Education centre director fined for repeatedly failing to wear mask properly at his workplace

Kwang Geok Ming was fined $2,700 after pleading guilty to three charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - An education centre director failed to pay a composition sum of $300 after he was spotted not wearing a mask properly at his workplace in October last year.

Instead, Kwang Geok Ming went on to commit a similar offence nine more times up until March at Newcastle Education Centre, which is located at Wisteria Mall in Yishun Ring Road.

A composition sum is cash that offenders have to pay to settle a ticket, summons or notice without going to court.

The 56-year-old Singaporean was finally hauled to court and fined $2,700 on Friday (Oct 15) after pleading guilty to three charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Seven other similar charges were considered during sentencing.

He is the second person linked to an educational body to be dealt with in court this week over mask-related offences.

On Thursday, former international school teacher Gary Joseph Bates Holland, 37, was fined $4,000 for offences, including failing to wear a mask outside Jurong Point shopping mall on June 26 last year.

In Kwang's case, prosecuting counsel for the Ministry of Education Desmond Tan said that enforcement officers went to Wisteria Mall on Oct 21 last year and saw that Kwang was not wearing a mask over his nose and mouth when he was around a counter at the education centre.

His picture was taken and he was given a chance on Nov 23 last year to pay the $300 composition sum.

Instead, he committed a similar offence about a week later and failed to pay the amount by the Dec 7 deadline.

On Dec 14, Kwang was granted an extension to pay the composition sum by Dec 21.

The court heard that he ignored this second deadline.

He was again spotted not wearing a mask over his nose and mouth on March 25.

Kwang was then charged in court in June.

For each charge under the Act, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.