Three men who allegedly camped at Pulau Ubin during circuit breaker charged

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·3-min read
Screenshot of Chek Jawa Wetlands on Google Street View
Screenshot of Chek Jawa Wetlands on Google Street View

SINGAPORE — Three men who allegedly kayaked to Pulau Ubin during the circuit breaker period were charged on Monday (18 May) for breaching enhanced measures. They are also accused of camping at a prohibited area.

Mohamed Hafiz Mat Nadar, 36, Zulman B Mashonain, 38, Rizani Sham Mohamed Hussin, 38, each face charges of camping at Pulau Ubin without a permit in addition to two charges of violating the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 by leaving their residence and meeting each other.

Each of them also face a charge of leaving their residences without reasonable excuse on 13 April to go kayaking, fishing and camping from Pasir Ris Park, as well as meeting two other individuals not living in the same residence, at 7pm at Pasir Ris Park Carpark E, for a social purpose.

On 13 April, after 7pm, the trio allegedly entered the Chek Jawa Wetlands Park zone on Pulau Ubin on a kayak. The area had been designated a “No Entry” zone and was closed to all watercraft and persons since 1 October 2007. Approval from the National Parks Board (NParks) is needed for entry.

After reaching the Wetlands Park, the trio is said to have committed further breaches of the Parks and Trees Regulations – by hanging a hammock on and across two trees, setting up a shelter, lighting a campfire without a permit in an area not designated as a fireplace, and camping in an area not designated for camping, until 10am on 14 April.

While Hafiz has seven charges, the other two have eight charges each.

The duo’s additional charge is for using a hunting device – a fishing rod – for the purpose of capturing fish at the Chek Jawa Wetlands Park.

Speaking on behalf of the trio, Rizani said that the men intended to plead guilty to all the charges, but asked for leniency for the NParks charges.

“We plead leniency, we were not aware (that) the actions were prohibited on Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin. We were stopped by a park officer and were told fishing (was) not allowed, but we told him we were going to Pulau Ubin for activities... he did not advise further. If he had done so, we would have cancelled the activities.”

Rizani claimed the trio had not seen signs advising about prohibitions in the area, or on NParks’ website.

NParks prosecutor Packer Mohammad asked for three weeks’ adjournment for the case to be handed to a deputy public prosecutor.

The next hearing has been fixed for 3 June.

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