Did you know that chewing gum is illegal in Singapore? It is, under certain circumstances. And, if you get caught, the consequences are pretty serious. If you’re planning on traveling to the area, make sure you understand the local laws and customs and stay out of trouble.
Flush The Toilet
Most people don’t give it much thought. They use a service like Hipmunk to find flights into Singapore, and they bring gum into the country, they pack skimpy clothing if they want to go to the beach, and they parade around the house with nothing on but what they were born with.
But, when you fail to flush a public toilet, you can get yourself into serious trouble. Police are known to do random checks to make sure that citizens are flushing the toilets in public bathrooms.
Litter Bugs Pay Huge Fines
If you’re caught littering, it’s a $1,000 fine for the first conviction and $5,000 for repeat offenders. In addition to the fine, you’ll be forced into community service. If you are convicted three times, you will have to wear a sign that says “I am a litter lout.” Throw your garbage in the trash. It’s just not worth it.
Don’t Sell Chewing Gum
There’s a myth that just chewing gum is illegal in Singapore. This is not entirely true, but it might be true under certain circumstances. You are not allowed to sell gum in the country, and putting chewed gum in a public trash bin is also not allowed. You face a hefty fine and possibly more.
The sale of gum was banned when authorities found a lot of gum being stuck to the subway stations on cars. It was enough to bring the subway system to a halt.
Don’t Walk Around Your House Naked
Walking around naked could be illegal. In Singapore, pornography is illegal, and anything having to do with it may result in prison time or huge fines. The country has a thing about nudity, so if you’re caught nude, even in your own home, you could be fined or imprisoned.
No Hugging In Public
There is no hugging in public. If you’re caught, you could be fined or put in jail. No kidding.
Don’t Make Fun Of Religion
In many parts of the world, we have freedom of speech. It’s not so easy in Singapore. If you’re an atheist or agnostic, you cannot speak out. It’s a serious matter, called sedition. And, you’re not allowed to speak out against religion in any way even if you are religious.
Don’t Introduce Strangers Unless You Really Know Them Well
If you speak well of a stranger, and introduce him to others, and he or she turns out to not be the nice person you made them out to be, you can be convicted for abetment.
Don’t Connect To Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Don’t log onto public wi-fi that’s unsecured. It’s considered “hacking” in Singapore. You could end up in jail or face a fine.
In Singapore, they enforce the death penalty, but not for all offenses. Usually, it’s just for drug offenses or trafficking. The state also makes it illegal to drink alcohol in public places between 10:30PM and 7AM.
Finally, be mindful about your stay here. There are penalties for over-staying your visa, and they include fines, imprisonment, corporal punishment (being beaten with a cane), and deportation, depending on how long you’ve overstayed your welcome.
There is also a wide range of offenses involving what the state refers to as “outrage of modesty.” These offenses are basically “inappropriate behavior by men toward women.” You can be beaten with a rattan cane, or taken to jail.
Homosexual acts are illegal in the country, so just keep that in mind if you’re homosexual. There are support groups there, and the government says it does not actively enforce the law, but it still exists.
Photo of market in Singapore – Wikimedia Creative Commons
Guest Author Bio
Fiona Moriarty is a content strategist for Hipmunk. She loves to write about traveling all over the world. You can find her posts on many tourism and travel blog sites.
Connect with Fiona on: LinkedIn