Event co-organiser fined after S'pore influencers mingled on yacht without masks, safe distancing

Lim Tian Yi was fined $7,000 after pleading guilty to one charge of breaching a Covid-19 control order.
Lim Tian Yi was fined $7,000 after pleading guilty to one charge of breaching a Covid-19 control order.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - About a dozen influencers who were on a yacht for a marketing event last year breached Covid-19 regulations and ignored safe distancing rules to take part in activities without their masks.

Lim Tian Yi, 35, the co-organiser of the event, later posted photos of the occasion on his Facebook page.

The authorities investigated the event following a complaint by a member of the public.

On Tuesday (Sept 28), Lim, the founder of influencer marketplace Koli, was fined $7,000 after pleading guilty to one charge of breaching a Covid-19 control order.

Another two charges for not wearing a mask and gathering with 12 others on the yacht were taken into consideration.

Lim had planned the event with his friend and co-accused, Annie Lin Pei Ju, 42, a Canadian with Singapore permanent residency who was a partner of the Anaya Retreat brand.

The event on Nov 18 last year was to promote Anaya Retreat through candle-making, essential oil-making and casual photo-taking on the yacht.

During that period, the safe distancing regulations for Covid-19 imposed a maximum group of five for social gatherings.

A total of 13 attendees were present at the event, including 11 influencers who were invited.

These were: Mr Damian Tan Kar Sheng, 27; Mr Sean Tan, 29; Mr Titus Low Kaide, 22; Mr Walter Soh Yon Zheng, 24; Mr Nicholas Joel Leong, 26; Ms Kuek Zi Yi, 32; Ms Audrey Chen Ying Fang, 29; Ms Chai Ann Gie, 28; Ms Nicole Chen Lin, 34; Ms Monica Tang Yifei, 34; and Ms Wang Zhiruo, 24.

Ms Audrey Chen, who had previously won the Miss Mermaid beauty pageant, made headlines last year after it was revealed in a court case that she was the mistress of a married businessman.

The 11 boarded the craft at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club at about 3pm on Nov 18, and met up with Lim and Lin.

The influencers were split into two groups by gender.

While the male group was on the upper deck taking photos, the female group was on the lower deck making candles and essential oils.

They later swapped locations and activities. Ms Nicole Chen moved between the two decks throughout the event.

During the activities, they did not wear masks.

There was also no safe distancing. At the end of the event, at about 7pm, 12 of them gathered on the lower deck to take a group photo.

On Tuesday, the prosecution said the participants had mingled for four hours without safe distancing, but noted there was some attempt to separate them into groups, and that Lim was of low culpability.

Lim, who did not have a lawyer, then asked what culpability meant. District Judge Lorraine Ho explained that the word referred to his liability.

Lim said in mitigation that he was remorseful, and that it was Ms Nicole Chen who had wanted to bring 10 people with her.

He added that the other influencers had been fined $300 each, and he had helped pay the fines for some of them.

The judge said that it was the responsibility of organisers to ensure they do not violate the laws, including limiting the number of people and making sure safe distancing measures are observed.

Lin's case is still pending before the courts.

For contravening a Covid-19 control order, Lim could have been fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months.