Singapore General Hospital Incident: Woman Faces Charges for Verbally Abusing Police and Staff Over Mask Dispute
Just when we were starting to believe that the days of Karens complaining about masks were over, this happened.
Two Douyin videos of Singapore police officers interviewing a woman, who was found hurling insults at hospital staff for refusing to wear a mask, has grown viral amongst netizens on the platform.
The 29-year-old, Han Feizi, whose voice was recorded in the video, was charged in court on 13 October for offences that include the use of abusive language towards a public servant.
The Chinese national was also found to have engaged in a similar instance of confronting and assaulting a security guard on 3 October.
As of time of writing, her Douyin account still seems to be active.
If everything sounds like a complete mess to you, don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened.
Woman in Douyin Video Visited Hospital for An Alleged Foot Injury; Claims That She Was Refused Treatment Due to Non-Singaporean Status
The two viral Douyin videos were reposted on 10 October 2023 in TikTok by an account named Garygaryocp.
In the two videos, which appeared to have been filmed by Han, they feature two police officers who appear to be questioning Han in regards to her hurling abusive language to the staff at Singapore General Hospital.
In the videos, Han claimed to have been involved in a car accident that resulted in her injuring her foot. She also claimed that she had to wait for three hours in SGH’s emergency department before being seen to, and that a nurse told her that she would not receive medical treatment because she was not a Singaporean.
To refute the woman’s baseless claims, Associate Professor Kenneth Tan, the head and senior consultant for the department of emergency medicine at SGH, clarified that the woman was discharged from the emergency department two hours after her arrival.
He also shared that the woman grew hostile and made aggressive remarks to hospital staff after they handed her a mask and reminded her about the hospital’s mask-wearing guidelines.
Even though most Singaporeans and foreigners living in Singapore no longer need to worry about wearing masks in most public spaces, the Ministry of Health still requires the mandatory use of masks in all private and public hospitals in certain settings.
After Han refused to stand down in spite of the hospital’s de-escalation procedures, staff at SGH made a call for assistance in regards to the woman’s verbal abuse.
The call was received by the authorities at around 2.35pm.
Woman Shown Engaging In “Aggressive Behaviour” With Police Officers
In one of the videos posted on Douyin, Han was seen attempting to grab the lanyard of the police officer who was questioning her.
The police later responded that the woman remained uncooperative throughout the duration of the investigation, and had allegedly used profanity against one of the police officers.
In addition to this incident, Han was also involved in a separate instance of abuse earlier this month.
On 3 October, Han had confronted a security guard at The Sail at Marina Bay, a condominium located in Marina Boulevard. She had reportedly been intoxicated while pushing one of the security officers and pulling on his tie.
Police officers also reported that she had also verbally abused the security officer.
The Police Stated That She May Have Been Contravening Her Work Permit
In court today, she expressed her intention to plead guilty and offered an apology for her actions.
The charges against Han include:
A charge of public nuisance, which can result in a fine up to S$2,000.Two charges of verbally abusing a public service worker or servant, which can lead to a maximum of 12 months in jail, a fine up to S$5,000, or both.Two charges of assaulting or applying criminal force to a security officer, carrying a potential sentence of up to two years in jail, a fine up to S$7,500, or both.A charge of intentional harassment, which can result in up to 12 months’ imprisonment, a fine up to S$5,000, or both.
The prosecution plans to move forward with four of these charges. The remaining two, which involve abusive language towards a police officer and criminal force against a security officer, will be factored in during the sentencing phase.
Han has chosen not to hire legal representation. She also inquired about the possibility of receiving a minimal sentence if she pleads guilty promptly.
Her case will next be heard on 25 Oct.
The police have also shared that Han might have also been found contravening her work permit in Singapore, and the issue has been raised to the Ministry of Manpower for further investigation.
The specifics of her actions have not been disclosed.