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Singapore – A “Fine” City | Don't Ever Look Back

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Singapore – A “Fine” City

Singapore – A “Fine” City

Singapore prides itself on being the cleanest city in the world, which is quite amazing considering that it’s located in Southeast Asia.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll soon understand why this place is so clean. There are some hefty fines in place that you can obtain for an offence that would seem minor in most parts of the world.


Dropping a piece of trash on the ground will cost you up to $1,000 and if you’re a repeat offender, expect to pay double that plus a couple of hours of community service picking up litter whilst wearing a bright jacket designed solely to humiliate you.

You’d definitely be thinking twice the next time you’re thinking about throwing that cigarette butt on the sidewalk. Oh, and spitting is treated just as harshly so don’t spit do that either.

No Chewing GumChewing Gum

The import and sale of chewing gum in Singapore is banned after people became sick of discovering gum under chairs and tables, inside mailboxes and keyholes and on train doors and elevator buttons.

The same punishments as littering applies so be safe and opt for the breath mints instead.

These are just the beginning though, how about some of these other laws in Singapore that will result in massive fines and possibly even jail time.



Jaywalking is a big no-no in Singapore and we’ll admit that it’s bizarre standing in a large group of people without at least one of them daring to cross when there’s a break in traffic. But after hearing the possible punishment, you would probably do the same thing.

If your case goes to court, you could go to prison for a maximum of three months for crossing the road when the red man is still flashing. But fortunately common sense prevails (most of the time!) and the usual punishment is only a $20 on-the-spot fine.

Walking Around The House Naked

Keep the Curtains Closed

Anything pornographic is illegal in Singapore and nudity is considered porn if someone else sees you. So close those curtains before getting changed into your pyjamas, your neighbors might just get on the phone to the police if they don’t like what they see.

Don’t see this one being enforced too often but if you are caught, you’ll be facing a significant fine and possible jail time.

Not Flushing The Toilet

Flushing Toilet

Get caught not flushing a public toilet and you will be fined $150. Although the chances of being done for this seem small, we did hear that sometimes they do random checks just to make sure people are abiding by the law.

Most toilets have automatic flushers but best to double-check just to be safe!

Don’t Relieve Yourself In An Elevator


Believe it or not, there are elevators in Singapore fitted with Urine Detector Devices (UDD). These can actually detect the smell of urine that sets off an alarm, shuts the elevator doors and waits until the authorities arrive to make an arrest. We kid you not!

Some Other Singapore Laws:

  • If you are caught vandalizing you will receive a mandatory caning. Michael P. Fay knows all about this one.
  • It’s illegal to hug without permission – you can be charged with outraging modesty. But exactly whose permission do you need?
  • Oral sex is illegal unless it is part of foreplay leading to full sex.

Yes, some of these laws are ridiculous but Singapore still remains one of our favorite destinations in the world so don’t let this list change your mind to visit.

Singapore is clean, safe and it’s because of their strict laws that it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world so enjoy your visit. Just remember not to do anything silly!


  1. Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow…the no jaywalking thing would be hard for me. I don’t have the patience to stand and wait when there are no cars coming. Especially when I’m conditioned in big cities to make such a dash…
    D.J. – World of Deej recently posted..Napa Valley Bike Tour – 16 Miles of Wine and Torture

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Yeah it was bizarre seeing so many people waiting for the lights without a car in sight whereas they would’ve been long gone anywhere else in the world!

  2. Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    The rules do seem silly but you have to admit they work — Singapore’s one of the cleanest places I’ve ever been!

    By the way, the import and sale of gum is illegal, but having chewing gum itself is not! So just stock up beforehand at the airport and then chew all you like once you’re in the city — just make sure you dispose of it proprerly 🙂
    Edna recently posted..I Love My Neighborhood: Taipei’s Da’an District

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      Agreed, it’s definitely the cleanest place we’ve ever been with Reykjavik the only one that comes somewhat close.

      Yeah you’re right about the gum but is it worth the risk? Not for us! Haha. 🙂

  3. Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    WOW! I heard about this before but it’s fascinating. Oh god, I have to admit after seeing sooo much litter everywhere in parts of Eastern Europe (Albania, I’m looking at you … ) this would literally be a breath of fresh air! Great post!!
    Caro recently posted..Sofia Bulgaria : Our favourite city in Eastern Europe

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Yep, that’s how we felt after visiting Manila and then coming back to Singapore!

  4. Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    I’ve been to Singapore a lot of times and I know about the littering and chewing gum…didn’t know there was so much law! Edna is right, Singapore is definitely the cleanest city I’ve ever been to and it’s so nice to walk around Singapore!

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Yeah we were surprised just how many crazy laws there were when we did the research for this post (and these aren’t even all of them!). But they’re definitely working as you mentioned!

  5. Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Well, I think following most of those rules should be fairly easy as I do so without thinking on a regular basis… but the no jay-walking one! That is harsh, and after being in China (and the rest of SEA, I would imagine) it will be hard to keep my feet on the curb!
    Steph recently posted..A Trip to the Past in Takayama

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      As we said to Deej, every part of you just wants to cross the road but you have to stop and think to realize why you’re not!

  6. Posted December 12, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, jay-walking is definitely against the law in Singapore. But my government did it for our own safety and it’s also to regulate traffic. Imagine the small country with almost 1 million cars zipping around, there has to be some form of traffic control.

    In any case, if you are a foreigner and get caught by the traffic police, just show them your passport and explain you are foreign to Singapore. They may be lenient to let you off. I have foreign friends who let off with a warning. 🙂 If not, the fine is SGD$20 or about US$17.

  7. Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Haha most of these are true, but mostly on paper. In practice, enforcement doesn’t seem to be very tight, esp. the jaywalking part. I guess after all these years, most Singaporeans just get used to this and not much enforcement is needed anymore. In fact, having lived here for quite some time myself, this has become nothing unusual. =)
    Andrew Darwitan recently posted..Ephesus & Library of Celsus: How I Fell in Love with Ruins

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