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Is Singapore the finest City in the World?

Updated on October 16, 2008

Weird and Outrageous Laws in Singapore

Singapore is a fine city because of the fines. For just about everything you do, there is a list of dos and don't, enough to fill a book. As a writer, maybe I should write a book called "The Dos and Donts in Singapore."

There are many things that are considered normal in others but in Singapore they are illegal. We all know that you cannot bring pornographic materials to Singapore, no drugs, and no sales of chewing gums.

But do you know that in Singapore, sleeping on park benches is an offence? A bus driver didn't know that when he dozed off on the bench while taking shelter from the rain. His ignorance cost him SG$200 for a 15-minute nap.

A National Parks Board (who fined the driver) spokesman said: "We try to create the conditions that make visitors feel at ease... When people abuse our parks by overstaying or squatting, they make genuine park users feel uncomfortable. Others sleep on benches or in shelters in an inconsiderate manner and deny park users from these facilities."

Most Singaporeans are not aware of this rule. There was no signage at the parks to warn the people. They should have given him a warning instead. This shows how intolerance of the Government against rule breakers. A forummer shared that he was fined $100 when he brought his disposable BBQ pit to barbecue in a park. Now some people are confused. They are wondering if they would be fined if they sleep on their mat on grass patches in the park. Construction workers wonder if they would be fined for sleeping on void deck at the HDB flat during their lunch break.

Recently the Government confiscated a car belonging to a hire-purchase company. The car was sold to a police officer. It was driven by another person to smuggle cigarettes. The general manager of the company who lost a dozen vehicles this way in the his 20 years of business question their logic. He reasons: "My question is, if a passenger on an SIA plane was nabbed for smuggling in drugs, will the authorities seize the plane?"

If you are a nudist, I have bad news for you. If a peeping Tom spots you walking around your very own house or hotel room naked and complain to the Police, you can be charged for indecent exposure. In the beach, it is fine for men to be topless, but not for women. No nudes allowed in public places.

Many years ago, bartop dancing was banned in Singapore. The Government minister said:

"If you want to dance, some of us will fall off that bar-top. Some people will die as a result of liberalising bar-top dancing, not just because they have fallen off the bar-top. Because usually a young girl, with a short skirt, dancing on a bar-top, may attract some insults from some other men, and the boyfriend starts fighting. Some people will die. Blood will be shed for liberalising this policy."

Now bartop dancing is allowed.

We all know that the rules and regulations are the price we pay for Singapore to be among the safest cities in the world. We appreciate that there are no hell drivers, no pick pockets, no public demonstrations, no gunshots, no beggars in the streets. We feel safe walking in the streets at night. The government has loosened up since then. But there are still some rules that make Singapore the laughing stock of the world.

What do you think are the weird and outrageous rules in Singapore that we can do without?

Signage on an underpass
Signage on an underpass
No loitering allowed
No loitering allowed


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      PG 5 years ago

      Singapore looks good for a tourist , but staying there and observing how the country really is ,is a real eyeopener.

      Apart from being one of the most crowded cities in the world, it is almost one of the most polluted by noise and particles , and in the last few years public transport has not kept up with population .The majority of its population is not even Singaporean , and the government has at last conceded that foreign buyers of property is not good. It is now like how Switzerland was , a haven for money of all sources , as long as it comes via the banking system nobody queries the source. Yet we know how opaque the banking system is in a lot of countries .

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      Kbs 6 years ago

      Some of the rules are indeed outrageous; however, some of those same rules apply to other places as well - they are just not strictly enforced. For example, in America, it is illegal to ride a bike on a side walk and to ride a bike through the cross walk on a vehicle rd. bikes are to be treated as cars to the extent that they are to be driven on the street. And A bike can also be driven on a bike path, too. However these rules are not strictly enforced which is why there's a large number of bikers who are considered Rude to pedestrians, especially in major cities like Chicago. One rule that should be everywhere: the liter rule. Litering is ridiculous and should be strictly enforced everywhere and should be considered a crime. In a sense a person who liters is killing the planet so considering it a crime is not too far off from the truth.

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      vizzy 6 years ago


      Think about the city

    • profile image

      Good Rules  6 years ago

      Good Rules = Orderly life

      Orderly Life is due to good rules

      Singaporean can literally walk safely from North to South and East to West...all if not because of the orderly and seemingly outrageous to those who come from less orderly countries. Keep up the good rules....

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      Gerald king 7 years ago

      If all this good tidings i have read here,is true,then,singapore is higly qualified to be rated as the best city of the world without giving it a second thought.

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      Passerby 7 years ago

      There are rules probably because there are people who are not civilized enough to show consideration for others. Other countries without these rules either have considerate citizens or simply can't be bothered to encourage its citizens to show consideration.

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      Festus 8 years ago

      I think I should be there to see things for myself, enven though some of the rules sounds ridiculous.

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      Webber224 8 years ago

      Thanks for your honest opinion. I have been living in Singapore for 1 year, I find the country is overly structured. There are unnecessary iron bars at bus terminal,sidewalk or almost everywhere. I used to be a shopperholic, the uncountable numbers of shopping malls in Singapore have cured my addiction.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA

      I have had a very good experience at S'pore. I first of all liked the Changi airport for having free internet in the airport, a free movie theatre, subsidized hotel room accommodation and great variety in foods (I loved the crisp hot dosa in the Indian restaurent). Besides that I loved the free local tour of the city provided in the airport without having to take any visa. I loved the city for the clean pavements, organized traffic, and numerous parks/water fountains.... I can go on... It would be one of the best cities in the world (if not the best).... hehe