Singapore—It’s uncertain whether former actress and social media influencer Ateeqah Mazlan, the unwitting central figure in the middle of the home bakers’ issue, should be pitied.
Ms Ateeqah had asked the MTI and the HDB, among other authorities, whether home-based baking was allowed during the circuit-breaker and found out that it was not. This has led to the ire of many in the Malay-Muslim community, who hold her somewhat responsible for the outcome, as she had posted about it on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. These posts have now been taken down and Ms Ateeqah has apologised.
But she has also said that she is not to blame for home bakers’ troubles and that her posts had been hacked and manipulated, sending messages that she had never intended.
In an interview with Sujimy Mohamad on Monday (Apr 27), the former actress said she had not meant to cause dismay to people who operate home food and beverage businesses, as she is a home baker herself. Ms Ateeqah had planned to sell brownies as a means of supporting herself and her child.
She also explained that she had nothing to do with the announcement from authorities saying that home bakers were banned from operations during the circuit breaker period, claiming she had no influence in the matter.
“I want to clear my name. Firstly, I did not call HDB to complain about home-based business. I did it for my own knowledge and for other followers. I posted it to IGTV for the followers who asked, with the intention to help so that they would not get fined, and that they are up to date with the rules and are responsible,” the actress said.
But she did admit to uploading her video hastily, and says she should have given it more thought.
However, she also claimed that the video she posted, which had only been up for an hour before she took it down, had been changed and manipulated by someone else.
“My IGTV post was up for an hour before I took it down and did some damage control. It was then hijacked, altered, and manipulated on Facebook by another person’s account. Various parts were cut out by individuals, who I don’t know personally. The final outcome of that video presented such false messages, sensationalized and was made viral. The viral video that you probably have watched was not mine.”
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, urged in a Facebook post on Monday (April 27) home-based bakers to follow circuit breaker rules.
However, at a news conference on the same day, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on the Covid-19 crisis, took a more conciliatory tone toward home bakers. He said that if the number of community infections continue to fall, the Government will rethink its position.
“Current rules do not allow for home-based F&B, but if and when community numbers do continue to come down, as we said, we’re going to review the numbers.
And if the numbers are brought down, we may very well relax some of the restrictions, and at that time, we will let Singaporeans know when this or any other activities that we think can start will be able to resume.” —/TISG
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