Woman in viral video at MBS claims trial to not wearing mask charge in separate incident

A woman was caught on video for not wearing a mask at Marina Bay Sands on 14 May 2021. (SCREENSHOT: The Independent/YouTube)
A woman was caught on video for not wearing a mask at Marina Bay Sands on 14 May 2021. (SCREENSHOT: The Independent/YouTube)

SINGAPORE — A 53-year-old woman who was seen not wearing a mask at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) last week in a viral video is claiming trial to a charge of breaching COVID-19 rules in a separate incident last year.

Phoon Chiu Yoke is said to have failed to wear a mask while at Newton Food Centre between 7.20pm and 8pm on 8 May last year, when Singapore was in partial lockdown during the circuit breaker period.

Her case was first heard in court on 16 December but she was absent from the proceedings, according to the State Courts. She only appeared in court on 13 January. Her case is set to go to trial on 24 May.

Phoon is involved in both incidents of alleged safe distancing breaches, according to Chinese media reports.

Videos of Phoon supposedly not wearing masks at various locations have been widely shared on social media.

Among them was the incident at MBS, where Phoon was seen in a video not wearing a mask despite being asked by a safe distancing ambassador (SDA) to do so. Phoon is heard in the video questioning the SDA, "If you have no badge, why are you asking me to do something? Who are you representing?"

On Saturday, the police said they received a call at about 5.15pm for assistance at MBS, where Phoon had allegedly entered without wearing a face mask despite repeated advice from the SDA, according to local media reports.

She is currently being investigated for being a public nuisance and breaching safe distancing regulations for the alleged incident at MBS.

The police added that she is believed to be involved in other similar instances where she entered various buildings and establishments without a mask.

If convicted of breaching COVID-19 measures, Phoon faces up to a six-month jail term or up to $10,000 fine.

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