12 S'poreans, aged 22-27, fined S$2,000-S$3,500 for gathering at birthday party in Jurong during Phase 1

Blatant disregard of Covid-19 rules.

Lean Jinghui | January 27, 2021, 10:23 PM

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15 Singaporeans gathered for a birthday party at a Jurong warehouse last June during Phase 1.

14 males and one female, aged between 21 and 27, were involved.

12 pleaded guilty and were fined

12 were fined on Jan. 27 after pleading guilty to one count of meeting each other for a social purpose without reasonable excuse.

For hosting the gathering and extending invites to three other people to the party, Frederick Ng Jun Ming, 27, was given the heaviest fine of S$3,500.

Three others were fined S$2,500 as they too invited others to the party. They are Ho Yuan Liang, 25, Brandon Chew Chng Hwee, 24, Dexter Low Yong De, 22.

The rest who attended the party were fined S$2,000 each. They are Melvinden Balakrishnan, 25, Darryl Lim Zong Han, 23, Tang Guan Rui Daryl, 25, How Yu Sheng, 24, Chia Shuo Hong, 23, Dylan Tan Zhan Yi, 22, Tham Yuan Feng, Rayson, 22, Khoo Li Pei, Felicia, 25.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yen Seow said that the gathering had been a "blatant disregard" of the then social distancing measures that others had taken pains to adhere to.

The gathering lasted two and a half hours but would have been longer as there was no agreed end-time to it.

What happened

Back in early June, the Singapore government announced the end of Circuit Breaker as the country reopened in three phases.

The birthday party was held on Jun. 9, 2020, at 10 Buroh Street, West Connect Building, according to court documents seen by Mothership.

The two hosts of the birthday party were Windsor Lim Beng Wah, 25, who was the birthday boy, and Frederick, 27, his friend.

Frederick invited three others, and some of the invitees then extended the invitation to more people.

Six people, who had learned of the social gathering, had shown up uninvited.

All 15 had started arriving at the party from 11pm onwards. They ate and chatted while some consumed alcohol and played drinking games.

According to court documents, they had "no reasonable excuse to meet at the warehouse".

Police alerted at 3am

At around 3am, an unknown woman called the police to report them gathering.

She suspected "drug activities" might be going on, and observed that the individuals seemed drunk.

About 20 minutes later, police officers arrived to the sound of loud music coming from the warehouse. The police told all partygoers to disperse immediately.

DPP Tan asked for stiff fines

According to Yahoo, the deputy public prosecutor said that the number of people at the gathering was an "aggravating factor".

“If anyone was infected, the birthday party could have been the birth of a new Covid-19 cluster,” Tan said.

Tan concluded that fines ranging from S$2,000 to S$3,500 are warranted as spikes in community transmission of Covid-19 can result if members of the public become complacent.

Yahoo reported that the accused people asked for lower fines in mitigation, citing various reasons of how they have been financially affected by Covid-19 situation.

The remaining three accused, Windsor, Soh Ming and Jeremy Lam Jin Chen, have been charged, but still have their cases pending.

Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, for breaching social distancing measures, they could have been fined up to S$10,000, been jailed for six months, or both.

Top image via Unsplash