Jail for woman who insisted on shopping at Geylang Serai, rolled e-bike over safe-distance ambassador’s foot

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In August last year, when COVID-19 measures restricted shoppers at some popular markets based on their NRIC numbers, a woman went to Geylang Serai market when she was not allowed to.

She insisted on buying items through a barricade before rolling her electric bicycle over a safe-distancing ambassador’s foot and slapping his arm so she could move forward.

Pham Thi Mai Thao, a 43-year-old food stall assistant, was given one week’s jail on Thursday (Apr 22) for a rash act endangering personal safety. A second charge of using criminal force was taken into consideration.

The court heard that Geylang Serai market was barricaded during Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening during the pandemic, and entry restrictions allowed people to visit either on odd or even dates corresponding to the last digit of their identity card number. The National Environment Agency (NEA) engaged safe-distancing ambassadors to ensure that patrons adhere to the measures.

Pham’s IC ended in an odd number, but she went to the market on Aug 2.

At about 8.40am, a 49-year-old safe-distancing ambassador saw Pham standing beside her e-bike on the ground floor of the market, talking to a stall owner who was behind the barricade.

The victim approached Pham and told her she was not allowed to carry out any transactions over the barricade. Pham told him she was only talking to the stall owner, but the victim saw her paying money over the barricade.

When he tried to stop her, Pham ignored him despite at least three warnings. After collecting her purchases in a plastic bag from the stall owner, she tried to leave on her e-bike.

However, the victim told her to stop and said he would call other NEA officers over, before standing in front of her e-bike. Pham was uncooperative and insisted on leaving.


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