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Singapore

Trial postponed for woman charged with not wearing mask

Trial postponed for woman charged with not wearing mask

Phoon Chiu Yoke leaving the State Courts on May 24, 2021. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The trial of a 53-year-old woman charged for not wearing a mask while in public during last year’s “circuit breaker” period has been postponed, as her case is being further looked into. 

Phoon Chiu Yoke was charged with an offence under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, for allegedly failing to wear a mask over her nose and mouth at all times while at Newton Hawker Centre between 7.20pm and 8pm on May 8, 2020. 

First-time offenders who breach laws under the Act can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$10,000, while repeat offenders face up to a year in jail and fines of up to S$20,000.

The case was due to be heard on Monday (May 24), but National Environment Agency prosecutor Imran Hamid told the court that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had asked him to postpone the trial as it was investigating her case further. 

The trial is now tentatively scheduled to start on Jul 12. 

Phoon - who is representing herself - was seen walking to the State Courts on Monday afternoon holding a disposable mask, which she put on after being asked to do so by a security officer. 

She appeared in court wearing the mask, and also wore it as she exited the State Courts building.

However, she later removed the mask as she was walking.

 

READ: Woman being investigated for not wearing a face mask at Marina Bay Sands

 

Phoon Chiu Yoke leaving the State Courts on May 24, 2021. (Photo: Jeremy Long) ​​​​​​​Phoon has been identified by several news outlets as the person in a viral video which emerged earlier this month.

In a video widely shared on social media, a woman in a blue blouse can be seen standing in a queue outside a Toast Box outlet at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. 

While standing in line, she is approached by a safe distancing ambassador who advises her to wear a face mask. The woman, who did not put on a face mask, can be heard questioning the credentials of the safe distancing ambassador.

The Singapore Police Force said at the time that it was investigating the woman for public nuisance and allegedly breaching COVID-19 safe distancing measures. 

“The woman is believed to be involved in other similar instances where she was in various buildings and establishments without a mask,” said the police then. 

Source: CNA/az(rw)

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