While on duty at Kallang Wave Mall, one Safe Distancing Ambassador (SDA) did not expect to be confronted, let alone filmed by a “public-spirited bystander” claiming she wasn’t “doing [her] job”.
In a video circulating online, and posted on Youtube on Sunday (Sept 11), a female SDA can be seen in the midst of an argument with a man at the mall entrance, who was filming with his phone. It is not known when the incident was recorded.
In the 90-second video, which has gained more than 10,100 views on YouTube, the man appears to be questioning the SDA about her responsibilities — particularly about why she allegedly failed to take action against someone who was not wearing a mask in the mall.
With an accusatory tone, he asks her: “So that fact that he walked past you without wearing a mask, first, you were not being observant, correct?”
Even after the SDA explained that she did not see him as he was behind her, and that he was already leaving the mall, the man filming becomes increasingly agitated, and continues to interrogate her.
Towards the end of the video, the SDA realises that he’s been recording their conversation, and asks him to stop. However, he refuses on the basis that she wasn’t doing her job.
“So you are not doing your job [and] it takes a public-spirited bystander to bring to your attention that someone was not following safe management measures,” he says, continuing to film.
The video ends with the SDA telling the man that she was going to “disengage”, and him retorting that he was going to “lodge a report” about her.
Enterprise Singapore, which is in charge of the fleet of SDAs deployed to shopping malls islandwide, has told AsiaOne that investigations are currently ongoing, and is thus unable to comment.
AsiaOne has reached out to Kallang Wave Mall for comment.
Netizens were divided over the incident. Some agreed with the SDA’s response, and commended her for keeping her cool despite being confronted.
There were also others who thought that the man’s actions were uncalled for.
Then there were those who took the opportunity to air their grievances towards SDAs.
First appointed during the circuit breaker in 2020, SDAs from various public agencies have been deployed to guide businesses and individuals to comply with safe distancing measures.
Recently, a police report was lodged after a woman allegedly pulled down an SDA’s mask at Marina Bay Sands on Sept 11.
In a written parliamentary reply by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Sept 14, she said her ministry received 75 and 17 cases of feedback – from January to August – related to the conduct of SDAs and safe distancing enforcement officers respectively. Of these cases, 22 were found to be substantiated, mostly for rude or unprofessional behaviour, according to the written parliamentary reply.
Minister Fu also said in the reply: “The Government treats any allegation of misconduct seriously and will investigate and take the appropriate action if any case is established.”