News: Man who posted “After a long day... we are having an illegal gathering, so what? Enjoy the food to the max.” fined $4,500 for illegal gathering

May 22, 2020

He was fined $4,500 for attending a social gathering just a day after the circuit breaker measures took effect and posting the event on social media.

Francis Soh Seng Chye emerged as one of the two men sentenced on 20 May for violation of the circuit breaker measures.

He was fined $4,500 for attending a social gathering just a day after the circuit breaker measures took effect and posting the event on social media, reported Yahoo.

On 8 April, Soh – who had a car-sharing arrangement with Lye Bao Ru – accepted the latter’s invitation for dinner when she met her to hand over the car keys.

Held at Lye’s Circuit Road flat, the hour-long dinner gathering was attended by a total of seven persons.

Soh posted photos of the gathering on social media, adding the caption: “After a long long long long super long day… we are having a (sic) illegal gathering… so what? Enjoy the food to the max.”

Soh’s friends questioned him of his post, with one reporting the gathering to the Stomp website. The post attracted a lot of attention from the media.

Soh took down his social media post at the request of Lye, who was also his cousin-in-law.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin noted that the 38-year-old Singaporean “mischievously went further to broadcast his defiance” on social media, belittling and mocking those who were following the law.

“What happens is that you get charged. What happens is that, while the rest of the nation is staying home, you are here today to face the consequences of your actions. I hope that sufficiently answers your question, Mr Soh,” the prosecutor told Soh.

The father of two, who was unrepresented, admitted that it was “a very childish thing to post.”

“I don’t challenge the law but anyway I’m sorry,” added Soh.

The other man charged of violating the circuit breaker measures was Shake Mohammed Abdul Samad Haji Abduraheem.

On 22 April, the National Environment Agency (NEA) officers patrolling at Block 99 Aljunied Crescent spotted Shake sitting at the void deck while drinking alcohol. The 44-year-old Singaporean was not also wearing a mask.

When asked to wear a mask, Shake took out a mask from his pocket and wore it over his chin. He refused to provide his particulars to the officer, who called the police and began recording the incident with a mobile phone.

This upset Shake, who pushed the officer’s hand away and spat on the ground, before fleeing. The police was able to trace his identity, with the investigations showing that he acted out of anger.

Shake was fined $1,500 and sentence to four weeks imprisonment after pleading guilty to using criminal force to a NEA officer, refusing to provide his particulars as well as for failing to properly wear a mask while outside his residence.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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