This island country is a fantastic place to live in and to travel to. However, Singapore comes with some rather weird, funny, and truly unusual laws you probably won’t find anywhere else in the world. Here are some of my favorites. While some of these funny laws in Singapore may sound ridiculous, they are actual laws with severe fines when broken.
Let’s begin. Here’s what you need to know before you go to Singapore with or without kids!
Don’t forget to flush the toilet in Singapore!
I’ve heard of many curious professions in my life, but this one tops the list. The most accurate word to describe it, I guess, is toilet inspectors.
As the name suggests, toilet inspectors inspect toilets. However, not plumber-like inspections. They conduct random checks in public toilets to check if people flush after they go. That’s one of the odd and funny laws, but I highly advise you double check before you unlock the doors of your toilet cubicle in Singapore. Should you fail to flush or do so incompletely, you may be looking at a fine of S$150 – S$500.
On the bright side, thanks to this rather unusual law, the toilets in Singapore are clean. No need to carry paper tissue with you, wear an oxygen mask and rain boots before entering public washrooms like in some other countries in South East Asia.
Urinating in elevators in Singapore is a bad bad idea
No matter how badly you need to go, never urinate in an elevator in Singapore. It’s disgusting in the first place. However, Singapore takes it a step further with another rather unusual and funny law. There is a law against urinating in elevators. Apparently, the lifts in Singapore are equipped with some sort of urine detection devices.
Once they sense urine, the doors permanently close, and you and your pee are stuck inside until the police squad arrives.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be littering in any country you’re visiting and live in. However, to be on the safe side and to make sure that no one litters in Singapore, the government of Singapore implemented a no-littering law. If caught littering you can face a fine of up to S $1,000.
First-timers who are caught littering with smaller items have to pay S$300. However, those caught littering for the third time, have to clean up the streets once each week while wearing a bib that says I am a litterer. Not so funny after all, is it?
The good thing is that it is easy to NOT break this law, thanks to many litter boxes all over the city. And guess what, Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world!
Odd and funny laws in Singapore: don’t even think of chewing a gum
This one is probably the most well-known law and a joke about Singapore abroad. While some people abroad do consider it a joke, it’s absolutely not the case. Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore. And while it does sound like a funny law, pretty much everything related to chewing gum is forbidden in Singapore. It is illegal to sell chewing gum in Singapore. Bringing chewing gum from your home country and trying to sell it to Singapore citizens can result in fines of S$100,000 or up to 2 years in prison.
You are forbidden to sell it, buy it, bring it from abroad, distribute, and, God forbid, chew and spit it on the streets. Spitting out a piece of chewing gum is the worst crime of all. (well, maybe after drug dealing). Speaking of spitting, it brings us to another odd law in Singapore.
A big no-no to public spitting in Singapore
I lived in Beijing for four years. I loved it. But the one thing that took me the longest to get used to was the spitting. It’s no secret that Chinese people do spit a lot in China. Imagine how pleased I was to learn that it’s forbidden to spit in Singapore when we relocated there from Beijing!
So, this law is one of my favorite odd laws in Singapore. Spitting is forbidden. Do not spit while in Singapore! In general, the best is not to spit anywhere in the world, but in Singapore, breaking this law means paying a penalty of S$1,000.
Smoking is forbidden almost everywhere on the island
This one is my second favorite of the odd Singaporean laws. Bad news for the smokers but excellent for those who hate breathing secondhand smoke. If you are a non-smoker, you will be pleased in Singapore. Smoking is banned in all indoor locations, all means of transportation, interchange bus shelters, public pools, toilets, bars, restaurants, clubs, playgrounds… you name it.
Seemingly the only safe place to smoke is either in one of the designated smoking areas or at your own home. Beware the neighbors might complain, though. And the fine can be anywhere from S$150 to S$1,000. How about leaving that lighter and cigarettes in your home country? After all, bringing cigarettes with you to this island country is illegal as well. Surprise, surprise.
Walking around your own house (!) naked
Yes. Should you wish to walk around your home naked, make sure the curtains are tightly shut. Walking around the house nude is considered a form of pornography in Singapore. Since pornography is illegal in Singapore, so is your nudist experience. Although it sounds like a silly joke, do take it seriously while in Singapore. This may lead to charges of pornography, so don’t violate this law by mistake.
Do not feed the pigeons in Singapore!
As innocent as feeding pigeons may sound, it actually is a criminal offense in this island country. You can get in real trouble in Singapore doing so and paying S$500 for breaking this funny- sounding law. Better use this money to visit Jurong Bird Park, where you can see and feed some of the most exotic birds from all corners of the planet.
I’ve written a guide to Singapore’s wildlife parks, and you can read it below:
Do not connect to another individual’s Wi-Fi!
In coffee places all over Singapore, you’ll see people working on their laptops while sipping coffee. I used to do that a lot in Singapore, especially at Starbucks on Robinson Road. While it’s a pleasant experience, do NOT connect to another individual’s wi-fi while you are at it. Singapore’s Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act defines using another person’s Wi-Fi network as hacking!
Should you decide to take the risks, keep in mind that by doing the deed, you risk a fine of S$10,000, up to three years in jail, or even both. Not sure they provide Wi-Fi in prisons in Singapore, so probably not worth the risks.
Singing in Public is not a good idea in Singapore
Enjoy singing? Play a musical instrument? Refrain from doing that in public places in Singapore. Singing in public and annoying someone with your musical instrument is illegal in Singapore. Breaking this law results in a fine and jail time. Now that I think of it, in three years of our life in Singapore, not once did I see a street musician.
Now you see that Singapore is nicknamed a FINE city for a reason. If you start doubting whether to visit Singapore at all, consider this. Unless you are a chewing gum spitting nudist, planning to urinate in elevators, sing and smoke while feeding the pigeons, you’ll be totally fine.
Singapore’s Changi Airport travel tip: Get access to Changi Premium Lounge
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