Singapore: A fine city

Singapore is known to be a fine city. A fine city with elegance and modernity. But the clean streets and cooperative citizens of Singapore were not born overnight. They were in fact born out of discipline and punishment for those that chose not to follow the rules. And so Singapore is also known as the ‘fine’ city. For the fines that can be dished out if you overstep your mark. 

Many of these fines were put in place for good reason, to aid millions of people living within close proximity with living harmoniously. However to outsiders, some of these fines may seem harsh!

Spitting

It is against the law to spit in Singapore. The penalty will result in a fine of $500. 

Flush that toilet

It is against the law to not flush the toilet or urinal in a public convenience. Failure to do this will result in a $500 fine. Urinating in an elevator comes with arrest, as UDD (urine detection devices) are placed in elevators causing doors to close until police arrive to arrest the offender. 

Jaywalking

Crossing the road at a non-designated safe crossing is illegal in Singapore. However, as with everywhere in the world, people don’t always use the traffic lights. After all, if there isn’t a designated crossing in the middle of a long street, you’re not exactly going to walk out of your way to find one. Saying that, when you see the green barrier in the middle of a two way road- go find a safe crossing. If you are caught on camera, you will be fined. 

Drugs

There’s no way to put it other than drugs are a big no no here in Singapore. Don’t use them, don’t have them in in your possession etc. Failure to do so will result in more than a fine. Singapore still uses the rattan cane to deliver punishment. However drug offenses are punishable by death in Singapore. Interestingly, if you were thinking of dosing up before entering the country, that too can get you in trouble. Singapore has the right to conduct random drug tests and if they deem the amount of drugs in you to be too high then it is punishable. 

Vandalism

Vandalism and graffiti of any kind will result in arrest and getting caned. 

Stealing internet

Connecting to someone’s internet that isn’t protected seems fairly harmless, however here in Singapore it is a serious offence. And if caught it would cost you $10,000. So just don’t do it!

Chewing gum

So it’s actually not illegal to chew gum in Singapore but there is a chewing gum ban. What does that mean? Well it means you can’t sell it in Singapore. Gum can only be acquired in Singapore for therapeutic reasons, so a doctor must prescribe it. Not really that big a deal when you think of how annoying it is when you do step in gum and how much damage it does to the pavements. 

Smoking in public

Whilst it is true that you cannot smoke in public places that’s not to say you won’t find smokers in Singapore. You can free smoke on your balcony but smoking in restaurant patio areas, taxis etc are not allowed. So what do smokers do? Find the smoker’s area. Usually placed aside from the general public in the area and with a receptacle for cigarette butts. Because the last thing you’d want to do is smoke in a designated area and then litter accruing another fine!

Same-sexual relations

Yep sadly it is illegal to be gay/lesbian in Singapore. Kissing between men is illegal and if caught, the punishment is imprisonment. 

Public displays of affection

This is another thing that is also illegal, with a but. Holding hands is ok and a quick kiss is ok. But if the general public around you deem it to be offensive then be prepared to be fined. Hubby and I hold hands all the time and have parted ways with a quick kiss without being fined. 

Drinking and eating on the MRT

You will be fined for eating and drinking on the MRT (train). This is something I agree with but have sometimes forgotten as I have reached for my water bottle during a long bus ride. Thankfully I always stop myself before proceeding.

Feeding pigeons

I’m not really opposed to this one as I hate pigeons but if you are pigeon lover and choose to feed them, you run the risk of being fined $500.

Being naked at home

Yes it is technically illegal to be naked in your own home. However…that is if you are naked in your home in clear view of the public. You will be fined $2000. So just close the curtains if you want to wear your birthday suit.

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The list above is by no means comprehensive but it certainly gives a taste of the ‘fine’ city that Singapore is. Is it restrictive and totalitarian to live in? Absolutely not. If you are a civilized citizen who can be respectful towards the people around you, you’ll be just fine here! 

Given the list above, would you move to Singapore?

6 Comments

    • Thanks for your comment. Now I have to be nosey and ask why? lol Before I got here I heard so many people rave about Singapore and I’ve heard to be referred to as the expat utopia. So I’d love to hear what you think.

      Reply
  1. Wow, I would be fined left and right for things I didn’t even know I was doing wrong! I’ve never been to Singapore but feel like I’d have to study up on these laws and commit them to memory and practice or else I am sure I would forget and cross that street where I’m not supposed to. Also really sad to hear that same sex couples kissing in public can land them in prison. πŸ™

    Reply
    • Well that’s the interesting part of these rules. Singapore receives tons of visitors per day but I’m not too sure they are all familiar with this list. I think the important part is how they enforce the law and basically, if nobody sees you, then you don’t get fined. But it is a code of conduct. And perhaps something that can scare of visitors but it really isn’t something I think about daily. Apart from the jaywalking thing. But that’s a bad habit on my part! Speaking ill of Singapore is also against the law here! Not sure what that fine is though lol.

      Reply
    • Well the funny thing is that they seem to function more as guidelines. One thing I have learned is that Singaporeans are very reserved and speaking up or speaking out about something isn’t really in their culture. So if someone was breaking one of those rules, I’m not sure who would be there to tell you off if it wasn’t an actual officer. I think the main one to watch out for as travellers is how much alcohol and tobacco you can bring in. Even travelling through Changi I believe there are restrictions. Enjoy Singapore this summer!

      Reply

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