Singapore is widely known as one of the busiest destinations in Asia. Despite the fact that Singapore is a small island roughly about 682.7 sq. km, the country is a melting pot of colorful cultures, expanding businesses and awesome tourist destinations. Because of these reasons, many travelers in and outside of Asia eye this country as one of the top places to visit. Where there is a large number of people going in a country, expect a number of rules and regulations that not only apply to tourists but also to citizens.
If you happen to be visiting Singapore, there are some basic things you need to know in order to have a hassle-free and enjoyable time while in the country. The following is a list of DON’Ts when visiting Singapore. While most in the list generally follow international laws, it’s safe to say that one can never be too careful especially when visiting a country for the first time.
Singapore Law: What You Should Not Do When Visiting SG
1. Do NOT Chew Gum
Travelers need to take note of this. Many people are used to having gum in their travel bags for convenience. However, this is just one of the things that have been banned in a well-maintained city such as Singapore. You’ll notice that shops don’t sell gum simply because when gum is not disposed properly it can leave stains and marks on pavements and public locations which also means added cost on the government’s budget for maintenance.
2. Eating and Drinking in Public Trains
Singapore has one of the most advanced and well-maintained train systems in Asia. Needless to say, the public also has to play a role in keeping it that way. For this reason, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) management strictly prohibits all passengers to bring in food and drinks within the station premises, waiting areas included. Of note, the durian fruit which is famous for its pungent smell is one of the food items that should not be found anywhere near the train area. Even if someone tries to conceal the fruit inside their bag, almost everyone in Singapore can tell the smell right away, especially inside the train!
3. Possession of Illegal Drugs
If you plan to visit Singapore, you need to be aware about how serious the government deals with drug-related crimes. Possession of illegal substances and drug-trafficking are considered as heinous crimes in various places in the world, Singapore included. This is even subject to capital punishment. No matter how much substance is found in one’s possession, offenders will surely find themselves at the mercy of the law. Expect top-class security when entering Singapore, as canine agents abound together with strict security personnel present to ensure that no illegal substance get past the entry point of the country.
4. Do NOT Litter
It is important to note that in places such as Singapore, they take the law very seriously down to the smallest of offences such as littering. Because of this, thousands of people either get fined or penalized and are made to serve Corrective Work Order (CWO). This basically entails having the offenders wear bright orange work outfits while cleaning up the streets of the city for the public to see.
5. Do NOT Forget to Flush the Toilet after Using
Common courtesy should be observed especially in public locations such as toilets. So it goes without saying that these areas should be kept clean after use. That’s just how things are in Singapore. There are signs posted in public toilets to remind civilians to flush the after use. Failure to do so warrants a designated fine, but I guess that didn’t come as a surprise, didn’t it?
6. Smoke ONLY in Designated Areas
We all know that smoking is bad for the health, but not a lot of countries take this hazard seriously in terms of public ordinance as Singapore does. Smoking is not allowed in air-conditioned spaces and in common places such as schools, malls, and food courts. Some establishments provide designated smoking areas but generally not all. Offenders may find themselves surprised at how much they can be fined for smoking in public by as much as $1000.
Vandalism is the illegal writing or spray painting on something (usually properties) owned by someone else. In Singapore, offenders need to serve jail time on top of paying a fine and will also undergo ‘caning’ where they will be mercilessly whipped with a 4-foot rattan cane as a form of discipline for their misconduct. If that won’t keep offenders away from destroying private properties, I don’t know what will!
8. Do NOT Jaywalk, Use Designated Walkways
Singapore puts a prime on their public infrastructures to ensure public safety backed up by well-implemented laws. When in Singapore, notice how everyone stays on the line when crossing the street. This gives visitors a picture of how things are done in this disciplined city. If one is keen to look around, plenty of public signage would lead you to designated crosswalks, underpass and footbridge to get to the other side of the road. Talk about convenience!
It’s important that we follow rules and regulations imposed by a country and its government. We hope you find the above information useful when during your visit to Singapore.