You’ve seen it all, from the Sovereign lady to Beow Tan’s racist PowerPoint slides to the MBS lady demanding to see the safety distancing ambassador’s badge.
In recent times, there has been a surge of videos going viral on the Internet depicting people from different walks of life being rude and unreasonable to people in public spaces, some even going so far as to obstruct them from going about their routines and even breaking the law.
So what’s the reason for people exhibiting such unruly and uncalled for behaviour? Perhaps it’s the tough, unprecedented times that we’re in which lead to such aberrant and destructive behaviour in public, perhaps it’s the Singaporean entitlement that spread through the air, but it is ultimately still difficult to excuse such unruly harassment of others in public spaces, some of which even goes against the law.
The Sovereign Woman
Back in 2020, a video of a woman, Paramjeet Kaur, 41, refusing to don her surgical mask at Shunfu Mart during the circuit breaker period went viral. The video invited a lot of critical discourse on her actions, and she ended up being investigated by the police and appeared in court on 7 May 2021.
In the video, Kaur repeatedly refused others' requests to don a mask to protect the health of everyone else around her, and eventually drew a crowd of people around her, asking her to wear her mask.
In another video, Kaur again refused to put on a mask, and infamously said, “I’m a sovereign. We the people”.
Those were her famous last words, considering she was sentenced to 2 weeks’ jail by the court.
Following the investigation conducted by legal authorities against Kaur, the court finally sentenced her to 2 weeks’ jail and a fine of $2000. On the day of her court hearing, Kaur appeared in public wearing a mask that was not covering her nose (pictured below).
PHOTO: ILI MANSOR/TODAY
The Man Who Did Not Believe In Masks
When Tinkerbell died, Peterpan chanted, “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.”
When a 39-year-old Caucasian man refused to wear a mask on an MRT train, SMRT said, “We do not condone socially irresponsible behaviour that affects the safety of others!”
Peterpan’s chant worked to revive Tinkerbell, but SMRT’s announcement failed to curb the plague of ignorance and blatant disregard for public health amongst people who refuse to wear masks in public. What a pity.
“I'm very religious... I hate seeing uncles, granddads with the mask on.”
Like Kaur, this 39-year-old man ended up getting investigated and arrested on Sunday, 9th May 2021 for causing a public nuisance and flouting safety distancing measures.
“Show Me Your Badge!”
The heading speaks for itself, and the proud proponent of this phrase is none other than the 53-year-old woman who prowls Marina Bay Sands refusing to wear a mask.
On 15 May 2021, the police were reported to have received a call regarding a woman who refused to wear a mask in a public space despite continuous requests from a safety distancing ambassador to put on a mask.
In a viral video that took the internet by storm, this 53-year-old woman constantly questioned the authority of safety distancing ambassadors and demanded to see proof of their identities
"If you have no badge, why are you asking me to do something? Who are you representing?"
The 53-year-old was seen to be holding a mask in her left hand, and stealthily sliding it into her pocket at the end of the video.
Why The Bad Behaviour?
In all three instances, these members of the public who pose a threat to public health and safety all share the common trait of being unintimidated by future consequences.
Despite multiple warnings from people present at the scene, all three of them show a blatant disregard for the law, and their language is mostly fixated on themselves.
Case in point, the sovereign lady emphasizes her rights to not wear a mask by claiming she is “sovereign”, an independent body from the government.
The 39-year-old man loudly proclaimed his beliefs and how it made him feel “sad” that others were doing their parts to maintain public health and safety, showing how he clearly views public health and safety as secondary to his beliefs.
The final 53-year-old lady constantly demands proof of the safety distancing ambassador’s authority, which shows how in the absence of perceived authority, she does whatever she deems fit and disregards any potential consequences that may arise for her.
She also holds in her hand despite multiple reminders to put on a mask, which shows her blatant disregard for public health and safety and defiance of the safety guidelines.
Like her counterparts, the 53-year-old not only brazenly defies the public safety guidelines meant to upkeep the safety and health of the public, but she also knowingly challenges and steps all over people whom she deems to not be important enough to dole out consequences to her, which is perhaps a show of her self-entitlement in such a trying time.
While the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be a long term tenant in our small country, teamwork makes a dream work and people like the three offenders stunt our country’s progress with their reckless and irresponsible behaviour.