‘Sovereign’ Shunfu Market Lady Arrested, Minister Shanmugam Calls Her Word Choice “Odd”

Shanmugam Explains “Sovereign” As People Who Reject The Government

You may recall a recent case where a lady who wasn’t wearing a mask at Shunfu Market proclaimed that she’s a “sovereign”. She claimed that people didn’t seem to understand what the term meant.

Well, the police announced that the 40-year-old woman has been arrested on 4 May, and will be charged tomorrow (5 May).

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was intrigued enough by the word to look it up, so he provided an explanation on Facebook.


“Sovereign” woman arrested, will be in court on 5 May

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced that the 40-year-old has been arrested and will be charged on 5 May.


Those who break the rules of social distancing will be charged in court.

Singapore isn’t known to allow things like ignoring their authority to stop them from issuing justice.

And so we come to Shanmugam’s explanation of the word “sovereign”. Just what does it mean?

The “sovereign” rejects government and authorities

In case you don’t remember what the woman said, here’s a refresher:

(A sovereign) is something that people are not going to know, what it means… it means I have nothing to do with the police, it means I have no contract with the police, and they have no say over me.

Also read:

Woman At Shunfu Mart Doesn’t Wear A Mask & Claims She’s A ‘Sovereign’, Arrested At The Scene

She may have been alluding to a movement in the United States, where a group of people proclaim their non-allegiance to authorities or the police.

Shanmugam says that’s “well and good”. But he goes on to say that they shouldn’t live within society if that’s the case.

As a consequence of their beliefs, they should also not expect to receive any of the benefits that come from being a Singapore citizen.

Singaporeans have the right to be protected and to receive medical benefits, among other things.

Not following the rules can harm others

Shanmugam then says that should this woman – or anyone else in the “sovereign” movement – end up spreading Covid-19 within the community, society shouldn’t be expected to be okay with that.

Following from that, he notes that if she falls sick, she would be placing a medical burden on society. The same society whose rules she’s presumably rejected.

In other words, you can’t have your rule-free cake and eat it too.

To do harm to others as a consequence of not following the rules would be a detriment to other rule-abiding citizens.

And for the rest of us non-sovereign citizens, we have the benefits of living in Singapore society — as long as we follow the rules.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Twitter.

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