COVID-19: ‘Sovereign’ woman to be charged on Tuesday, Shanmugam comments on case

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
K Shanmugam commented on Facebook about the incidents involving the 'sovereign' woman who had refused to wear a face mask at Shunfu Mart.
K Shanmugam commented on Facebook about the incidents involving the 'sovereign' woman who had refused to wear a face mask at Shunfu Mart. (Screenshots: YouTube/Parliament website)

UPDATE: The police said on Monday night that the woman will be charged in court on Tuesday

SINGAPORE — The woman who had refused to wear a mask in a market and called herself a “sovereign” should not live within society she rejects and expect any benefits that come from its system of governance, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Monday (4 May).

Such benefits would include the woman’s security, medical care, and others, Shanmugam said in a post on his Facebook page.

The police said they arrested on Monday the 40-year-old woman who had assaulted a member of the public, caused public nuisance and was not wearing a mask at Shunfu Mart on Sunday. The woman will be charged on Tuesday.

“Everyone should take the circuit breaker measures seriously. The police will not tolerate such blatant disregard for the law and wilful breaches of safe distancing measures,” the police said in a statement.

The woman had previously also not worn a mask and breached safe distancing measures at the same location last month. The National Environment Agency said after the earlier incident that she would be fined $300.

Shanmugam said he checked up on what the woman had meant when she made the reference to “sovereign”. He found out that there is a movement in the US whereby adherents reject government, the police and any kind of authority.

“If she doesn’t follow the rules and (say) ends up infecting someone - why should society accept that? Or if she falls ill herself, she will be imposing a medical burden on the rest of the society - whose rules she rejects, presumably,” Shanmugam said.

Finding it “very odd”, Shanmugam said in such cases, there will be “more to it than meets the eye”.

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