“Singapore is a fine country. You’ll get a fine for everything.”
When going on an international holiday, it’s always wise to find out about the local traditions and laws so you don’t run into trouble. Singapore is a colourful and enthralling country, but make sure you don’t do these 12 things there.
1. No chewing gum
There is a ban in Singapore against purchasing gum or importing it. And in case you do have gum, you certainly can’t spit it out on the streets. You can be fined $500 (Rs 23,121) if you spit it out. However, there are exceptions. Since 2004, those who need to chew gum for curative purposes and are carrying a medical prescription for it are allowed to.
2. Always flush
“Treat me well and keep me clean and I won’t tell anyone what I have seen,”
Yes, they can be pretty anal about certain things. If you use a public washroom and forget to flush, you can be fined $150 (Rs 6,936). After visiting all those public restrooms all over India, we feel the same can be applied here too.
3. No porn and no walking around naked
If caught walking around nude even in the confines of your home, you could be fined up to $2,000 or up to 3 months in jail. Our advice: always draw your curtains! As far as viewing pornography is concerned, don’t get caught watching adult films.
4. No littering
Spitting and littering can get you a $1,000 (Rs. 46,242) fine. Swachh Singapore Abhiyaan!
5. Foot and head alert
Luckily there’s no fine for this one, but it is considered rude to point your feet at someone. So, don’t rest them on the table. Also, patting people on the head is considered offensive.
6. Don’t Snack on the MRT
When travelling via Singapore’s railways, you aren’t allowed to eat or drink. You can be charged fines of up to $500 (Rs 23,121) for doing so.
7. Don’t connect to unsecure WiFi
It would be wise to turn off your “auto-discovery” setting when in Singapore. Using an unsecure WiFi connection is considered a serious crime there, under the Computer Misuse Act. You could be jailed for up to three years or would have to pay a fine of up to $10,000 (Rs 4,62,708).
8. Be careful what and how you gift
When gifting someone in Singapore, you need to keep the following things in mind:
a. Wrap your gifts in anything but white, as it is a sign of mourning
b. Clocks, flowers and handkerchiefs or flowers are related to Chinese funerals. So, don’t give them as presents
c. Don’t give gifts with your left hand
Personally I don’t think I’m ever going to gift anyone anything in Singapore!
9. No public smoking
$200 is the fine if you smoke in a public space. But you must have already guessed that by now!
10. No graffiti
Spray ‘Gayatri I love you’ on any wall and be ready for a public caning. Yes, we thought enough with the fines, we need to step up things a bit. But on a serious note, you can get caned and jailed for graffiti.
11. No drugs
Forget about doing drugs while in Singapore, you shouldn’t even have drugs in your system when you arrive there!
12. Don’t point at people
Pointing your finger at people is considered rude in Singapore and your finger can be chopped off for that. Relax. We’re joking this time. It’s just that it’s considered impolite to point at people in Singapore. So keep that in mind.
And now, have a great holiday!