Singapore is an island city-state off the coast of southern Malaysia known for its global financial power, spectacular architecture, cleanliness, and low crime rate. Singapore is a futuristic place with innovative attractions and some of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
It’s diverse food scene and multi-layered and sophisticated nightlife make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Because of this, many places offer holiday packages to Singapore, including many popular sanetraveller it is to a travel blog.
But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to understand that Singapore’s low crime rate and exceptional cleanliness are maintained by a firm rule of law.
To help you travel to Singapore without putting yourself at risk of offending the locals, here are 10 laws to be mindful of when travelling to Singapore.
#1. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is banned in Singapore and bringing it into the country is illegal. This stemmed from maintenance issues in high-rise apartment buildings, including cleaning gum wads stuck in keyholes, elevators, and elevator buttons. Improper disposal of gum will cost you $1000 for a first-time offence.
#2. Corporal Punishment
Caning is a common way to enforce discipline in Singapore and is used in schools, the military, and in domestic situations. Canes are commonly sold in many stores for around 50 Singapore cents, so don’t be shocked if you see them being yielded or even used in the city-state.
Singapore isn’t known for being one of the cleanest major cities by chance. Littering comes with a hefty fine of $300 for the first minor offence, like tossing out cigarette butts or a candy wrapper. Toss a soda can and you might be required to appear in court.
Smoking is prohibited in many places in Singapore in both indoor and outdoor spaces, luckily this is well-marked with signage and warnings.
#5. Not Flushing The Toilet
If you’re caught not flushing a public toilet in Singapore, it’s more than just an improper act, it’s against the law and you’ll have to pay a fine is you’re caught.
Vandalism carries some serious penalties. If you’re caught vandalizing public spaces, you risk being fined, arrested, and publicly caned.
#7. Public Urination
Feeling the urge to go during a long elevator ride? Don’t even think of trying that in Singapore. The majority of elevators are equipped with Urine Detection Devices (UDD), which can detect urine and will set off an alarm and close the doors until the police arrive to arrest the offender.
#8. Drug Testing
Singapore doesn’t distinguish between drugs taken before arriving in the country or after arriving and the city-state has the right to run random drug tests on both locals and visiting foreigners. Make sure you have no illicit substances in your system before visiting!
Same-sex relations are criminalized in Singapore and are part of the “Outrages on Decency” law. Violations of this law can result in two years of jail time.
Crossing the street in non-designated areas is a crime and you can be fined for crossing outside of a marked crosswalk area.