‘Badge Lady’ returns to court to face fresh charges linked to Covid-19 pandemic

SINGAPORE – A woman who was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail last year after she failed to wear a mask in public places, including Marina Bay Sands (MBS), returned to a district court on Wednesday (Sept 7) and was handed fresh charges linked to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Phoon Chiu Yoke, 55, whom netizens often refer to as the “Badge Lady”, is now accused of two offences under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and one under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Her case has been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on Oct 14.

According to court documents, Phoon failed to wear a mask over her nose and mouth while she was walking along Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road from 3.02pm to 3.04pm on March 6.

Wearing masks outdoors only became optional from March 29. 

She is also accused of committing a similar offence while walking past a nearby Victoria Secret outlet between 3.35pm and 3.37pm that day.

On March 31, she allegedly failed to attend a Tourism Court at the Singapore Tourism Board in Orchard Spring Lane as required by a health officer who was then conducting an investigation.

Details about this particular investigation were not disclosed in court documents.

When District Judge Lorraine Ho asked Phoon on Wednesday if she would be engaging a lawyer, she replied: “I will probably be self-represented.”

In last year’s proceedings, the court heard that she joined the Republic of Singapore Navy in 1990 and held the rank of a major before she retired in 2002.

Phoon first made headlines when she was caught on video not wearing a mask at MBS on May 15 last year.

The clip, which went viral, showed her telling safe distancing ambassadors: “Who are you? Who are you representing? Where is your badge? Show me your badge.”