4 charged over 'abusive and irresponsible behaviour' during COVID-19 circuit breaker

4 charged over 'abusive and irresponsible behaviour' during COVID-19 circuit breaker

Tan Han Yong and co
From left: Cheng Fengzhao, 37, Kumaran Roy Rajendran, 29, and Tan Han Yong, 76, were charged with circuit-breaker related offences. (Photo: TODAY/Ili Nadhirah Mansor)

SINGAPORE: Three men and a woman were charged in court on Friday (May 15) with various offences for what the police called "abusive and irresponsible behaviour" during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period.

Among the accused is a man who purportedly smashed his neighbours' windows as he was upset at their smoking; another man who allegedly refused to wear a mask at a market; and a woman who let a man into her house during the circuit breaker.

Here are the details of the cases:

CHENG FENGZHAO

Cheng, a 37-year-old China national, was given two charges of allowing another person to enter her home without a reasonable excuse during the circuit breaker.

She is accused of allowing a man named Foong Seow Peng to enter her Jalan Kemaman condominium unit on Apr 19 and May 5.

According to a police statement, she was arrested on May 5 during an anti-vice operation.

She told the court that she intends to plead guilty and will return on Jun 3 to do so.

She faces up to six months' jail, a maximum S$10,000 fine, or both per charge.

KUMARAN ROY RAJENDRAN

The 29-year-old was given three charges of using abusive words and behaviour on an SG Clean ambassador, pushing another ambassador and failing to wear a mask.

Police said Kumaran was spotted without a mask on by two SG Clean ambassadors, who were deployed to encourage good hygiene and safe distancing, at about 11am on Apr 18 at Commonwealth Crescent Market.

The ambassadors advised him to wear a mask, but Kumaran allegedly ignored them and walked away.

He was spotted a second time at 1.50pm at the same market. According to charge sheets, he did not have a mask on, and instead used his shirt collar to cover his nose and mouth.

When the ambassadors asked him to wear a mask, he allegedly cursed at them and pointed his middle finger at one of them and pushed the other.

He will return to court to plead guilty on Jun 3. He faces up to three months' jail, a fine of S$1,500 or both for using criminal force on the ambassador.

The cursing could draw up to six months' jail, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both, while not wearing a mask could lead to six months' jail, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.

TAN HAN YONG

The 76-year-old Indonesian national faces two charges of cursing at police officers.

Tan is the dormitory director at a foreign worker dorm along Kampong Ampat, police said.

On Apr 17, Ministry of Manpower officers inspected the dorm and Tan behaved aggressively towards them, said police.

The police responded to a call for help and repeatedly warned him to stop cursing. He was arrested and is accused of hurling Hokkien and Mandarin vulgarities at two police officers at the dorm and at Police Cantonment Complex.

Tan told the court that he did not want to plead guilty and said he wants to hire a lawyer.

"I'm a businessman. I've never used such language," he said of the charges, adding that it was his first time in court.

The prosecutor said he could be given another charge under the Infectious Diseases Act for hindering the MOM officer in his inspection.

Tan will return to court on May 22.

For cursing at a public servant, he can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.

YEE CHOON WAH

The four charges for Yee, a 52-year-old man, arise out of an incident in a single day. He allegedly went to two neighbours' homes on Apr 18 and smashed their windows with golf clubs as he was frustrated by cigarette smoke coming from their flats.

He is accused of committing mischief by smashing the window of a sixth-floor flat in Balam Road with a golf club. The repairs cost S$400, charge sheets state.

Yee faces another charge of causing hurt to another neighbour by using a golf club to smash her window on the same floor. As a result, a glass shard struck the neighbour's forearm, causing pain and redness of the skin.

Yee is also accused of breaching two COVID-19 laws by leaving his home to go to the corridor on the sixth floor of the block, and failing to wear a mask as he did so.

He told the court that he had gone out to the corridor "for a while", "only for a few seconds". 

He will return to court for a pre-trial conference on May 29. 

For each charge under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, he can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

For mischief, he can be jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.

For causing hurt by a rash act endangering human life, he can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.

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Source: CNA/ll(rw)

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