He thought he had one last day of freedom before being holed up at home for two weeks to serve a stay-home notice. But his craving for bak kut teh led to a minister issuing a stern warning in Parliament yesterday.
Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam warned that stern action will be taken against those who breach stay-home notices. He highlighted a post by one such culprit who allegedly left home to eat bak kut teh.
"I have asked for that case to be investigated. We are trying to verify some of these messages on stay-home notices being flouted and if any member of the public has information about such behaviour, please give it to the police. We will follow up, and we cannot allow such behaviour," he said.
When contacted by The Straits Times, Mr Alan Tham, 33, who works in the security industry, said he knew he had to serve a 14-day stay-home notice after returning on Monday from a three-day holiday to Myanmar.
But he misunderstood it as starting only the day after touching down, based on what an airport official had told him.
After he had landed at Changi Airport, he dropped his bags at home and went for dinner and to buy groceries. He took a bus, wore a mask and was out for less than an hour.
Mr Tham, who is also a freelance photographer, had posted on Facebook that same night about his return to Singapore and his bak kut teh meal. He drew flak from netizens for breaching stay-home notice conditions.
Since last Friday, all travellers, including Singapore residents, entering the country have been issued 14-day stay-home notices.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said it had investigated Mr Tham's case and warned him not to breach the conditions of the notice again. It said the notice clearly states that it begins the day a traveller returns.
People on stay-home notice should remain in their place of residence at all times and are not allowed to have visitors. They should not go out even to buy daily necessities. Anyone who breaches a stay-home notice faces a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Tan Tam Mei