Singapore – Due to an ongoing probe over Covid-19 safety measure breaches, 987FM radio DJ Sonia Chew has been replaced as the host of Mediacorp’s countdown show “Let’s Celebrate 2021.” An online forum has highlighted that the law should be taken seriously regardless of fame or status.
Ms Chew was slated to be the host for the countdown event welcoming the new year, along with fellow 987FM DJ Joakim Gomez. The show is airing online and on Mediacorp channels.
However, Ms Chew was recently replaced by DJ Jean Danker after her “severe lapse of judgment” that led to an investigation by the Ministry of National Development (MND).
Ms Chew was spotted in a group photo showing a gathering for actor Jeffrey Xu’s 32nd birthday in October. A total of 13 people were in the picture, including Mediacorp artistes Terence Cao and Shane Pow. Two celebrities not affiliated with Mediacorp, Jeremy Chan and Julie Tan, were also identified.
Under the current Covid-19 regulations, social gatherings are limited to groups of eight outside a residence and within households.
The MND was notified to a possible violation of safe distancing measures which initiated the investigation.
On Sunday (Dec 27), Mediacorp released a statement noting they “take this matter seriously, constantly briefing and reminding their artistes to adhere to safe management guidelines at all times.” The company added they would be cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigations.
Ms Chew, who celebrated her 29th birthday on Dec 28, also took to Instagram to apologise for her actions. She took full responsibility, noting she should have “removed herself from the situation” when she saw more people than permitted in the gathering.
“It’s not in my nature to cause trouble or partake in any activities that would put people at risk. It was a severe lapse of judgment on my part in this case, and from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry,” said Ms Chew.
Meanwhile, a forum on hardwarezone.com.sg had netizens highlighting that the law should be implemented equally on the public. “They know very well they are breaking the law but brush it aside thinking (they can get away) with their star power and an apology,” commented a member on the issue. “It will be unfair to normal citizens. The rule is for all to observe whether you are a star, citizen or foreigner.”
“The law should be taken seriously. The efforts and sacrifices we made to adhere to the social distancing rules should be taken seriously,” noted @TheBFG.
Many agreed with Mediacorp’s decision to replace Ms Chew, adding the “punishment for elites, leaders, celebrities, and civil and public servants should be more severe as they are supposed to be role models for society.”
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