SINGAPORE – Though homeless, a 61-year-old man refused an offer of accommodation from the Housing Board (HDB) to serve out his stay-home notice.
Instead, Adenan Amat resided at two public places, went for a job interview and subsequently reported for work at a factory.
The Singaporean was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Tuesday (Aug 11), after pleading guilty to one count each of failing to comply with his SHN and for exposing others to the risk of infection.
One other charge under the Infectious Diseases Act was taken into consideration during sentencing by District Judge Marvin Bay.
The court heard that on April 3, Adenan returned to Singapore from Batam island in Indonesia via ferry.
He was given a SHN by an Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) officer that required him to stay at his residence from April 3 to April 17.
When the ICA officer told him to write his address on the SHN, Adenan gave that of a flat he had previously lived in.
Later in the day, he visited a friend in Telok Blangah and then went to a police post to report that he had no place to stay.
The police officer on duty arranged for him to speak to a HDB officer, who told him temporary accommodation could be provided for him to serve his SHN at $20 a day. Adenan turned down the offer.
From April 3 to April 10, he slept near Blk 519 West Coast Road, before moving to a garden near West Coast Community Centre at 2 Clementi West Street 2.
Court documents state that sometime on or before April 10, he went for a job interview with Perry Maintenance, a company that provides cleaning services.
He worked as a cleaner in a Pandan Loop factory for about four to five days.
Court documents did not state how his offences came to light.
On Tuesday, District Judge Bay said individuals like Adenan, who are “obstinately heedless” of the measures to control the spread of Covid-19, present a “weak link” to attempts to control the outbreak.
“We are only as strong as our weakest link, hence it is essential that the law acts as an effective deterrent,” the judge added.
Adenan could have been jailed up to six months or fined a maximum of $10,000 for failing to comply with the SHN.
For exposing others to the risk of infection, he could also have been jailed up to six months and/or fined a maximum of $10,000 if he was a first-time offender. A repeat offender faces a maximum jail term of one year and/or a fine of up to $20,000.