Singapore — Phoon Chiu Yoke, or the woman now also known as “Badge Lady”, admitted to her offences in a district court on Monday (Sept 6) and was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail.
The 54-year-old failed to wear a mask on numerous occasions at public places, including the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort and outside the State Courts.
During her previous hearing, she also appeared in court via video-link with a mask worn below her nose for most of the hearing. Through her lawyer, Mr Amos Cai, Phoon asked to be released from remand that day, referring to her medical history.
Mr Cai said: “I understand she has a broken foot, a dislocated ankle, an injured knee that was recently aggravated, spinal injury and previous head concussions.”
He said that Phoon had instructed him that the Singapore Armed Forces — where she claimed she was an “ex-naval officer of professional standing” — would have access to these medical records.
Phoon was infamously caught on camera refusing to wear a face mask, despite being asked to do so by safe distancing ambassadors.
She was spotted repeatedly asking for the safe distancing ambassadors’ badges as they advised her to wear a mask while queueing at Marina Bay Sands. “If you have no badge, why are you asking me to do something?” she was heard saying. “Who are you representing?” she asked.
She also breached her SHN at MBS that she was required to serve between Jun 28 and Jul 12 last year on five occasions. Phoon allegedly left her room twice on Jul 8, and once each on Jun 28, Jul 5 and Jul 9.
She claims that she did so because she suffered from eczema and sometimes breathlessness, which were reasons for her not to wear a mask.
Previously, in court on Jun 8, Phoon repeated four times that she was a naval officer with a “strong professional standing”, and asked for the charges against her to be dropped.
“I have a very strong professional standing, not only in Singapore, but globally… I served in the navy for 12 years and was the first female commanding officer,” she said.
First-time offenders who breach laws under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.
Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000. /TISG
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