Last year, a woman who went viral on May 15, 2020, is currently facing multiple charges on various offenses. She was handed a single charge last year for breaking the Infectious Disease Act.
A district court hearing was held in response to the offenses of the woman who went viral last year for refusing to wear her mask on Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Multiple charges are expected to be given to the woman as the hearing started on June 15.
On Tuesday, the prosecutor revealed the additional charges in asking for an adjournment of three weeks albeit in the court the details of the charges were not revealed, according to Asiaone news.
Phoon Chiu Yoke (53), is currently facing seven charges of numerous offenses most of which involve not wearing a mask in public places such as MBS, State Courts Building, and Bras Basah Complex.
Refusal to Cooperate
Phoon, who is not showing with a lawyer, told District Judge Janet Wang on June 15 that she wishes to plead for these charges to be dropped.
She also emphasized that she was a naval officer, stating that she worked as an eyewitness or plaintiff in previous cases involving the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) and mentioned that it would be hard for her to be granted a fair hearing due to these reasons.
She said, “I am not privy to discuss all these cases in court here without causing embarrassment or being prejudicial to the SAF and the Government of Singapore. I am applying for all these charges to be dropped. Due to all these cases in the past, I should be granted immunity as a citizen.”
Judge Wang responded that the previous cases are irrelevant to her current roster of charges.
On May 25, 2021, at a previous hearing, Phoon was subjected to be confined at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks for psychiatric evaluation at the behest of the court.
Phoon, who is arguing against the court, also mentioned that she was a naval officer with a history of good conduct.
She also said that she had come back from a holiday and mentioned that she was not aware of the regulations that required her to wear masks in public.
On May 8, 2020, during the circuit breaker period, she allegedly refused to wear a mask over her nose and mouth at the Newton Hawker Center between 7 to 8 pm, this is the cause of her first appearance in court last year.
After the alleged offense, she flew to Britain and returned to Singapore on June 28 last year, and went on a 14-day stay-at-home notice until July 12.
She allegedly left her hotel room at MBS between 8.07 pm and 8.23 pm on June 28 according to an initial court hearing.
The court also mentioned that Phoon lingered at various places in the hotel and refused to wear a mask.
Other incidents include failing to wear a mask on various occasions between December 2, 2020, and May 24, 2021, including at MBS, Bras Basah Complex, Clarke Quay Central, and outside the State Courts Building.
On May 25 this year, she was arrested, her case was set to adjourn on July 6 and she was out with a bail of $8,000.
First-time offenders who violate the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act face a six-month prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Repeat offenders face a year in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
After she went viral last year, she was branded on social media as the ‘Singapore’s Karen’, referring to the American stereotype of middle-aged women who are entitled and have a “can-I-speak-to-the-manager’ attitude.
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