Terence Cao charged with breaking Covid-19 rules at Jeffrey Xu's birthday party

Terence Cao (left) was one of 13 people who attended Mediacorp artiste Jeffrey Xu's birthday party last year.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao and Instagram/jeffrey_xu

SINGAPORE - Veteran actor Terence Cao Guohui and a male guest identified as Lance Lim Chee Keong appeared in a district court on Tuesday (March 2) after they allegedly breached safe distancing rules at Mediacorp artiste Jeffrey Xu's birthday party last year.

Cao and Lim are accused of breaching phase two regulations that restricted social gatherings to no more than five people.

Each of them faces a charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Thirteen people, including Cao, Mr Xu and fellow actor Shane Pow, attended the party at a condominium apartment in Daisy Road off Braddell Road between 9pm on Oct 2 and 1am the folowing day.

Media reports have stated that Cao, 53, is the owner of the unit.

Lim, 50, is said to have invited three visitors despite knowing this would breach the maximum number of five allowed at the gathering.

Eleven of those who gathered have already been fined $300 in lieu of being prosecuted due to their lower "level of culpability".

An advisory was issued to the condo's management corporation to remind it to keep to the rules.

Mr Xu's 32nd birthday party celebrations received flak on social media after pictures of the unmasked group went viral online.

The celebrities have since apologised via Mediacorp, saying they "deeply regret" their actions.

Deejay Sonia Chew, who was later identified as being at the party, was dropped from hosting Mediacorp's annual countdown show due to the incident.

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Terence Cao to be charged in court for Jeffrey Xu’s birthday party: Newspaper
Terence Cao to be charged in court for Jeffrey Xu’s birthday party: Newspaper

She later said she was invited to have drinks in what she understood to be a small group of people and was not aware it was a birthday celebration.

Mediacorp had earlier said that it takes safe distancing and Covid-19 regulations seriously and reminded its artistes to follow the rules in both their professional and personal capacities.

It added: "We have cooperated fully with the authorities on their investigations. We do not condone the actions of the four artistes and the company has conducted an internal review and disciplinary actions will be taken."

Defence lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation represent Lim, while lawyer S.S. Dhillon from Dhillon & Panoo law firm represents Cao.

The cases involving Cao and Lim have been adjourned to April 27.

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.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.