Singapore, a city/country known of its insane cleanliness levels and low crime rates. Being called a ‘fine’ city, there are tons of laws in Singapore that we already know about such as same-sex relations, smoking bans, suicide ban, Grafitti etc. That being said, there are a few laws that you wouldn’t believe exists or had existed in Singapore. Let’s jump right into it!
1. No Chewing Gum
Contrary to popular belief, you can chew on a piece of gum while in Singapore, you just can’t sell it (don’t know how *ahem Johor Bahru ahem* that works)!
Trying to smuggle gum? That is also punishable by law by up to 2 years in jail or a fine of up to $100,000. Chew wisely!
2. No PMDs/e-scooters
A very recent and rather abrupt ban just last week at the point of writing, e-scooters are now banned from both pedestrian sidewalks and roads. This was in place due to a spike in accidents caused by e-scooters, some of which even resulted in serious injuries and even death.
Violators will be fined up to S$2,000 (or about US$1,475) and/or jailed for three months, said Lam Pin Min, the senior minister of state for transport. However, Singapore will only issue a warning for offenders until the end of the year before the new rule is more firmly laid out and in place next year (2020).
There were lots of complaints about this ban, where many food delivery riders from Grab and foodpanda have claimed that this has severely disrupted their livelihood. A few individuals also stated that they have spent thousands on a UL2272 certified e-scooter as they have relied upon and complied with the previous law of only allowing UL2272 e-scooters on public walkways.
3. No Long Hair?! (in the past)
Such a ban once existed in Singapore during the 1960s. This was in response to the trending hippie culture at the time. The government deemed such an influence to be negative and detrimental to the country’s development and male individuals with long hair were punished from getting fined to having one’s hair being forcibly cut short. Furthermore, long-haired males were given the lowest priority at government facilities.
What a bummer.
Long-haired male celebrities entering Singapore were also requested to leave. Some prominent figures include the Bee Gees, Kitarō, and Led Zeppelin. Their gigs in Singapore were all cancelled as they refused to comply with what it seemed like a ridiculous law.
The ban caused several implications for the country after its induction as well, straining ties between Singapore and other countries. Lee Kuan Yew, who was Prime Minister at that time, had to cancel a business trip owing to protests by a few individuals affected by the hair ban.
Long hair ban was finally lifted in the 1990s. In 2013, local newspaper The Straits Times also included the ban in its list of fifty objects identifiable to Singapore.
4. Flushing at a Public Toilet?!
Although we are completely unsure how individuals can be caught not flushing, those who are caught by the authorities can face hefty fines of up to $150. How’s that for a cleaning fee?
You can’t urinate at elevators either. Most are now installed with a Urine Detection Device (UDD) that detects the scent of urine, sets off an alarm and closes the doors until the police arrive. From time to time, however, we have seen puddles of urine in elevators despite the strict measures taken.
5. Walking around your House Naked Law
Sorry, exhibitionists. Being naked in your own home is against Singapore’s Laws too. Yes, there is no such thing as getting too comfortable in your home. Still hellbent on doing that? Make sure all curtains and blinds are closed and sealed as somebody ‘kaypoh’ will still try to spy on you with their x-ray vision!
Put on some clothes!
6. Jaywalking Law- Believe it or not!
You can get jailed for jaywalking. Up to 3 years. Yes, that’s how serious it is.
The Yoolike team didn’t believe it at first either until a perfectly concealed TP officer came out of nowhere and issued us a fine!
No wonder everyone in Singapore says ‘Don’t play play ah!’
7. Drinking Liquor in Public Places – 10:30 pm to 7:00 am
Following an intense riot back in Little India back in 2013, we no longer have the luxury of drinking our favourite beers and Jack Daniel’s in public anymore. Even supermarkets are prohibited from selling alcohol during those hours!
What do you think is the weirdest law in Singapore? Know any more unique laws that Singapore has? Let us know in the comments below!
This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))