A man in Singapore's central region of Bishan emptied several bottles of hand sanitizer inside a housing block's lift to "kill as many viruses as possible," according to local reports on Friday. The man, who was fined S$4,000, also tore down four posters that were inside the lift and threw them on the ground.
Pleading guilty to two charges of committing mischief, Low Ken Lum told a local court that he poured sanitizer bottles because the lift was "smelly and unhygienic." The 50-year-old tore down the posters because he thought they were not fixed properly, adding that, he planned to stick them properly but forgot to do so.
The incident happened in March and authorities took cognizance of the acts after residents of the housing block complained to Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council of the hand sanitizer and posters being damaged. Low, who is unemployed, did the same on two different occasions, according to reports. His actions were reportedly captured in a CCTV camera.
"The accused claimed that he had removed the bottles of hand sanitiser and poured the contents onto the floor of the lift as he wanted to 'disinfect the lift'. He also admitted to taking the sanitiser bottles home on other occasions for his personal use," Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Wee Hao said, according to court papers.
Low explained to the court that he had a skin condition and a was meticulous about cleanliness especially due to Covid-19. He also said his intentions were not "evil and mischief." However, he admitted to taking the sanitizer bottles to his home for personal use.
"I pour on floor... (my) intention is not evil and mischief, it's to kill as many viruses as possible. The lift (is) so smelly and unhygienic... during COVID-19. I (am) very sensitive about this type of virus," he reportedly said.
DPP Tan told the court that Low was previously punished for other civil crimes. In 2005, he faced jail term and was given six strokes of the cane for trespassing a house.
The development comes at a time when coronavirus cases in the country are on the rise. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health, Sunday witnessed a total of 481 new Covid-19 cases bringing Singapore's total to 50,369.