Before Sovereign, there was Ms Sun.
Yesterday (20 May), Sun Szu-Yen, a 46-year-old Taiwanese, was charged with sneezing in the direction of another woman at Ion Orchard mall, and even shouted “shut up” at her.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Deborah Lee stated that Sun was stopped by a security guard, Ms Devika Rani Muthu Krishna, when she attempted to enter Ion Orchard with her 10-year-old son on 12 April.
The reason was because she and her son did not wear a face mask.
In her defence, Sun claimed that she didn’t know they needed to wear one. She mentioned that the other people walking along Orchard Road did not wear masks as well.
Before you start shaming her for being a “Sovereign”, this incident actually took place two days before the Ministry of Health made it mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when stepping out of their homes.
To add on, it was not stated in court why Sun and her son had to wear masks before entering Ion Orchard.
What Exactly Happened?
Surveillance footage was played in court, and it showed Sun arguing with Ms Devika before Sun sneezed in her direction.
Who is Ms Deika? No one knows.
Sun allegedly said “You get it. You get it already” at that point in time. It is unclear what “it” was’.
Sun was not represented by a lawyer, and told the court that she wanted to plead guilty to her actions.
All was going well, until she shot herself in the foot.
She told the court that she sneezed on reflex because she had smelled a “bad odour”.
When prompted by District Judge Eddy Tham to clarify her statement, she added that “it is human nature” to sneeze, and that she had indeed sneezed in Ms Devika’s direction, but not deliberately done.
The judge commented that by claiming it was not a deliberate act, Sun had contradicted the statement of facts.
To claim that it wasn’t “deliberate” means she is denying she has committed the offence. He then rejected her plea of guilt.
So it’s like she pleaded guilty to everything, then changed the facts of what happened, and ta-da: everything’s back to square one.
And those weren’t what Ms Sun has done.
She’s done more.
Committed Another Offence
On a separate occasion, she allegedly committed another offence, where she had flung out various items from her condominium apartment, including a vacuum cleaner.
Yeah, the ones you use to humour your cat with.
Besides that, Sun had thrown a globe, a plastic chair, a glass bottle and a few pencils from her third-storey apartment at Fifth Avenue Condominium in Bukit Timah on 4 June last year.
According to DPP Lee, Sun was feeling “stressed and frustrated” before she threw items out of her apartment from her son’s room around 10pm.
No one was hurt from the killer litter (thank goodness), and Sun was tentatively diagnosed with a mood disorder from the Institute of Mental Health.
The prosecution will call for a report accordingly to check if Sun is suitable for a mandatory treatment order. This would be a community sentencing option for offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence.
However, this may no longer be an option if Sun claims trial to her first charge.
A pre-trial conference will be held on 8 June where Sun is scheduled to return to court.
Anyone found guilty of using abusive words or behaviour may be jailed up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or both, under the Protection from Harassment Act.
On the other hand, if convicted of committing a rash act that endangers the life or safety of others, a person may be jailed up to six months or fined up to S$2,500, or both.
While sneezing doesn’t seem like a big deal, in the context of COVID-19 and basic respect, sneezing into someone’s face is just pure nasty and unhygienic.
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