Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Covid-19: Yishun tuition centre director fined S$2,700 for repeatedly failing to wear mask

SINGAPORE — A 56-year-old director of an education and tuition centre was fined S$2,700 on Friday (Oct 15) after pleading guilty to not wearing a face mask over his nose and mouth at the centre on multiple occasions.

Covid-19: Yishun tuition centre director fined S$2,700 for repeatedly failing to wear mask

Kwang Geok Ming outside the State Courts on Oct 15, 2021.

  • Kwang Geok Ming ran Newcastle Education Centre, located in a mall in Yishun
  • He was spotted not wearing a face mask there on at least 10 occasions
  • Safe distancing ambassadors snapped photos of his offences

 

SINGAPORE — A 56-year-old director of an education and tuition centre was fined S$2,700 on Friday (Oct 15) after pleading guilty to not wearing a face mask over his nose and mouth at the centre on multiple occasions.

Kwang Geok Ming, a Singaporean, admitted to three charges of flouting Covid-19 laws with seven other such charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Kwang initially tried to justify his actions by saying that he had argued with a safe distancing ambassador, who then took photographs of him answering a phone call with his mask pulled below his chin.

However, he later accepted that he had no reasonable excuse.

Mr Desmond Tan, who prosecuted the case for the Ministry of Education, told the court that Kwang’s offences spanned almost six months from Oct 11 last year to March 30 this year.

Kwang was the director of Newcastle Education Centre, located at the basement of Wisteria Mall along Yishun Ring Road.

On Oct 21 last year, enforcement officers went there after safe distancing ambassadors told them that Kwang repeatedly failed to wear a mask over his nose and mouth inside, even after he was reminded to do so.

The officers observed him for 10 minutes, noting that he was sitting, standing and walking around the front counter in plain sight to those outside while not wearing a mask properly.

An unknown woman was also in the tuition centre with him.

On Dec 1 last year, safe distancing ambassadors then saw him sitting behind the front counter interacting with a female customer, without his mask worn properly.

Then, on March 25 this year, he was observed talking on a fixed landline phone while sitting behind the front counter, again not wearing a mask properly. Two other women were in the centre as well.

Mr Tan told the court that Kwang was not engaged in strenuous physical exercise or consuming food, drink or medication at the time, so none of the exclusions under the law applied.

Safe distancing ambassadors took photographs of him breaking regulations.

The prosecutor sought a fine of S$3,000, adding that the authorities had offered him a S$300 composition fine in November last year for his first offence.

The notice of composition also stated that he would be prosecuted in court if he did not comply, and reminded him not to commit further offences.

However, Kwang did not accept the composition fine or an extension to pay it.

Mr Tan added: “The point we’re making is he has been given chances to resolve the matter instead of coming to court, but has elected not to do so.

“We acknowledge that these instances were in a private place and there were not that many people involved. That’s one of the reasons why we’re not asking for a higher fine or harsher penalty.”

In mitigation, Kwang, who was not represented by a lawyer, asked for leniency, saying: “S$800 to a high-income earner is a pair of shoes, but for me, it’s a three-month breakfast expense for the whole family.”

District Judge Prem Raj said that Kwang had broken the law for a long period, but took into consideration that not many people were around at the time.

After the judge passed his sentence, Kwang asked if he could be fined S$2,500 instead. But the judge said that he would not change his order.

Those convicted of failing to wear a mask over their nose and mouth in public can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime Covid-19 coronavirus face mask

Read more of the latest on

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Get the latest news

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa