Malaysian man who left hostel 4 times while on SHN has Singapore PR status revoked

Chong Tet Choe is the first to have his PR status revoked for breaching Covid-19 rules.
Chong Tet Choe is the first to have his PR status revoked for breaching Covid-19 rules.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A man who was convicted of leaving his hostel multiple times during his stay-home notice (SHN) has been stripped of his permanent residence (PR) status.

"Singapore permanent residents who have been convicted of an offence will have their PR status reviewed by the ICA. In the case of Mr Chong Tet Choe, ICA has revoked his PR status on Feb 4," the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement on Friday (Feb 5).

Chong, a Malaysian, is the first to have his PR status revoked for breaching Covid-19 rules.

Another man, 47, lost his PR status and was barred from re-entering Singapore in February last year, after he insisted on leaving Singapore despite being issued an SHN after travelling to China. ICA said it rejected his application for the renewal of his re-entry permit which allows a person to retain his or her PR status while outside of Singapore. 

Chong was sentenced to two weeks' jail on Aug 7 last year for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

He was charged in June for breaching his SHN on four occasions to run errands with the knowledge that he displayed symptoms of Covid-19 infection.

ICA on Friday said that foreigners who fail to comply with public health regulations and requirements in Singapore may face further administrative actions by ICA or the Ministry of Manpower, or both.

This includes revoking or shortening the validity of permits and passes to remain or work in Singapore.

Last year, the court heard that Chong visited Summit Medical Clinic at Block 134 Jurong Gateway Road on April 29, complaining of a cough and body aches.

He was issued a medical certificate, and was informed that it was also a SHN.

Chong was told that he should stay in his residence at Westwood Hostel in Jurong West Avenue 5 from April 29 to May 3, and not leave it for any purpose except to seek medical attention.

However, he left his hostel on April 30 to buy groceries and withdraw money at a nearby supermarket.

Chong also went to a canteen near the hostel to buy food on two days - May 2 and May 3.

He left his residence for a second time on May 3 to top up the credit stored in his mobile phone at an AXS machine.

It was only after he was shown the access records of his hostel that he confessed to his offences, the court heard.

For each of his offences, Chong could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000. He could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000 for repeat offences.