MBS badge woman tells court to drop charges as she was naval officer with 'strong professional standing'

She also asked in court what the Covid-19 regulations were.

Belmont Lay | June 08, 2021, 05:39 PM

Phoon Chiu Yoke, 53, has been offered S$8,000 bail after she was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks.

She faces seven charges, including failing to wear a mask at Marina Bay Sands, Newton Food Centre, Clarke Quay Central, Bras Basah Complex, and outside the State Courts building.

Asked for charges to be dropped

In court on June 8, Phoon asked for the charges against her to be dropped.

She also said four times that she was a naval officer and that she has a "strong professional standing".

“I have a very strong professional standing, not only in Singapore, but globally," she said.

"I served in the navy for 12 years and was the first female commanding officer.”

Request for lower bail

Phoon also requested a bail of S$3,000 without a surety.

She justified the request on the basis that she was the navy's first female commanding officer who has made contributions to Singapore "as a pioneer".

She also alleged that she was arrested without a warrant, as well as there having been "procedural errors" on the part of the investigating officers.

She also asked what the Covid-19 regulations were and was told by the district judge that these were laws that include the wearing of a mask in public spaces and that everyone else complies with.

Prosecution sought S$10,000 bail

The prosecution had asked for bail to be set at S$10,000.

The conditions they wanted attached were for the woman to not reoffend while out on bail and comply with current Covid-19 regulations.

Phoon may face further charges, the court heard.


Phoon failed to wear a mask over her nose and mouth “at all times” at Newton Food Centre between 7.20pm and 8pm on May 8, 2020 and was on trial for a charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

She was also seen removing her mask after leaving the State Courts building after turning up for a hearing on that charge on May 24.

She was arrested the next day and slapped with five more charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and one charge under the Infectious Diseases Act for loitering at various places in MBS while under stay-home notice in June last year.

One of the five more charges relates to an incident on May 15.

That day, she was seen on video refusing to wear a mask at MBS after being told to do so by a safe distancing ambassador.

She was seen questioning the safe distancing ambassador on whether she had a badge and who she represented.

She was remanded for two weeks at IMH after charges were pressed against her.

No details of the IMH report were revealed in court.

The case has been adjourned for further mention on June 15 for additional charges to be tendered.

First-time offenders who breach laws under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$10,000.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to S$20,000.

Top photo via Syahindah Ishak