Singapore is widely popular for its immaculate cleanliness and perceptibly low crime rate. It’s one of the safest places in the world and yet their authorities never become complacent are always reminding people to still remain vigilant. Because of the safety and the cleanliness it exudes, Singapore has been named “The Fine City”. This stage name has a double connotation, though. To sustain the orderliness and cleanliness in the place, Singapore triggers the public’s discipline by imposing a lot of fines for all prohibitive activities— from seemingly mild to serious ones. Before flying to Singapore, you should be fully aware of the basic laws to be followed around. What you have thought to be harmless in your home town could already be entitled to “fines” or even imprisonment in Singapore.
Here are the things you must avoid or be careful of as you land in Singapore.
People in Singapore are very particular with discipline. In fact, corporal punishment is generally accepted in the place. Caning isn’t only used to punish the criminals but is also considered a measure to maintain discipline in the military, at schools, or even at homes but of course with different kind of canes for school and homes. You don’t have to be surprised if you find canes widely sold in many grocery stores. Ensure that you respect their local principles and culture and follow their strict standards of good behavior and proper conduct.
In Singapore, chewing gum is actually banned. So, if you’re thinking about bringing some, just forget about it. Bringing chewing gum to Singapore, even though it’s not for trading, still is considered illegal. Their existing rules don’t have specific stipulations about carrying gums for personal usage, but carrying big volume of gum and improper disposal of the item could cost you a heavy fine of up to $1000 for the first-time violators. Viewed as an extreme measure, the first proposal to ban gum wasn’t successful. The government changed its mind when the MRT or Mass Rapid Transit, which was the country’s largest public project, experienced troubles and malfunctions due to some gum stuck on the MRT’s door sensors. That is the main trigger of the enactment of the chewing gum regulation.
The usual punishment for littering is a CWO or Corrective Work Order wherein the lawbreakers get to clean up a particular area while obliged to wear a bright and luminous green vest. This is done to enable the lawbreakers to realize how tough it actually is for cleaners to maintain the surrounding’s cleanliness and to make them recognize how unpleasant litter actually is. The punishment also somehow shames the violators to make them stop being such a litterbug again.
There are areas in Singapore that prohibit smoking. This prohibition covers every indoor place where the public usually flocks. This ban was amended in 2009 to cover all indoor public areas that aren’t air-conditioned, such as offices, shops, etc. Outdoor public facilities, such as sports courts, fitness areas, and playgrounds were also covered. In 2013, the smoking ban further extended to pedestrian overhead bridges, hospital outdoor compounds, covered walkways and link ways, multi-purpose halls, common areas of residential buildings, and a 5-meter perimeter around bus shelters. This rule is set to come up with a healthy and clean setting for the masses. This also protects people from second-hand smoke.
Under the legislation of “Outrages on Decency”, sex relations are criminalized. This used to be part of the legislation on “sex against the order of nature” or “unnatural sex”. Offenders of this regulation can be sent to prison for up to 2 years.
The term Jaywalking was originally made up in the US. Now, the expression is already used in multiple countries worldwide. This refers to the illegal or reckless crossing of the pedestrians on the road. Jaywalking, in Singapore, is violated when one crosses the street in a non-designated area.
So, never miss to look for the marked pedestrian lanes prior to crossing the street in Singapore.
Not Flushing the Toilet and Urinating in Elevators
In Singapore, missing to flush the toilet isn’t just a casual breach of courtesy. You are actually breaking another strict law when you do so. Get ready to pay a fine once you are caught. And don’t ever think of urinating in elevators. Their elevators have UDD or Urine Detection Devices that can tell if the facility has urine. This device then sets off an alarm, closing all doors till the police arrive in order to arrest the violator.
In Singapore, vandalism is another offense that’s deemed serious. The penalty includes not only some hefty fines but jail time as well, plus 3-8 swings of caning. Vandalism on both private and public properties is covered. Destroying, damaging, and stealing any public property and drawing, writing, inscribing, painting, and marking private properties without the consent of the owner are all illegal. Even attaching banners, placards, posters, and flags isn’t allowed.
Remember that the authorities in Singapore do not discriminate drugs taken within their borders or those taken back home before entering the country. The police in Singapore are authorized to run a drug test randomly on both foreigners and locals. Thus, ensure that you’re cleared of any drug substance before going to Singapore. To be safe, never consumer drugs before your flight and the whole time you’re in Singapore.
These are some of the strict laws in Singapore that you should adhere to. There are items listed above that may sound casual and minor to some. However, you shouldn’t ever think about violating these strict rules to avoid getting into unwanted trouble. Just toe the line during your entire stay in Singapore, and just look at the bright side of the picture. You may be exerting more effort in dodging their prohibition, but you’re also ensured of a safe and clean stay that you may not totally experience anywhere else. Singapore, no matter how strict their rules are, is undeniably a worthwhile country to visit. Just seize your time around the place and enjoy the whole escapade.