A woman caught on camera arguing with others for not wearing a mask in Shunfu Market in Singapore has been arrested for causing a public nuisance
According to The Straits Times, the Singapore Police Force arrested the 40-year-old Singaporean woman at 9.10pm on Monday, 4 May, after videos of the wet market altercation went viral on Sunday afternoon.
The police force said that she had caused a public nuisance, assaulted a member of the public, and did not wear a mask.
"The police will not tolerate such blatant disregard of the law and wilful breaches of safe distancing measures," they wrote in a statement, "Let us all do our part to curb the spread of COVID-19."
The woman will be charged in court today, 5 May.
In one of the video clips of the heated argument, the woman was holding her arm up to cover her face while talking back to people who were trying to explain COVID-19 measures to her
In the video, she is also seen not letting go of a handphone held by another woman, whom she allegedly attacked, while arguing with the group of people.
They asked the reason why she was not following the law, to which she said, "I am a sovereign... It means I have nothing to do with the police, it means I have no contract with the police. They have no say over me."
"That doesn't even make any sense," a man from behind the camera responded, "If you're a person in Singapore, you have to follow the rules of Singapore."
"That's the thing - I'm not a person, I'm 'we the people'," she replied.
In another video, at a different location at the same market, she is seen saying, "The law is you can't tell people what to do," after a woman angrily reprimands her for pointing the middle finger at her.
"You should have minded your own business. In the first place, you should not have shouted at me," said the accused.
This is not the woman's first run-in with the law
In one of the same videos, she brags that she had previously been approached by the police at the same market but was let off without a warning or fine.
However, CNA reported that officers from the National Environmental Agency (NEA) had issued the woman a fine of SGD300 (RM915) on 15 April for breaching the one-metre safe distancing rule while purchasing food at the hawker centre of Shunfu Market.
On that day, she had also challenged the NEA ambassadors by proceeding to sit at the dining area of the cooked food section to eat the food she bought, which was in direct violation of the nation's no dining in measures to curb the virus.
Police were called but she began to take videos of their encounter and remained uncooperative.
Singapore Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam has since checked what the woman might have meant by referring to herself as "sovereign"
"There is a movement in the US, and adherents to that movement, (broadly speaking) reject government, reject the police, and any kind of authority," he wrote in a Facebook post yesterday, 4 May, according to TODAY.
He then said that those who do not want to obey the rules of the society that they live in should not expect any benefits from that system of governance.
"If she doesn't follow the rules and (say) ends up infecting someone - why should society accept that? Or if she falls ill herself, she will be imposing a medical burden on the rest of the society - whose rules she rejects, presumably."
"Very odd. Usually, in such cases, there will be more to it than meets the eye," he added.
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