Woman who made 'sovereign' remark faces two more charges, including one for not wearing a mask on fourth occasion
SINGAPORE: A woman who was caught without a face mask and proclaiming “I am a sovereign” at Shunfu Mart earlier this month faces two additional charges, including one more for refusing to wear a mask on a fourth occasion.
Paramjeet Kaur, 41, was charged on May 5 with refusing to put on a mask and being a public nuisance. She had faced four charges including three under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. A charge of assaulting another woman who told her to put on a mask was dropped.
On Tuesday (May 19), Kaur, who appeared in person wearing a surgical face mask, had two more charges read to her - one for not wearing a mask on Apr 26 at a hawker stall along Upper Thomson Road, and another for failing to report a change in residence.
When asked to state her full name, she said: "I go by Pam."
She was represented by lawyer Anil Singh, who took over her case from Satwant Singh.
After the charges were read to Kaur, she was asked several times whether she understood the charges.
Kaur replied: “I’m a living woman … I reserve my right to remain silent.”
Kaur is out on bail for S$10,000. Her lawyer noted that Kaur’s mother, who was in the court gallery, will be posting bail.
The court said, as part of her bail conditions, Kaur is to adhere to current COVID-19 laws.
The case will be next heard on Jun 2.
The court granted Mr Singh's request for his client not to show up in court for the next hearing, unless more charges are to be heard.
Before Tuesday’s hearing, Kaur had been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks after the district judge agreed with the police prosecutor during the previous hearing that she needed to be put under observation to check if she is fit to plea.
Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, Kaur could be jailed up to six months and fined up to S$10,000 for each charge. She also faces a fine of up to S$2,000 for being a public nuisance.
For violating the National Registration Act, Kaur could face a jail term of up to five years and fined up to S$5,000.
In online videos of the incident, Kaur, dressed in a purple tank top and without a mask, is seen arguing with a member of the public. In another clip, she is heard telling others: "I'm a sovereign, I'm a sovereign."
Kaur had flouted safe distancing measures four times.
The first was on Apr 14, for which she was fined by the National Environment Agency after she breached the 1m safe distancing rule while purchasing food at a hawker centre at Block 320 Shunfu Road.
She was advised by SG Clean Ambassadors to practise safe distancing but she proceeded to sit at a table and eat the food she bought.
When she was asked to leave, Kaur refused to comply and challenged the ambassadors and took photographs and videos of them. The police were called but she remained uncooperative and began to film the officers with her phone.