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'Badge Lady' faces new charge for not wearing face mask at Ion Orchard in August

Yahoo News logo Yahoo News 7/10/2022 Amir Hussain

SINGAPORE — The woman dubbed "Badge Lady", who made headlines last year for refusing to wear a face mask in public places, was brought back to court on Friday (7 October) to face a fresh charge of not wearing a mask at ION Orchard in August.

Phoon Chiu Yoke, 55, allegedly committed the offence at the shopping mall between 11.48am and 12.03pm on 16 August. At the time, it was mandatory to wear masks in malls.

Phoon, who was given her Badge Lady moniker by netizens following a viral clip of her berating safe distancing ambassadors at Marina Bay Sands (MBS), is now accused of four new offences in all.

Last month, she received three new charges — for failing to wear a mask at the Mandarin Gallery shopping mall on two occasions on 6 March, and for failing to comply with an investigation officer.

Phoon's case involving her latest set of offences has been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on 14 October.

Jailed 16 weeks previously

In September last year, Phoon was jailed for 16 weeks after she was caught numerous times for failing to wear a face mask in public during the pandemic. She has since completed her jail term.

She first made headlines in May last year, when she was caught on video not wearing a mask at MBS. The viral video showed her telling the safe distancing ambassadors, "Who are you? Who are you representing? Where is your badge? Show me your badge."

Phoon — whom the court heard had held the rank of major in the Republic of Singapore Navy before she retired in 2002 — was handed five charges under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act later that month, but removed her mask as she walked out of the States Courts building.

While out on bail on 25 June last year, she was spotted at Mandarin Orchard Singapore without a mask again. She was charged over this incident, and was taken into custody with her bail revoked.

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.

The punishment for not complying with an enforcement officer during investigations under the Infectious Diseases Act is the same.

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