So most of us have heard Singapore being called “Fine City”, and as fine a city as I think Singapore is, I’m pretty sure they don’t mean it in that sense, as you will see below!
9 Singapore Laws Tourists Should Know
There’s a serious amount of unusual laws here, but I’m going to stick to the ones which are more relevant to your trip to this incredible city! For example, I don’t think you need to know that *selling* chewing gum is illegal, but you should know that not to have any (more than an opened packet) in your bag when you arrive in the country as it will be confiscated and you could possibly be fined…
1. Littering Laws in Singapore
This is one of my personal favourites. Littering is a super pet peeve of mine – if you carry something full, you can carry it empty.
The government of Singapore agrees with me! If you’re a first time offender (or tourist) then you can be fined up to $300 for small items such as snack wrappers or cigarette butts.
Unless you’re staying in Singapore long-term or you’re an avid litterer then this won’t matter, but it’s a fun fact all the same: If you are caught littering three times then you have to clean the streets once a week wearing a bib saying “I am a litterer”. Love it.
2. Drug Laws in Singapore
Again, hoping I don’t need to say this but still. If you are caught smuggling drugs into the country, the punishment is the MANDATORY death penalty. The government has actually gone so far as to make sure everybody entering Singapore knows this by having it printed in red on the entry visa at the airport.
While we’re here, let’s just talk about what else shouldn’t be brought into Singapore:
- Pirated goods
- Cigarettes and chewing gum (less strict, but all the same, probably isn’t worth the hassle.)
- Any publications by either the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Unification Church. (I don’t know either.)
3. Connecting to Someone Else’s WiFi
Yep. This is classed as a form of hacking in Singapore and is taken very seriously. So seriously in fact, that you can be fined up to $10,000 and/or three years imprisonment. So next time you want to access Google Maps, think twice before loitering outside and “piggybacking” the Marina Bay Sands guest WiFi…
4. Same Sex PDA
I really love Singapore but I am not at all impressed with this law. Any gay public displays of affection (PDA) are illegal. This not only includes sex but also kissing and “sensitive touching”. So for all you LGBT travellers out there, I hate to have to say this, but I don’t want anybody getting into trouble… Two years jail sentence kinda trouble.
5. Three’s a Crowd
After 10pm, if there are more than two of you, then you’re likely to attract the attention of local policemen. Whether you’re out goofily posing with the Merlion or quietly munching on some tasty street food, if you get a particularly bored police offer then you could be asked to move on and disperse.
6. Don’t Feed the Pigeons in Singapore (or Crows or Mynahs)
Please don’t. This thoughtless act could cost you anything up to $500! This isn’t so much that a police officer will run over and scold you, more if somebody reports you. You see, this is also technically littering as you’re throwing food onto the floor, and it costs money to clean up the constant bird poo. I mean, I’ve heard worse!
7. Public Smoking & Spitting
You can be fined $1000 if you smoke anywhere in public, including vehicles. Likewise, another $1000 for spitting in any public space.
8. Flushing Money Away
If you fail to flush a working toilet, although I’m not sure why you would, then you can be fined anything between $150 – 500.
9. Drone Laws
You don’t require a permit to fly a drone around Singapore so long as:
- It’s for recreational use only.
- It weighs less than 7kg.
- You don’t fly it any higher than 200ft.
- No photos of government or military buildings.
- Don’t fly over crowds or moving vehicles.
I hope this article doesn’t come across as aggressive in any way – I have the utmost respect for Singapore and by sharing these laws I am not only helping tourists/visitors, but also Singaporeans and their rules. 🙂