Know Before You Go: Singaporean Laws Part 2

Having already looked at Singaporean laws related to drugs, smoking, and alcohol, there are a few more laws that are particularly relevant for visitors to Singapore. These include:

Nudity Laws

Being naked in public places is prohibited everywhere in Singapore. There are no nudist beaches and you shouldn’t even think about going late night skinny dipping – the penalties if caught really aren’t worth the risk. You could expect a large fine at the best, a few months’ custodial sentence at worst.

The strict laws also cover private places that can be seen by members of the public – including, for example, your hotel room with the curtains open. It is best to be super modest in conservative Singapore.

Littering Laws

Singapore is known for being a clean country. Help to keep Singapore and don’t toss your trash on the floor. As well as being completely unnecessary and disrespectful, you could also be punished under the country’s laws relating to littering.

There are heavy fines, starting from around 1,000 SGD for a first time offender and rising to around 5,000 SGD for further offences. Offenders may also have to undertake community work as reparation. This involves wearing a highly visible bib to clean public places and sweep the streets.

Spitting Laws

Spitting in a public place is not only disgusting but it is also against the law. Penalties are similar to those for littering. Even if you are not caught by officials and punished, you will be looked upon very poorly by any locals that see you doing it.

Graffiti Laws

Graffiti artists are definitely not welcome in Singapore. Defacing public property in such a manner can attract heavy fanes as well as several lashes with a cane. People are also banned from putting up posters, flyers, flags, banners, and otherwise without prior permission.

Jaywalking Laws

Don’t be tempted to dash across a busy road; there are plenty of crossings and pedestrian walkways to keep you, and others safe, as well as making sure that you don’t break the jaywalking laws when in Singapore. If caught, a fine and a possible spell in prison is the penalty.

Driving Laws

Tourists can drive legally in Singapore using the driving license issued in their home country, providing the license is written in English. If it is in another language, holders must obtain either an official English translation of the license or hold an International Drivers Permit. There are further requirements for people staying for more than 12 months and for those who hold certain types of visa.

Do not drink and drive, always fasten your seat belt, make sure children are in car seats, and do not use a mobile phone whilst driving.

Some other important laws include those relating to public transportation, especially the MRT. Do not eat, drink, or breastfeed on the MRT, and do ensure that you have a valid ticket to travel. Don’t try and do a runner from a taxi – evading paying in this way can lead to your arrest. You must flush public laws, and it is illegal to urinate in elevators. It is illegal to take chewing gum into Singapore.

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