Legal Question

Singapore is called "the fine city." Unfortunately, there's a double meaning to that name. It refers to the beautiful state the country is in -– cleanliness and low crime rate are two examples -– but it also refers to the fines the country gives out for violating certain laws. Some of the laws may seem quite harsh, especially to people unaccustomed to the country. An example is the rattan cane that is often used to dole out punishments –- for schoolchildren, military members and criminals alike. The laws here are enforced, so failing to abide by them could land you in trouble. Here are some of those laws.

How Suspicious Do You Look?

  • The metro is impeccably clean and laws are in place to make sure it stays that way. You can't take pictures, eat or drink on the metro. In addition, an automated voice will tell passengers that if any suspicious person is seen on the metro, passengers are to immediately push the emergency button.
  • Those public displays of affection are not allowed in Singapore. While a hug, handshake or a light kiss is okay, leave the serious making out for home.
  • After using a public toilet, it must be flushed or you could risk a fine or other penalty.
  • Cigarette smoking is not allowed in public. This is to keep people from disposing of their cigarette butts on the ground and from exposing others to secondhand smoke. While you can certainly have cigarettes in your home, you cannot enter the country with them.
  • Walking around your own home naked is a violation of Singapore's law. Draw those curtains before your shower to avoid possible pornography charges!
  • Littering will cost you in Singapore –- up to $300 for a first offense. Three convictions will find you wearing a bib that says "I am a litterer," while cleaning the streets once a week.
  • While it's not illegal to chew gum, you can't sell it. Should you attempt to smuggle chewing gum into Singapore, then you're looking at a $5,500 fine and a year in jail

Every Country Has a Few Strange Laws

While these laws may seem strange to us, they aren't to the Singapore people. When faced with unique laws and the possible penalties, you may find that an experienced criminal defense attorney can be an important asset.