Phoon Chiu Yoke, 54, also publicly known as "MBS Badge Woman", is going to plead guilty to her Covid-19 related charges after she failed in her bid for bail when her case was heard again on Wednesday, Aug. 4, The Straits Times, CNA, and Yahoo News reported.
Charges kept increasing
Phoon faces 22 charges for failing to wear a mask and breaching her stay-home notice (SHN) in 2020.
The number of charges against her have increased from seven to 21.
The latest charge was slapped on her on July 24, for failing to wear a mask at Mandarin Orchard hotel at around 3pm on June 25, 2021.
Her bail was increased from S$8,000 to S$12,000 given the new charges initially, but was eventually revoked when the 22nd charge was introduced.
Remanded for close to two weeks already
She has been in remand for close to two weeks before her latest court appearance via video-link.
She told the court to free her without conditions, ST reported.
Court declined to free her
At the latest hearing, the former naval officer asked the judge to have her passport returned to her and to let her go without bail.
She was representing herself.
Phoon was remanded after she allegedly reoffended while on bail.
The judge declined and she remains in remand.
What she told court
She told the court she will turn up for her hearing to plead guilty at a later date should she be released on bail now.
She said she agreed in a pre-trial conference call to accept the prosecution's offer to have her charges reduced to nine.
She told the court she has a "professional record" as she had not committed other offences between July 23 and Aug. 4.
"I have no reason to run, have not run away from court. I always appear on time as requested by investigation officers," she said, according to Yahoo News.
DPP clarified Phoon could not reoffend as she was in remand
The Deputy Public Prosecutor clarified that Phoon did not commit new offences since her bail was revoked on July 24 because she had been in remand.
The DPP also said Phoon still faces the same number of charges, just that the remaining charges would be taken into consideration for her sentencing, CNA reported.
Phoon will return for a hearing on Aug. 12 for her to plead guilty.
For each charge of contravening a Covid-19 control order, Phoon could face up to six months' jail, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.
If convicted of being a repeat offender, she can face twice the punishment.
Phoon first appeared in court in 2020 after she allegedly failed to wear a mask at Newton hawker centre between 7.20pm and 8pm on May 8, 2020 during the circuit breaker period.
She left Singapore for Britain soon after.
She returned to Singapore on June 28, 2020 and had to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at Marina Bay Sands until July 12.
She allegedly left her hotel room at MBS between 8.07pm and 8.23pm on June 28, 2020, to loiter at various places in the hotel.
She then allegedly failed to wear a mask at public places on multiple occasions between Dec. 2, 2020 and May 24, 2021.
These instances took place at MBS, outside the State Courts building, at Clarke Quay Central and at Bras Basah Complex.
She was out on bail when she allegedly failed to wear a mask at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel around 3pm on June 25.
Phoon first came into the public's consciousness in May 2021 after she was caught on video not wearing a mask at MBS and arguing with a safe distancing ambassador.
She questioned the safe distancing ambassador on whether she had a badge.
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