THE 50-YEAR-OLD man who flaunted his home quarantine order at a Queen Street coffeeshop became the first person to be charged with breaching the order yesterday.
No plea was taken from Chua Hock Seng, who was singled out for his 'madness' by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong when he addressed grassroots, business and youth leaders on Friday.
An interpreter read the charge to him in Hokkien via a teleconference link-up from the Subordinate Courts in Havelock Square. The man was at the Central Police Station, where he had been remanded since his arrest on Friday night.
Chua allegedly left his flat on Wednesday at 9.22 pm, although he was required by law to stay at home.
After having one too many, he showed the order to fellow coffeeshop patrons. One of them then called an ambulance. The Sunday Times understands that he broke the 10-day order a day after he was discharged from the Singapore General Hospital, where he had been warded for a non-Sars illness.
A police prosecutor applied for him to be remanded for a week because investigations were incomplete and because he said Chua was a 'known abscondee'.
Chua asked that the police drive him to his Telok Blangah Rise home to collect his medicine and X-ray report, and then to SGH for a check-up.
'My legs are swollen. I'm feeling very cold in the lock-up... also having fever,' he said, adding that his 75-year-old mother was home alone.
Magistrate Adam Nakhoda said he would get medical staff at the Selarang Park Prison, where Chua is being held, to look into his request and condition. The case will be mentioned on Friday.