Chop for entry? NTUC FairPrice part-timers fired for pranking shoppers, not wearing mask

PHOTO: Facebook/allsgstuff

It's now four weeks into Singapore's circuit breaker and even a trip to the grocery store is starting to resemble an immigration checkpoint — what with the long queues, temperature checks and more supermarkets asking patrons to scan their NRICs before entry.

But unsuspecting shoppers found themselves jumping through more hoops than usual to enter the NTUC FairPrice at Orchard Grand Court on April 29 when two employees took to pranking them by asking them for a "chop" for entry.

FairPrice told AsiaOne it has fired the part-timers and made a police report against them after a video of the incident was posted on Facebook page All Singapore Stuff today (April 30), where it quickly drew widespread criticism.

The video, which has since been removed, appears to be a screen recording of one of the pranksters' Instagram Story.

The 20-second-long clip shows a man in a surgical mask stopping shoppers at the entrance of the supermarket.

Armed with the flashlight on his phone, he inspected the wrist of one man, telling him: "Your hand don't have chop leh [sic]. The other side?"

As the puzzled man allowed him to look for the non-existent chop on his other wrist, the prankster and his accomplice descended into peals of laughter.

The prankster went on to play the same trick on several other unwitting victims — all while his surgical mask hung loosely from one ear.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Unsurprisingly, most netizens saw no humour in the jokesters' actions and called for them to be punished.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

FairPrice said it will continue to safeguard customers' safety and well-being within its stores and will not hesitate to take firm actions against unprofessional conduct or any breach of its strict safety protocols. 

The unidentified pranksters did not respond to AsiaOne and have since changed their Instagram handles.

Since April 14, it has been mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when outside. Those caught without a mask face a $300 fine for the first offence and a $1,000 fine for the second offence.

In February, two 17-year-olds filmed themselves sipping from drinks and returning them to a supermarket's shelves, captioning their social media post with: "How to spread Wuhan".

The pair were arrested for public nuisance and charged in court on April 9.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com