‘Sovereign’ woman faces two extra charges, one for not wearing a face mask at Upper Thomson food stall
SINGAPORE — A 41-year-old woman who gained notoriety for claiming that she is a “sovereign” above the law earlier this month was handed two additional charges on Tuesday (May 19).
SINGAPORE — A 41-year-old woman who gained notoriety for claiming that she is a “sovereign” above the law earlier this month was handed two extra charges on Tuesday (May 19).
Paramjeet Kaur, a Singaporean, allegedly failed to wear a mask over her nose and mouth at a Western food stall at Upper Thomson Road at about 7.45pm on April 26. Circuit breaker measures were already in force.
She is also alleged to have failed to report a change of her residence to authorities within 28 days of moving from a public housing flat in Whampoa to a landed property at Upper Thomson Road.
Kaur already faces three charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 and one charge of public nuisance.
When asked if she understood the charges on Tuesday, Kaur, who attended court in person wearing a mask, said: “I am a living woman. I reserve all my rights, including my right to remain silent.”
The court also heard that Kaur’s original lawyer, Mr Satwant Singh, was discharged, and replaced with Mr Anil Sandhu.
Mr Sandhu had to verify Kaur’s identity by telling the court that she is indeed the accused, as she refused to state her name even after being asked twice.
Kaur was first charged on May 5 with allegedly leaving her home to eat in front of a food stall at Shunfu Mart on April 14 and failing to wear a mask in public on two other occasions on April 30 and May 3.
The May 3 incident drew the public nuisance charge, as she allegedly shouted loudly and created a scene at Shunfu Mart.
Videos of her confrontations with members of the public went viral earlier this month.
In one of the videos, she was heard saying: “I am a sovereign… This is something people are not going to know what it is.”
The radical belief that one is a “sovereign citizen” above the law — and gets to decide which rules to obey and which ones to ignore — has its roots in the United States in the 1970s and was largely influenced by white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups from the 1960s to 1980s.
Following these charges, Kaur had been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation for two weeks.
On Tuesday, she was granted bail of S$10,000 under the condition that she surrender her travel documents. The bail was posted by her mother.
Deputy Public Prosecutor V Jesudevan additionally asked for her to abide by Covid-19 restrictions while she is out on bail. District Judge Adam Nakhoda reaffirmed that it is a condition of her bail.
Her next court mention is on June 2.
If convicted of public nuisance, she could be fined up to S$2,000.
She could also be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months, or face both penalties, for each Covid-19 regulation breach if convicted.
If convicted of the National Registration Act charge for failing to report a change of address, she could be jailed up to five years, fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam commented on Kaur’s case on May 4, saying that people who do not want to obey the rules of the society they live in should not expect any of the benefits that come from that particular system of governance.
Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported earlier that Kaur works as a physiotherapist and lived in Australia for 20 years before returning to Singapore last year.
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