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Singapore Laws

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When spending time in another country, it's always wise to make yourself aware of the local laws and customs. It will help you be sensitive to your local workmates and neighbours... and crucially, help you to stay out of trouble.

Singapore is no exception and there are some important regulations you should be aware of, some of which may seem harsh compared to you own country. For example, the Rattan Cane is a legally sanctioned form of punishment and is often employed for over 30 types of offence, such as robbery, breaking and entering, assault, rape, living off the earnings of prostitution, vandalism etc.

Like many countries in the region, penalties for drug use, possession or trafficking are very severe indeed. Singapore does have the death sentence and it is used for narcotics offences. You have been warned... stay away from drugs of any kind in Singapore. If you fail to heed this advice, you deserve what you get.

Driving while drunk could get you 10 years in prison! Don't drink and drive, it really is a serious offence here.

Homosexual acts may lead to imprisonment. Kissing between men, for example, is illegal.

There are very strict laws in place that keep Singapore the squeaky clean place it is. The following are prohibited... Smoking in public, chewing gum, spitting in public, littering, jaywalking. Failure to observe these laws will result in stiff fines.

The fine for forgetting to flush the toilet in a public convenience is S$500.

Racial harmony is carefully promoted. Racial slurs, such as those you might hear in football chants could actually wind you up in jail, or getting caned.

If you have a balcony or garden, be aware that if you have flower pots, or anywhere that collects water and mosquito larvae subsequently breed, you risk being fined as a result.

See also:

Singapore Laws You Should Know
The Chewing Gum Ban in Singapore
Singapore: The dark side of an Asian city-state
Is Singapore safe?

Need advice? Got a question? Go to our Singapore Forum