Operator fined for opening KTV lounge to 4 persons during Phase 1 reopening

Wan Ting Koh
·3-min read
Two people toasting with mugs full beer
Leow Keng Chun was fined for opening his KTV lounge during Phase 1 reopening. (FILE PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — An operator who opened his KTV lounge to two men and two hostesses during Phase 1 of Singapore’s reopening amid the pandemic was fined $12,000 on Thursday (5 November).

Leow Keng Chun, the operator and occupier of DRINKITUP at Jalan Besar, was aware that his outlet was not allowed to operate due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 39-year-old Singaporean also did not have a valid public entertainment license or liquor license to operate the outlet.

At an earlier hearing, Leow pleaded guilty to one charge each of providing public entertainment and liquor without licenses, and one charge of failing to close the outlet to an individual during Phase 1.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh had sought for a fine of at least $13,000, noting that the group Leow permitted entry to was in the same room for about 90 minutes until the police arrived and that no precautionary measures had been taken.

The prosecution also mentioned that Leow had taken steps to avoid detection by letting his customers in from the back entrance.

According to the prosecution, Leow began accepting reservations at his KTV lounge, located at 237 Jalan Besar within the Liquor Control Zone, from 2 June, which was the first day of Phase 1. Two men made a reservation on 5 June to sing and drink alcohol.

Leow allowed the men to enter by the shuttered back entrance at 9.30pm and arranged for two Vietnamese women to be present as hostesses.

He sold beer towers to the two men at $100 each and permitted them to use the KTV system. He also did not enforce the wearing of masks or any other precautionary measures. The two men played dice games and sang with the women, whom they intended to tip $200 for their companionship at the end of the night.

At around 11pm, a team of police officers conducting enforcement checks in the area caught Leow, who admitted that there were five other persons in his outlet. The fifth person was the main tenant of the building, who was in a separate room in the outlet at the time. Leow would pay monthly rent to the tenant.

The police officers later forced entry into the outlet where they found the five individuals.

For opening the KTV outlet to other persons in breach of COVID-19 measures, Leow could have been fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.

For supplying liquor for consumption without a licence, he could be fined up to $20,000. As his outlet is within the Liquor Control Zone, Leow may be liable to up to one-and-a-half times the penalty.

For providing any public entertainment without a licence, he can be fined up to $20,000.

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