Man who violated SHN for bak kut teh and grocery trip convicted - Alvinology

Man who violated SHN for bak kut teh and grocery trip convicted

Alvinology previously reported on a man who posted about violating a Stay Home Notice after his trip to Myanmar for a bowl of bak kut teh. He even posted the incident on Facebook, and got into an argument with commenters on what day the quarantine period would start.

According to a report by The Straits Times, Alan Tham Xiang Sheng, 34 years old, has been convicted of exposing others to the risk of infection by breaching an SHN.

The same report said that a sentence has not been passed, since the prosecution has asked for a 10-12 week jail sentence. The final decision would be done on April 23.

Here’s what Sheng posted on his Facebook account that got him in trouble.

What did Sheng do that got him convicted?

According to the report, Sheng received the Stay Home Notice just as he arrived from Myanmar on March 23. He was also asked to sign a document that attested to his understanding of the order and that he had to go straight home and stay inside until April 6.

The slip he signed also notified that he was aware he could be prosecuted for failing to follow the SHN.

Sheng did not go home, though, and instead met up with his girlfriend at Changi Airport Terminal 3 to eat at a food court around 3:40 in the afternoon.

But this was not where he had the bak kut teh.

Even after the meal, the couple did not go home, and even booked a private car service to go to Peninsula Plaza in North Bridge Road. The couple transacted with a money changer before heading home through another private car service. They arrived at their home at 6:35 in the evening.

Sheng and his girlfriend went out again that same evening, and this is where the infamous bowl of bak kut teh happened. They reportedly boarded a bus to Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre in Woodlands Drive 71 where he had the bowl of soup that he posted online.

Despite getting into an argument with people who told him he must stay home, Sheng and his girlfriend did not heed warnings. They proceeded to a FairPrice supermarket nearby and only got home at 10:00 in the evening.

Man who violated SHN for bak kut teh and grocery trip convicted - Alvinology

Within that time frame of 6-7 hours outside, Sheng could have infected any number of people if he had COVID-19.

Two days after his return and violations of the SHN, enforcers arrived at his home to check on whether he followed the directives. He admitted that he did not.

According to The Straits Times report, the Ministry of Health and ICA said that, “Investigations revealed that Tham’s activities that day included visits to food centres and a mall, for a duration of approximately 6½ hours.

“Despite being issued with an SHN which required Tham to remain in his place of residence for a 14- day period, Tham exposed others to the risk of infection through his irresponsible conduct.”

What was Sheng’s defense?

The same report said that lawyers Cory Wong and Josephus Tan argued that the SHN did not say that their client would have to go home immediately after his flight and that the latter was not “gallivanting.”

The lawyers argued for the fine to be imposed on Sheng, with a maximum of $10,000.

Header photo from: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS, Facebook

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