SINGAPORE, Sept 9 — One man’s mask was not covering his nose when he was on a bus and another man was not wearing a mask at all in a taxi.
Instead of listening to the bus and taxi drivers who told them to take the proper precautions and adhere to Covid-19 regulations to safeguard public health, they allegedly berated the transport workers using vulgar language.
Both men and two others are now under investigation by the police for verbally abusing public servants or public service workers.
The police said in a news release yesterday (September 8) that they are investigating four separate incidents involving men aged 34 to 81.
On July 31, a 53-year-old man reportedly used vulgarities on a bus driver who had advised him to wear his mask properly while inside the bus.
The driver had noticed that the man’s mask had dropped below his nose.
A 51-year-old male passenger in a taxi reportedly refused to wear a mask and was observed by the taxi driver to be visibly intoxicated.
The man was allegedly not wearing a mask at the point of pick-up on August 7 and refused to comply when the driver repeatedly offered a mask to him and advised him to wear it.
When police officers attended to the case and advised the passenger to comply with the rules, the man allegedly turned on the officers to verbally abuse them and was later arrested.
A safe-distancing enforcement officer was at Geylang Serai Market on August 5 when he came across an 81-year-old man who had his mask pulled below his mouth.
The officer approached the man to advise him to wear his mask properly but instead of complying, the man allegedly threatened the officer and used vulgarities on him.
An enforcement officer was at a coffee shop along Whampoa Drive on August 12, advising a patron on safe-distancing measures.
A 34-year-old man interrupted her conversation with the patron and allegedly used vulgar language on her.
Those found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards or to a public servant may be jailed up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000 (RM15,419), or both, under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Under Covid-19 regulations, anyone found not wearing a mask or not wearing one properly outside their place of residence may be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.
Offences of causing annoyance while drunk are punishable with a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to S$1,000, or both, for first-time offenders.
The police advised members of the public to take the prevailing Covid-19 safety measures seriously.
“The police take a stern view of abusive behaviour against public servants or public service workers who are carrying out their public duties, and irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of safe distancing measures.
“Offenders will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law,” they added. ― TODAY