Party-goers face BND5.5K fines each

Fadley Faisal

Three individuals, who previously denied having flouted restrictions by attending a birthday party, changed their pleas and were ordered to settle fines by the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Liew Yun Kun, Phyllis Phang Pei Phin and Tang Chion Siong were each ordered to settle fines of BND5,500 or face a month’s imprisonment, after pleading guilty to committing offences under Section 62A(2) of the Infectious Diseases Act, Chapter 204, for flouting the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) directives dated August 9, 2021, on the prohibition of mass gatherings, issued pursuant to Section 62A(1) of the same Act.

Lawyer Lailatul Zubaidah binti Haji Mohd Hussain represented the defendants.

Senior Magistrate Pengiran Hazirah binti Pengiran Haji Mohd Yusof reiterated the aggravation of the mass gathering during the pandemic, which warrants for a deterrent sentence.

DPP Hajah Rozaimah binti Haji Abdul Rahman informed the court that at 9.35pm on September 18, the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) received a complaint through its 993 hotline, about a mass gathering at a house at Jalan Ban 3A, Kampong Mulaut.

The police went to the address to investigate and found a mass gathering held for the house occupant’s 50th birthday, involving persons from different households. The house occupant admitted that he provided food and beverages, along with music to entertain guests.

Liew bought a present, while Tang contributed a birthday cake for the occasion.

Phang only learnt about the party when she went to the house, as the birthday celebrant’s wife ordered a made-to-order bracelet. She stayed at the latter’s insistence to have some food.

Investigations revealed photos of the mass gathering from the birthday celebrant’s mobile phone, showing persons in the house not wearing face masks and not adhering to the social distancing requirement.