Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore has some unique laws that could get you in trouble if you disregard them. If you’re planning a trip to Singapore, here are some peculiar rules that you should be aware of!
1) Chewing Gum Is Forbidden
Perhaps the most famous law in the country, chewing gum in Singapore is illegal! This also includes selling, manufacturing, or importing chewing gum. If you’re caught selling chewing gum in the country, you can be sentenced up to 2 years in jail or be charged with a $100,000 fine. One of the objectives behind this ban is to stop criminals from using chewing gums to interrupt Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) services. This is because there have been cases where robbers stick chewing gums on door sensors of MRT transport services and eventually damaging them. The law was also implemented to eliminate litter issues in public places such as parks and cinemas and the high costs involved in cleaning the debris caused by chewing gums.
2) It’s Illegal Not to Flush a Public Toilet
We all know that it’s unhygienic if you don’t flush a toilet, however, in Singapore its also an offence! Any person who urinates or defecates in public toilets where flushing systems are accessible and functional, can be charged with a fine of up to $5000. Non-compliance for first-time offenders can result in a penalty of up to $ 1000, $ 2000 for second-time offenders and up to $5000 for a third offence. What happens next is even more absurd. Elevators in Singapore are equipped with Urine Detection Devices (UDD) which have sensors that help to detect urine scent. Don’t think of escaping! If ever the smell is detected, it sets off an alarm and elevators are automatically locked until police arrive. Always remember to flush the toilets and you’ll be out of trouble!
3) Pigeon Feeding Is Illegal
If you’re a bird lover, you need to be careful! You might have to think twice before sharing your leftovers with pigeons as it will cost you $500 if ever you get caught! This law has been implemented for various reasons. Some of the factors prompting this rule are to prevent the spread of harmful infections and diseases like salmonella and cryptococcosis to humans and the smelly droppings that make surroundings uninviting, ruining the brand image and reputation of several businesses.
4) Male Homosexuality Is Illegal
Probably one of the harshest laws in the country, male homosexuality is illegal in Singapore. This law includes behaviours such as sexual intercourse between two men as well as kissing or holding hands in public or private. Any male person caught doing these acts are sentenced with imprisonment for a period that may extend two years. What’s even more unusual about this particular law is that it disregards sexual activities between females, making it biased in some ways.
5) Piggybacking Someone Else’s Wifi Is Unlawful
Using another person’s unsecured WiFi network is illegal and considered as hacking in Singapore. If you’re caught doing the act, you can be charged with a fine of $10,000 or be sentenced for up to 3 years or in some cases, you can even face both punishments. It is legal to use free WiFi in public places like coffee shops, restaurants, airports, etc. However, it would help if you were granted permission by the service provider first and terms of service including, restrictions on time, location, network bandwidth and others should be respected as well.
6) Spitting in Public
Spitting in public places is also illegal in Singapore. Similarly to other laws, this law has been implemented to maintain the reputation the country has for impeccable cleanliness. Failing to abide by this rule results into a fine of $1000 for a first time, $2000 for a second offense and up to $ 5,000 for a third or repeated offenses.
7) Singing in Public
If you’re caught singing, uttering or reciting songs or ballads with indecent lyrics in any public place, you’ll be liable to a fine, three months of imprisonment or both! Be cautious, channelling your inner Rihanna might not be a good idea if you’re in Singapore!
8) Drinking or Making Noise After 10:30 PM Till 7 Am
It’s illegal to consume alcoholic drinks and make noise after 10:30 pm in public places in Singapore. The terms and conditions state that if any noise persists from between 10:30 pm to 7 am, you’re allowed to call the police. As for alcohol, any drink containing more than 0.5 % of alcohol either by mass or volume is considered an alcoholic beverage according to the Customs Act of Singapore. Getting caught drinking within the restricted hours leads to a fine of $1000 for first-time offenders. On the other hand, a fine of $2000 and 3 months of imprisonment are given to those who repeat the offence.
Follow the laws or bare the consequences! Have you ever been to Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!