'I'm not afraid of being fined': Auntie refuses to budge from hawker centre table

PHOTO: Facebook screengrabs

It's been two weeks since Singapore went into circuit breaker mode but it appears that not everyone has gotten the memo on the ramped-up safe distancing measures.

An elderly woman was spotted tucking into a takeaway bowl of kway chap at a cordoned-off table at Teban Gardens Food Centre on April 18.

In a video clip circulating on Facebook on Sunday (April 19), she was seen refusing to budge from her seat as a pair of enforcement officers spoke with her.

They approached the auntie to explain to her that members of the public are not allowed to dine outside during this period in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"If you continue to do this, we'd have to fine you," one of the officers told her.

This, however, appeared to agitate the women, who banged on the table and said: "It doesn't matter, I'm not scared," in Hokkien.

"If I had the virus, I would've died by now," she added.

Another officer tried to give the woman a chance and told her that she'd get fined if she didn't comply with the rules.

"Why don't you eat this at home? It's bo hua (not worth it) to pay the $300 fine, you can buy many things with the money," he reasoned.

But she remained defiant and asserted: "I'm not afraid of being fined."

Their advice fell on deaf ears, so the officers told her they would call the police for assistance as she didn't have her identity card on her.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, the incident lasted for 30 minutes before the woman's son arrived to take her home. She was eventually fined $300.

As Singapore sees a wave of new coronavirus infections in recent weeks, the multi-ministry task force called for a month-long circuit breaker which kicked in on April 7.

Read Also
Woman who brazenly flouted CB rules, filmed police in market fined $300
Woman who brazenly flouted CB rules, filmed police in market fined $300

Tightened measures, such as the compulsory wearing of masks when out, were later introduced to keep people at home.

Crowds, however, continued to gather and linger at places like wet markets, with some not wearing masks or observing safe distancing rules.

After issuing thousands of written warnings in the first week of the circuit breaker, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli announced that from April 12, those found flouting the rules would be fined $300 right away.

First-time offenders will be fined $300, second-time offenders will be fined $1,000 while egregious cases will be charged in court.

Still, the fines did not appear to deter some people.

In recent days, there have been several instances of members of the public not complying with the rules, confronting and challenging the police and enforcement officers.

While some senior citizens have voiced their dissatisfaction with the new measures, they are more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Research published in The Lancet found that those aged 50 and above who are infected are more likely to be hospitalised, and a greater proportion of those cases are likely to be fatal.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

lamminlee@asiaone.com