No Chewing Gum & Other Restrictions, Singapore
The Singaporeans want to preserve their little paradise, and so have some very strict laws against relatively minor crimes, like littering. Bizarrely, chewing gum is completely illegal - you can't buy it or import it. And if you do accidentally smuggle some into the country, definitely don't think of chewing it openly, or, god forbid, spit it out onto the street.
In the 1980s a friend of mine visited Singapore and was marched down to the hairdressers to get his hair cut and his beard shaved. They wouldn't let him in otherwise. They lifted this ban in 1990, but I'm not so sure if they've lifted the ban on the "communist" books they confiscated from his suitcase. The Internet is now the focal point of censorship, and it is heavily monitored in the country, with many sites blocked.
If you are a would-be traveller to Singapore, hold your horses. All that glitz, glamour and hullabaloo you expect to see in Singapore are just nondescript, kitsch setups to lure tourists and their travel dollar. Every country presents disappointments of its own and my purpose is to inform you of those belonging to Singapore. Take it from me, a native born and bred in this tiny, wretched land.
Well, rather the lack of it. There are so few places you can visit that are truly worth the expense. Sentosa (the resort island south of mainland Singapore) may offer a cheap entry fee but the 'attractions' on the island itself are kitsch, kitsch and more kitsch. There's a musical fountain that looks decent during the night with its neon illumination but that's about all you can expect there. If you're into beach volleyball, try one of the 3 or 4 beaches found on the island but why come from halfway round the globe to hit an airball on artificial sand when you can have it good at Acapulco?
Well, the lack of it again. It's true that shopping malls stay open much later (till 10pm) than their European counterparts but you're presented with few choices again and most of them are tourist traps. Also, there's a high chance you're buying something 'made in USA' or 'made in UK'. Then as above, you're coming from halfway round the globe to buy something made in your hometown. You're better off buying authentic souvenirs in France, Italy or China where such countries have true cultures to speak of. The 'culture' word you might often hear spouted by the locals is nothing more than a badly contrived effort to give the illusion of a history spanning 5000 years. Singapore has no culture in its bag; founded in 1819 by a British explorer, it developed from a sleepy fishing village into a city dominated by immigrants (and still is). The country is consequently a mish-mash of what-nots.
Singapore is known all over the world for being one of the cleanest (and least corrupt!) countries. I was also amazed when I first came here more than a couple of years ago. It's clean and orderly. A friend, who's a local, told me that it's not clean as it's used to. Before, there were really no cigarette butts on the street, no wrappers and, really, no spitting is allowed. Now, it's not that strict anymore.
Good thing something is being done to control the increasing population of litterbugs here. There was an informative article in The Straits Times describing the qualities of (potential and existing) litterbugs and discouraging the public from further destroying the surroundings. It was also on the news. So it's time to clean up your act and follow rules. Designated rubbish bins are everywherer. You are not going to miss them.
Singapore is not clean as you think or as you see. I m saying that because I m living here
as a foreigner. All tourists see the hotels shopping centres and bussiness places.
But When you come to accomidation places , Terrible.
They say no spitting , no urine , no littering,
If you want to see that with your eyes just come hdb houses place at weekend
especially sundays and just watch the people what they are doing.
They are spitting , littering even urine to lifts at apartments.
Could you believe that the goverment to stop this people hang some plates to lifts that says
this lift monitoring with a urine detector camera.... :)
If you dont believe you just take a lift in clementi area in singapore.
You will see with your eyes.
People are eating at metro stations. And unfortuanetly they are singaporeans.
Does it mean the rules in singapore is for tourists?
I thought this picture is a good expression of Singapore. People can walk freely even till 10pm without fear and enjoy the beautiful sunflowers without graffiti and litters. But look behind! The thick bars of security gates that surrounded Suntec City during the IMF 2006 convention showed you how much Singapore Government emphasis on security and conformation of law and order. If you infringed the law to spoil the peace of the society, the government has no qualms of punishing you. You are free to walk but please obey the traffic rules. You can even be punished when you disregard your own safety and more severe punishment if you disregard others' as well. Well, there are two ways to see a half-filled cup:)
As an extension of the "no littering" mantra, the import, sale and possession of chewing gum is banned. You are also not allowed to bring in chewing gum for your own consumption. In short, no chewing gum whatsoever.
As a Singaporean, I am used to living in a clean, safe and orderly society where rules and regulations prevail. It is because of the existence of these rules and their enforcement by incorruptible officials that Singapore is among the safest cities in the world.
The tourist in Singapore does not have to worry about pickpockets that roam the streets of Rome and Barcelona, the hell drivers in Shanghai, and violent crimes in big cities in the US. It is perfectly safe to take the subway and to walk in the streets at night.
The import, sale and possession of chewing gum is banned. You are also not allowed to bring in chewing gum even if it is for your own consumption. In short, no chewing gum whatsoever.
This rule was introduced in 1992 because of the high cost and difficulty in removing stucked chewing gum from public premises. In particular, chewing gum stuck on the Mass Rapid Transit train doors stopped the trains from moving. It happened a few times and those were a few times too many. The maximum penalty for smuggling gum into Singapore is one year in jail, or a 10,000 Singapore dollar fine or both.
However, in 2004, Singapore partially lifted this ban to comply with a free trade agreement with the USA, allowing the sale of Nicorette, a nicotine gum, in pharmacies and only on prescription.
Another example of twisting the truth. Chewing gum is not a crime in Singapore, and neither is possession for personal use. You cannot bring in large quantities of gum to Singapore (it would be assumed you were selling it, which is a crime). You cannot spit your gum out on the street or stick it under the seat on the bus (this is common sense, people). In any case, I don't believe that you can go to jail for any offense related to gum (unless you kill someone with it). Generally, there is just a fine.
There are a lot of strange and hard rules and laws in Singapore. Here are some of them;
Chewing gum is banned in Singapore. The fines are severe.
Don’t litter, there are high fines…
If you vandalize or scrawling on walls you can be caned (whipped). Heard about the American student (Michael Faye) who was caught vandalizing cars in Singapore and then got caned a few years ago? It’s all true!
If you smuggle, make or posses drugs you can sentence death penalties. Often by hanging...
More things that are forbidden are; Jaywalking, spitting, not flushing public toilets (the fine is between S$150 and S$1000 depending how much there’s to flush…) and peeing inside elevators (how do you come up with the idea to pea inside an elevator?).
There are hundreds of more strange and hard rules and laws in Singapore, you better learn a few of them…
Don’t forget; Singapore is a FINE city! Enjoy your stay!
You will be fined if you take gum out of your mouth and stick it somewhere. Sometimes they will take you for just chewing gum.
You will be fined if you litter
You will be fined if you leave the bathroom messy. Many places do have people go in right after you finish use it to clean it.
Singapore is a "fine city" because you can be fined for practically anything......they even poke fun of it themselves.
no cigarette butts..$50
no farting..$50 small..$100 for huge ones
with all those restrictions and CANT CANT , still found a huge sign in the street
try to avoid what you cant do and behave :)
In Singapore you'll be safe walking at night nearly anywhere in the country, at any time whatsoever.
There is no corruption, no crimes against tourists to speak of, and no health issues.