Indian-origin Singaporean fined for hosting in-laws' wedding dinner during COVID restrictions

The guests were seated at tables of about five to six people, but there was no 1m safe distancing between them and they intermingled freely between different tables.

Published: 27th October 2021 03:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2021 03:51 PM   |  A+A-

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SINGAPORE: An Indian-origin Singaporean was fined SGD3,000 for hosting a dinner involving at least 20 people to celebrate his in-laws' wedding anniversary on April 10 despite prevailing COVID-19 laws that barred groups of more than eight people from gathering in public.

Ganesan Angudan, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 on Tuesday, TODAY newspaper reported.

The court heard that on April 3, after deciding to hold the dinner, he booked a multi-purpose event space at Lotus@Norris in the Little India precinct for use a week later.

He paid the owner SGD700 for the booking and invited about 30 people, including friends and relatives.

At the time, restrictions under the third phase of Singapore's gradual reopening after a semi-lockdown were in place.

These included a cap of eight people gathering in public.

At about 7pm on April 10, he gathered with at least 20 people who were not from his household for the dinner celebration, which went on for three hours.

The guests were seated at tables of about five to six people, but there was no 1m safe distancing between them and they intermingled freely between different tables.

Some guests were also unmasked even when they were not drinking or eating.

Two police officers then went to the venue at about 10pm, in response to a complaint from a member of the public that a lot of noise and smoke was emanating from the venue.

When they got there, the officers observed a large group of people including Ganesan.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ruth Teng sought a fine of between SGD3,000 and SGD4,000, noting that there was some attempt to segregate the attendees but they had ultimately intermingled.

The duration of the dinner was also prolonged and involved numerous people.

She also urged the court to send a clear deterrent signal to potential offenders.

“We are still in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, which has dealt a heavy blow to Singapore's economy and way of life.

In the interest of public health and safety, the public cannot afford to be complacent,” TODAY quoted the prosecutor added.


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