COVID-19: 3 men, 1 woman charged for circuit breaker breaches, abusive behaviour

A temperature scanner seen at the entrance of the State Courts on 22 April 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
A temperature scanner seen at the entrance of the State Courts on 22 April 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Three men and a woman were charged on Friday (22 May) for abusive behaviour and COVID-19 related offences committed during the circuit breaker period.

The woman is 30-year-old Renukha Arumugam, while the men are Liw Ah Piw, 65, T Sathish, 28, and Mohd Yusoff Shaik Alladin, 55. All are Singaporean.

Renukha Arumugam

On 12 April, Renukha is said to have left her residence at Block 415 Jurong West Street 42 to meet her boyfriend at a public area at about 3am. She then allegedly met an individual some 20 minutes later at a public stone bench located in front of Block 713, Clementi West Street 2.

Five days later, Renukha allegedly left her house again to meet her boyfriend at a public area at 12.30pm. She was then believed to have been found without a mask over her nose and mouth while at the entrance of a carpark located at Block 724, Clementi West Street 2, at 1.30pm.

Her last charge is for socialising and visiting a supermarket in Jurong West with a friend who was not staying at the same address as her on 29 April 2020.

Renukha indicated that she wished to plead guilty and would consult with her father on whether to engage a lawyer.

“I am really sorry for everything, and I didn’t wish to breach during this period,” Renukha told the court.

“I am unemployed so if you give me a heavy fine I don’t think I can pay,” she added. In reply, the prosecution said it had not decided on a sentencing position.

Her mention has been fixed for 10 June.

Liw Ah Piw

Liw Ah Piw seen at People's Park Food Centre on 22 April. (Photo: Yahoo News Singapore)
Liw Ah Piw seen at People's Park Food Centre on 22 April. (Photo: Yahoo News Singapore)

Liw was charged with leaving his residence at Block 11 York Hill to consume alcohol at public areas on four different occasions.

He allegedly drank in public on four occasions between 22 April and 2 May at public benches at the People’s Park Food Centre, a hawker centre in Bukit Merah, outside the OG Building on Upper Cross Street and at a walkway at People’s Park Complex.

Liw told the court through a Mandarin interpreter, “I really don’t know, I went to the hawker centre to buy and they asked me to go outside to drink so I went outside to drink.”

“The police officer asked me to pay a fine but I am unemployed, I only get $250 from CPF every month. I’m going to be 66 years old, if can discuss then can slowly pay in (instalments),” he said.

After hearing that his case would be fixed for a pre-trial conference on 12 June, Liw thanked and saluted District Judge Lorraine Ho before he left the courtroom.

T Sathish

Sathish is accused of leaving his residence at Loyang from the late afternoon of 24 April to 25 April, 8.44am, to visit his parents’ house at Serangoon North Avenue 2.

He then walked around aimlessly and drank alcohol in public areas before falling asleep at a bus stop in front of a block at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh. He also faces a charge for failing to wear a mask over his nose and mouth while at the bus stop.

Sathish is accused of using abusive words on a police officer at the same bus stop. Later, when Sathish was brought to the temporary holding area at the Police Cantonment Complex, he allegedly used threatening and abusive words on the same police officer twice.

He used Hokkien, Malay and English vulgarities and said “You are dead when you come to my camp, I give you s**t”.

Sathish also faces a charge of failing to report his change of residence to a Registration Officer within 28 days of changing his residence in May last year – an offence under the National Registration Act. He allegedly failed to change his official residence and was found with the wrong address on his identity card on 25 April.

Sathish’s lawyer, Ashwin Ganapathy, said that he was just briefed on Thursday and would be writing to the police to view body-worn camera footage of the incident.

His client’s case has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on 12 June.

Mohd Yusoff Shaik Alladin

Yusoff is said to have verbally abused a female environmental officer from the Singapore Food Agency at around midday on 15 April by saying, “Not lowly people like you. Masagos and Teo Chee Hean also talk nicely to me. You lowly people only yaya papaya. I'm going get you all into trouble.”

The officer, whose job involves inspecting food centres and coffeeshops to ensure safe distancing measures are in place, had encountered Yusoff at a food stall in Tampines where the latter worked as a food handler.

Speaking through a Malay interpreter, Yusoff told the court that the officer had visited his shop and asked for his identity card after seeing that his son had not worn a mask.

He added that the female officer had not spoken nicely to him. “I told her people of higher level can talk to me nicely why can’t you.”

“I did not say yaya papaya, I only said she was not polite in her words. If I said those words then I will plead guilty,” said the man.

He added, “I did not know these things will get me into trouble but if the government thinks I am in the wrong then I will plead guilty. I am very sorry.”

Yusoff’s case has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on 12 June.

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