'MBS badge woman' faces 14 new charges in court, claims wearing mask makes her breathless

She will return to court on July 23.

Matthias Ang | Syahindah Ishak | July 06, 2021, 12:14 PM

53-year-old Phoon Chiu Yoke, the 'MBS badge woman', is facing 14 new charges in court, which include 10 counts of failing to wear a mask at public places and four charges for breaching her stay-home notice (SHN) in 2020.

Bail increased

Phoon, who appeared in court on Tuesday (July 6) morning, now faces 21 charges in total.

As she is facing more charges, the prosecution sought for her bail to be increased from S$8,000 to S$12,000. The judge agreed.

Phoon also allegedly failed to comply with Covid-19 measures after she was previously released on bail.

Investigations are underway for a fresh offence she committed after her last court session.

Claimed she doesn't wear mask for medical reasons

Phoon, who was unrepresented, told the court that she doesn't wear masks for "medical reasons".

She claimed that wearing a mask makes her feel breathless and worsens her eczema.

Phoon told the court: "If I'm breathless, would you expect me to collapse?"

She subsequently urged the court to drop her charges on the grounds of "ethical and medical values".

Ignored calls and emails from ICA

The court heard that Phoon was contacted by the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) on July 3 and 4.

However, she ignored all phone calls, emails and voicemail messages from ICA.

ICA had also attempted to speak with her before her court session on July 6, but she refused.

According to The Straits Times, Phoon claimed that she had not given her email account to any ICA officer.

She also claimed that she did not speak to the ICA officer outside the courtroom as he was "very aggressive", reported ST.

First-time offenders who breach 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.

Phoon will return to court on July 23.

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Top image by Syahindah Ishak.