Saturday, October 1, 2011

Things I bet you din't know were illegal in Singapore..

Singapore is a democratic country but coming from the largest democratic nations of world - India , I don't find this place being democratic .There is only one party PAP ( people 's action party ) that's been ruling for ages . There are oppositions parties but some of them don't even contest for elections .

Now why did I have to start with politics ?? Because I felt like giving a bit of background before coming to point ... Yes I am beating around bush !!
Anyways every nation has it's weird rules ,Singapore is not behind so below are some rules that are Uniquely Singapore.

So did you know the things which are illegal in Singapore....

1.Say NO to Chewgums
Chewing guns are banned in Singapore. I guess this is the most popular rule that everyone visiting this country is aware of.This ban was enacted in 1992 and its followed till now. By law you cannot bring chewing gum from other countries for personal consumption also. But I guess you will pass the customs if your bag has few packets of chewing gums solely meant for your own consumption.

The main reason for this ban was because people disposed chewing gums in public and the maintenance involved was very high hence govt decided to eliminate the main cause itself rather than educating people.

But this ban was partially lifted in recent years and chewing gums with medicinal values are available in chemist shops but you need to provide your name and ID.
You wont be penalised if you are eating chewing gum in public but if found with large amounts the penalty is upto $2000 and corrective order.

2.Eating and drinking in trains and buses




All buses and trains have this big posters which says if anyone found eating or drinking the penalty will be upto $500. The ban holds good once you enter the MRT stations.
This is a reasonable ban as you can imagine what will happen if people are allowed to eat inside buses but even when I was in India I felt shy eating in buses(although there is no such rule in India) because people would start staring at you.
In extension of this rule ,there is one more thing that is banned in public transport in Singapore - the nasty smelling/tasting Durian.

You might find some signs in my post Sign capital of world interesting .

3.Jaywalking

Jaywalking means reckless pedestrian crossing. If there are no zebra crossing or over bridge then you cannot cross a road.This one is frustrating bc sometimes I have to walk half a mile just to find an over bridge to cross the road but its for our own safety as vehicles here on road are usually driving at high speed.

4.Sleeping in Public


I think this is implemented for aesthetic reason with Singapore being a tourist nation people might fringe when they see migrant workers sleeping near MRT or footpath.I personally saw a man who was sleeping on MRT stairs being escorted away by policemen for interrogation.

5.Fireworks


Yes you heard it right. Buying or selling of firecrackers is banned in singapore.But government carries out an extensive firework shows during special occasions and its ok to burn few sparkles during festivals.
How can you think of celebrating Diwali without fireworks ??

6.Walking naked in your house

Its nobody's business if you want to walk naked in your house but it is Singapore's govt business if you do so with your windows open and you are liable for penalty if a complaint is lodged against you by your neighbour.
So you want to be naked in your house ,its your wish just remember to close the windows!!

7.Flush toilets after use

Although I have never come across this anywhere , the act of not flushing toilet after use will attract penalty.I guess its common sense on our part to have some standards of hygiene but having a penalty on this is amusing.

With all these some weird/some not so weird rules guess what is legal in Singapore ?

Prostitution and public drinking.
I was taken aback when I saw that drinking was so open . you walk in any hawker centers you will find men mostly old people with huge bottles . And some old people are regular. On my way back home I used to pass by a food court and always used to spot a old man with his bottles of beers everyday . I don't know why there are no rules on this one !!

Because of so many rules there is a huge myth about Singapore that every step of yours will be watched and you wont have any freedom to do anything. A direct result of this myth was when a tourist came and asked me if she is allowed to stop the taxi at a particular junction.She was scared that she might be breaking any rule by doing so.

Well as they say a myth is a myth.once you are here you will get used to these rules and it wont be that difficult to adjust with them .

4 comments:

saum said...

Hey Chai,
Very interesting article.I agree that some of these rules can be a pain(like walking forever before you can find a zebra crossing) but I would say it is totally worth it :-)

Chaithra & Naveen said...

true , even when I try my hand at jaywalking I make sure there are no patrolling policeman around :)

Deguide said...

Bottle of Bears needs correction dear, Beer is the right word. Walking naked in house is privacy if someone peeps he should be penalised rather the rule might encourage peeping toms Lolz

Chaithra and Naveen said...

correction noted.
This is Singapore ,here you just listen and follow. But this rule is bit weird to me .

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