A safe distancing ambassador (SDA) was accosted by a member of the public in Kallang Wave Mall and repeatedly accused of not doing her job as she supposedly failed to notice a person in the vicinity who was not wearing a mask and did not do anything about it.
A 90-second video of the incident has been circulating online after it was put up on Sunday, Sep. 11.
What video showed
The video, taken by a man who claims he is a "public-spirited bystander", showed the SDA being confronted and questioned about her duties.
The female SDA was asked to explain why she did not see another man in the mall walking around without a mask on.
SDA said she didn't notice man
The SDA said she was making a report at that time and did not notice the person without a mask who was supposedly behind her.
The man who confronted the SDA then said: "So basically you are telling me that if you are making a report, then if someone is not following safe management measures, is not your responsibility?"
In response, the SDA replied: "It's still my responsibility, it's equally important, sir."
Continued to defend herself
When the man accused her of not being observant, the SDA said she did not have eyes behind her.
But the man persisted.
He said the maskless man had walked by the SDA's side, and not behind her, and he was less than a metre away from her.
In response, the SDA said the maskless man was leaving the premises by then.
Asked why SDA kept changing her explanation
Without skipping a beat, the man pressed on and said he was "very confused" about her inaction.
This was so as the SDA initially said she did not see the man without a mask, and then she said she was of the opinion he was going to leave the mall.
The man added that he had seen the maskless man walking around the mall for a while, but the SDA defended herself by saying she was not aware of this fact.
Asked not to be recorded
At this juncture, the SDA stretched out her hand to block the man from video recording her.
She said: "Sir, please do not record me. I know you are recording."
In response, the man admitted he was recording her and said: "Yes, because you are not doing your work."
At this point, the SDA backed away and said she was done engaging with the man.
She said: "Sir, I don't want to engage with you anymore."
Man continued confrontation
However, the man approached the SDA again and said: "So, you are not doing your job. You take a public spirited bystander to bring to your attention that someone was not following safe management measures, correct?"
He added: "And you keep on finding reasons why you did not do it."
In response, the woman backed away and said: "Thank you for your feedback, sir, I am going to disengage."
The man shot back that he was going to "lodge a report" against her.
The majority of responses to the video have been to slam the actions of the man, owing to his quarrelsome attitude.
The most rational comment pointing out the fault of the man who confronted the SDA was that he did not appear to want to help the woman with the issue, but instead kept pointing out what she failed to do.
Incident being investigated
Enterprise Singapore said it is investigating in response to media queries.
The agency is in charge of deploying SDAs to shopping malls.
SDAs, who are from various public agencies, were introduced in 2020 during the circuit breaker.
They are tasked to guide businesses and members of the public to abide by safe distancing measures.
Environment minister Grace Fu said in a written parliamentary reply on Sep. 14 that 75 cases of feedback related to the conduct of SDAs were received between January and August 2021.
Of these, 22 were found to be substantiated, mostly for rude or unprofessional behaviour.
Follow and listen to our podcast here