'Badge' woman wears mask under her nose for court hearing, judge orders IMH remand

She argues that there was "very little information" about the regulation.

Ashley Tan | May 25, 2021, 07:11 PM

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Phoon Chiu Yoke, the woman caught in a viral video at Marina Bay Sands questioning a Safe Distancing Ambassador if he had a badge, was arrested and charged in court today (May 25).

She has also been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), CNA reported.

Six charges

The 53-year-old was given five charges for breaching Covid-19 regulations by failing to wear her mask in public on five separate occasions.

One of these occasions was when Phoon returned to Singapore from the United Kingdom and was served with a 14-day SHN from June 28 to July 12, 2020.

As she was required to serve her SHN at a dedicated facility, she was brought to a hotel in the downtown area after immigration clearance.

Investigations showed that she left her hotel room during the SHN period on several occasions and did not wear a mask while outside her hotel room.

For leaving her room during her SHN, Phoon was also given a sixth charge for exposing others to the risk of infection.

"I have very little information of this regulation"

In court, the prosecutor asked that Phoon be remanded at IMH for two weeks for psychiatric observation.

According to CNA, Phoon attended the hearing via video call from where she is remanded, with her nose showing above her mask.

Phoon apparently remained adamant about her situation.

Phoon said that she is "not familiar with this new [requirement] that requires [her] to wear a mask" and that she had "almost never seen any campaign advertisement" asking people to don masks, CNA reported.

Phoon was also reported saying that she did not breach the rule on purpose and it is because she has "very little information of this regulation".

In her defence, she claimed that she was only informed about the regulation on May 15 by a police officer who investigated her. She did not specify which year this was.

CNA reported Phoon saying that she tried to abide by the rule even though she finds it "abnormal".

Refused to be remanded at IMH

Besides defending herself for her breaches, Phoon also asked for an "exemption" from remand.

Yahoo reported her saying:

"I would like to be out on bail. I am a professional. I was an ex-Naval officer and I have a good conduct in my history. I have residence in Singapore and I see no reason why I need to be remand(ed)."

However, the district judge Adam Nakhoda still ordered that Phoon be remanded for two weeks for psychiatric assessment.

Those who fail to comply with SHN requirements can be fined up to S$10,000, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

Meanwhile, those not wearing a mask can be fined up to S$10,000, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

Phoon will return to court on June 8.

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Top photo collage via Facebook