COVID-19: ‘I am a sovereign’ woman who refused to wear mask at Shunfu market apprehended

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Incident of woman who refused to wear face mask at Shunfu Market. (SCREENSHOT: YouTube)
Incident of woman who refused to wear face mask at Shunfu Market. (SCREENSHOT: YouTube)

UPDATE: Statement from police about incident at Shunfu Mart

SINGAPORE — A woman who was seen in a video being approached by several members of the public for not wearing a face mask at Shunfu market was apprehended by the police on Sunday (3 May).

In a statement, the police said preliminary investigations revealed that a 40-year-old Singaporean woman, who had previously breached safe distancing measures, was not wearing a mask and allegedly assaulted a 47-year-old woman who advised her to put on a mask.

The incident was mentioned in a Facebook post by Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Chong Kee Hiong on the same day who said that “many are rightly concerned about the incident of a repeat offender who defiantly refused to don a mask at Shunfu Market this afternoon”. The person was caught in a previous incident and fined, Chong added.

Thanking the police officers for “swiftly apprehending the offender on the spot”, Chong said, “Rest assured that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with according to the law.”

In the video, the woman and a man can be seen grabbing on a phone. She was arguing with another person who was off-screen. At one point, the woman said, “I am a sovereign. This is something people are not going to know even what it is…It means I have nothing to do with the police…They have no say.”

A voice can be heard saying, “That does not even make any sense. If you are a person in Singapore, you have to follow the rules in Singapore.” The woman replied, “I’m not a person. I am we the people.”

Statement from police

The police said they received a call for assistance on 3 May 2020 at 12.16pm at 320 Shunfu Road, which is the address of Shunfu Mart.

“The Police are investigating the woman for voluntarily causing hurt, causing public nuisance and breaching safe distancing measures under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. The Police take a serious view of such abusive and irresponsible behaviour, especially in the current COVID-19 situation.”

Earlier incident

In the video, the woman also claimed that “I will show you a video of the police, here, same thing, trying to stop me and then walk off, without a warning, without a fine.”

The National Environment Agency previously said a woman who violated circuit breaker rules at Shunfu hawker centre on 14 April and was uncooperative with SG Clean ambassadors and police officers would be fined $300. The woman was not named.

In a separate video of the earlier incident, the woman who was not wearing a mask was seen being approached by two police officers. Netizens had slammed her for her defiant attitude and filming the police officers on duty with her mobile phone.

The NEA said then, "We will not hesitate to take strong actions against such egregious offenders, including criminal prosecution if necessary.”

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