Permanent resident has status revoked after conviction for COVID-19 offences

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2 min read
ICA Building. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)
ICA Building. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — A Singapore permanent resident (PR) who was convicted for breaching COVID-19 stay-home regulations has had his PR status revoked on Thursday (4 February).

Chong Tet Choe, 47, was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on 7 August last year for leaving his place of residence, despite being given sick leave for symptoms of acute respiratory infection amid the circuit breaker period in April and May 2020.

“Singapore permanent residents who have been convicted of an offence will have their permanent residence status reviewed,” the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a media statement on Friday.

“In the case of Mr Chong Tet Choe, ICA has revoked his PR status on 4 February 2021.

“All persons under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) are to comply with the prevailing public health regulations and requirements in Singapore. Those who fail to comply, including persons who tamper with and/or remove the electronic monitoring device during the SHN period, will be liable to prosecution under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.”

ICA warned that, besides facing a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months, foreigners may face further action by ICA and/or Ministry of Manpower, such as revoking or shortening the validity of permits and passes to remain/work in Singapore.

Details of Chong’s offences

Chong given a five-day MC for acute respiratory infection on 29 April and was required by law to stay home from 29 April to 3 May. His doctor had explained that the medical certificate was different from typical ones, as it was also a stay-home notice. This meant that Chong could not leave home except to seek medical attention.

Investigations revealed that he had allegedly left his place of accommodation on four separate occasions between 30 April and 3 May to run personal errands such as buying food and topping up his mobile phone’s credit value.

Furthermore, during the initial stages of investigations, he lied to a Ministry of Health officer that he had left home only once. He confessed to the other three incidents only after he was shown the thumbprint access records of his accommodation.

Chong was charged in court on 17 June last year for four counts under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. He was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on 7 August.

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