Singaporean woman fined for not wearing mask during 2021 pandemic

MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2024

A woman who refused to wear a mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 also pulled down the mask of a social distancing ambassador (SDA) when she was confronted.

On June 24, Singaporean Clariel Griffin, 49, was fined $9,200 ( 249.178 thousand baht ) after pleading guilty to one charge of failing to wear a mask and another charge of using criminal force against a public servant.

Her husband, Briton Clive Ainsley Griffin, was fined $1,200 in September 2023 after he pleaded guilty to an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

He had refused to put on his mask when told to do so by an SDA and questioned the need to wear a mask in Singapore, calling it “oppressive”.

On June 24, Deputy Public Prosecutor Natalie Chu said the couple and three of their friends were having dinner and alcoholic drinks at the Dallas bar in Marina Bay Sands on the evening of Sept 11, 2021.

At around 10.15 pm, a group of SDAs was patrolling the food and beverage outlets in Marina Bay Sands to ensure that sales and consumption of alcohol ceased by 10.30 pm, according to regulations then.

The bar owner repeatedly reminded the group of customers to finish their drinks by 10.30 pm, according to court documents. At 10.28 pm, the owner told the SDAs that bar staff were still trying to clear the drinks from Griffin’s table. After their drinks were cleared, the couple left the bar.

While continuing with their rounds later that night, the SDAs saw the couple again at the promenade area of Marina Bay Sands and noticed they were not wearing masks. The SDAs advised the couple to put on their masks, but they refused to do so. One SDA took out her mobile phone to record the incident.

DPP Chu said Griffin then made snide remarks aimed at the SDAs, saying she did not respect them. She also used vulgarities, adding that she “would not live her life like this”.

Griffin then challenged the SDA to “catch (her)”, asking her to record her act of not wearing a mask.

“When the (SDA) did not respond, the accused told (her) repeatedly that she was ‘muted’. During this exchange, the accused pulled down the (SDA’s) mask without her consent, intending to illegally annoy her,” said DPP Chu.

Nadine Chua

The Straits Times

Asia News Network