Singapore is one of the most developed countries in South East Asia. It lies at the tip of Malaysia. According to worldmeters.info, Singapore has a 5.7 million population. It is one of the cleanest countries in Asia. Why is that? You need to pay a fine when you are caught littering, even just a piece of candy wrapper will cost you dollars.
The city-state of Singapore is famous for being called a “fine city.” A title instilled with two very distinct applications: one is that it’s a fine city to live in, while the second refers to its infamously hard fine system meant to keep the country’s orderliness.
Here are just some of the punishable offenses in Singapore:
Bird Feeding in Public
It is an offense under Animals and Birds (Pigeon) Rules. No one shall feed stray pigeons in any premises or public place. Anyone who is caught guilty of the offense, the maximum fine is SGD 500. Birds are cute, but beware they might cause you to lose hundreds of dollars. Up to date, it recorded about almost seven hundred offenders are caught and subject to fine.
Sale or Possession of Chewing Gum
During the early 1980s, public workers had trouble cleaning the city from never-ending chewing gum waste. The Prime Minister then, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew drafted a bill to ban the use of chewing gum, and it was finalized in 1992. They restricted the use, distribution, and trade of all kinds of chewing gums islandwide. Police started enforcing strict implementation of the law to anyone who disturbed the city with chewing gum leftovers. Import of all types of chewing gums stopped instantly. In 2004, pressure from the United States made the change in the Singaporean law that reinstated the proper use of small amounts of healing dental chewing gums. Dental gums are strictly regulated and have to be purchased directly from dentists or doctors. Tourists are permitted to bring chewing gum of a maximum of two packs per person. Any excess will be subject to be charged with “gum smuggling,” that has a penalty of one year in jail, and SGD 5,500 fine. People that are caught can be charged with a monetary fine, community work, or usually – public beating with the bamboo stick.
Smoking is strictly not allowed in public areas. There are designated areas where smoking is permitted. This rule is applied to both local and tourist alike. All cigarettes and tobacco goods are subject to duty fees, including those bought in Singapore with the SDPC mark (“Singapore Duty Paid Cigarette”). A tourist may be able to bring one packet of cigarettes for personal consumption. If you are a chain smoker and planning to bring a ream of your cigarette brand, it is better to declare it to custom and pay the necessary tax. They will give you a receipt that you have to bring anywhere in case an authority asks you.