Singapore — While the rest of the country is still looking forward to being able to gather in groups of eight when Singapore enters Phase 3 of reopening on Dec 28, some people have allegedly been partying away for the past six months at Golden Mile Complex.
In the latest of these parties, which was held on Monday (Dec 14), around 30 people reportedly met in a small bar on the second floor of the complex, according to Shin Min Daily News.
The party was said to have been held by a 50-year-old woman for the birthday of her boyfriend and people were invited by word of mouth.
Those who attended the party did not have their temperature taken, no SafeEntry was implemented and they were allowed go around the bar without putting on face masks.
They were allowed to consume alcoholic drinks and mingle while “scantily-clad women” performed on a makeshift dance floor.
One person told the publication that certain establishments at the complex have allowed such illegal parties since June. This person was anonymously quoted as saying: “If you come on weekends, you’ll see the bars here filled with people completely ignoring the pandemic. When the authorities show up, the operators will just pull down the shutters and continue operating illegally afterwards.”
The birthday celebration was by no means the only event at the complex that evening. At least eight bars were operating on the night of Dec 14, said Shin Min.
The president of the Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA), Mr Joseph Ong, is quoted in The New Paper as saying the news that people were illegally holding parties at the complex had reached him but that he had originally thought these were isolated incidents.
“I did not know they were so blatant at Golden Mile. It seems like the place has become something of a hive,” he said.
Mr Ong added: “It took us so long to get to Phase 3, with all the nightlife businesses pulling together. It would be such a waste if this small group of operators destroys the hard work done by the 2,000-plus nightlife outlets for almost a year.”
Should clusters of infection develop because of the illegal parties at the complex, it would be hard to carry out contact tracing, he said. “Operating in an illegal, underground manner is definitely not right and it is risky for the public.”
In August, two men who had been hired to do renovation work at Golden Mile Tower were caught gathering and inviting others to socialise there despite the pandemic. On Aug 28, six Singaporean men and four Thai women were fined thousands of dollars after they pleaded guilty to breaching Covid-19 regulations on safe distancing measures. /TISG