.
Alongside being possessive and having a bad attitude, he would often force Ong to report her whereabouts to him.
You’re probably wondering, “Yes but how does this lead into the fines?”
A defence lawyer, Cory Wong, claimed that Ong was not close to most of the guests and asked for a S$3,000 fine instead of the S$4,000 fine which the prosecution has asked for.
The guests were Leong’s immediate friends or their relatives.
Wong added that the flat party was mostly Leong’s idea and his partner had “little choice but to go along with Leong’s decision because she simply could not say ‘no’ to him”.
However, the judge noted that she still agreed to let them come regardless and did not qualify for a plea.
“But whatever her reasons for doing so, she had agreed to host this gathering during the circuit breaker period in blatant disregard for the rest of the community.”
Ong also lost a job offer through this.
For breaking a COVID-19 regulation, she could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
The rest of the guests were fined between S$2500 to S$3000.
Meanwhile, Leong is set to be back in court next month.