By Kiana Koh
Singapore is sometimes referred to as the ‘The Fine City’. After your stay you might have a newfound respect for how clean and immaculate it is, or maybe leave Singapore after paying fines for breaking the rules and regulations. Hence, ‘The Fine City’.
There are many different fines that Singapore imposes. Some may sound a little silly, but eventually, it was something that was needed in order to curb certain aspects and has helped maintain Singapore as such a beautiful and scenic place.
Here are some of the rules to look out for when visiting Singapore.
If you think throwing away your cigarette butts or candy wrappers on the ground is alright, think again. For first time offenders who throw out small items like those mentioned above, you will be fined SGD 300. Throwing out drinking cans or bottles, which are bigger, is considered being defiant and will land you in court. The punishment for it would be to don the infamous neon green vest and clean up a specified area. This punishment is known as Corrective Work Order (CWO). This was implemented so that the offenders would be put into the shoes of cleaners and understand how difficult it is to maintain the clean surroundings,and maybe also to humiliate the offenders so that they will not repeat it again.
No Chewing Gum
If you don’t already know, chewing gum is actually banned in Singapore. Yes. Some of us are upset about it as well. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore because of those irresponsible people who left their chewed wads of gum everywhere! From lifts, to bus seats, to the floor. So to everyone who is planning on visiting Singapore, please leave your chewing gum behind. For those who successfully smuggled your gum in, improper disposal of that gum or even carrying large quantities of gums, will cost you SGD 1000. So please heed this advice from a friendly Singaporean (me)!
This is a very serious rule in Singapore. No drugs can be brought in, out, or consumed in or within Singapore. The Singapore police force is authorized to run a drug test on both locals and foreign visitors and you definitely would not want to be caught with drugs because anyone caught with 17 ounces (1.06 pounds/480.808 grams) of marijuana, or half an ounce (14.175 grams) cocaine or heroin will be treated as a drug trafficker, and the punishment for that is death. You will get hanged if you are caught. So please, stay clean!
This is another rule you don’t ever want break here, vandalism. If you are caught vandalising, in addition to a fine or jail term, The Vandalism Act imposes a mandatory corporal punishment of between 3 to 8 strokes of the cane, for second or subsequent convictions. The cane isn’t any random cane, but a rattan cane that is even painful to look at.
If you are planning to take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transportation), please remember not to smoke, eat/drink, and bring flammable goods into the MRT. You can bring food and drinks up into the MRT, BUT you are not supposed to eat or drink while you are inside the cabin, or anywhere else in the MRT station you are in. Otherwise, the fine you have to pay would be SGD 500.
These are some of the more stringent rules we have here, but there are also many more! If I were to list out everything, I would have 20 articles already by now! But on a serious note, do look out for signs around here in Singapore as they can really help you. For example, you are not supposed to smoke in prohibited areas. Those areas will have a no smoking sign. So do take note of your surroundings, respect and abide by Singapore rules, and I guarantee, you will come to love this country!