Man fined for Covid breaches at influencer event on yacht
Event co-organiser taken to task after influencers mingled on vessel without masks, safe distancing
To help promote his friend's business involved in organising events such as retreats, a Singaporean man co-organised a marketing event on board a yacht, involving about a dozen social media influencers.
The event, which took place last November when the maximum group size was five, saw the group breaching more than one Covid-19 rule and the co-organiser Lim Tian Yi, 36, given a $7,000 fine in court yesterday.
He pleaded 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.
According to court documents, Lim, the director of Appsolutely Technologies, and his friend Lin Pei Ju, whom he knows as Annie, decided to work together some time before the event to promote Anaya Retreat, through candle-making, essential oil-making and photo-taking on the yacht.
Lin, a 42-year-old Singapore permanent resident from Canada, was a partner of the Anaya Retreat brand and also the manager of the Panama-flagged pleasure craft that hosted the event.
They agreed that Lim, the founder of influencer marketplace Koli, was to be in charge of bringing influencers on board the craft.
He spoke to influencer Nicole Chen Lin, 34, who invited most of the 10 other influencers.
The 10 included Ms Audrey Chen Ying Fang, 29, who won the inaugural Miss Mermaid Singapore in 2016.
The others 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 Chai Ann Gie, 28; Ms Monica Tang Yifei, 34; and Ms Wang Zhiruo, 24.
They boarded the craft at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club at about 3pm on Nov 18, and met up with Lim and Lin.
The duo carried out a pre-event briefing and reminded the attendees to wear masks unless eating or drinking.
The group was split by gender, and the five men took photos on the upper deck, while the six women made candles and essential oils on the lower deck.
The group then swapped activities, with Ms Nicole Chen moving between the two decks to help ensure the event was running smoothly.
Lin taught the group on the lower deck to make the candles and essential oils, and while this was happening, masks were not worn.
Although they had a cup of water in front of them, they were not continuously drinking.
Masks were also not worn during the photo-taking session, where Lim was helping out.
Before the event ended at 7pm, Lim gathered 10 of the influencers and Lin for a group photo. There was no 1m safe distancing while the photo was taken.
After the event, Lim uploaded photos of the event on his Facebook account that resulted in a complaint by a member of the public to the authorities who commenced investigations.
Yesterday, the prosecution asked for a $7,000 to $9,000 fine, adding 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 said in mitigation that he was remorseful and 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 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 breaching Covid-19 laws, Lim could have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to $10,000, or both.