Everyone’s seen those “Singapore is a Fine City” T-shirts. Worst of all, Singaporeans don’t think it’s insulting — they just think it’s amusing but true.
Sure, we know you get slapped with a heavy fine for eating on the MRT or pissing in a lift. Many of the things that can get you fined actually serve the common good, so okay, we can see why these rules exist.
But there are a few illegal activities in Singapore that make us raise an eyebrow, and then rue the fact that we live in a nanny state, such as the following.
1. Annoying people with your musical instruments
Anyone who plays a musical instrument or otherwise makes noise and annoys people in public places or on public roads could be liable to a find of up to $1,000. Now we know why buskers need a licence.
Kiasu parents who have been forcing their kids to practise their piano exam pieces ad nauseum had better watch out, as you could also be fined for annoying occupiers of any private premises, which includes your neighbours.
2. Singing obscene songs in public
Okay, we already know freedom of expression doesn’t exist in Singapore, but we still find it rather amusing that singing obscene songs in public has been singled out as an offence, and anyone who’s been found guilty could be fined, jailed for up to three months or both. So, only sing the radio edit versions and you’ll be good to go.
3. Walking around naked at home
You’re not the king of your castle in your Singapore home, at least not if anybody catches sight of you. Appearing nude in a private or public place is illegal under Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act if you are exposed to public view, and you could be fined in Singapore, up to $2,000, imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.
When you consider the fact that most Singaporeans live in small flats or apartments, packed into high rise blocks with thousands other residents, the risk of being “exposed to public view” is quite high. Let’s hope you don’t forget your towel the next time you take a shower.
What’s more, if you’re guilty of appearing naked, it’s lawful for any other person to arrest you. We can see how that might get a little awkward….
4. Taking beer or wine into a public hospital
Sometimes, all you need is a can of beer after a long day at work to make you feel human again. Well, just make sure you’re not going anywhere near a public hospital, because taking any liquor into a public hospital will make you liable to a fine of up to $1,000, jail of up to 2 months or both.
And take note, it’s not about actually drinking the alcohol. Maybe you just picked up some groceries at the supermarket and bought a bottle of wine, and then decided to pay an ailing grandparent a visit at the hospital. If you ever catch yourself in this precise situation, be careful of watchful eyes.
5. Making someone believe he will anger or be punished by God
Want somebody to do something for you? You can threaten to never again share the best Pokemon Go locations, but you can’t say he’ll be making God (in whatever form) angry, or be punished by some deity, lest you be fined in Singapore.
Making someone believe he will be the object of the displeasure of God (or whatever celestial being he believes in) can get you fined, jailed for up to a year or both. Oh, by the way, apparently it’s still legal to try to convince people to do stuff by promising their gods will bless them and make them rich. So at least you still have that.
6. Keeping vehicle engines idling
You might be used to sit in air-conditioning while sitting in your parked car while waiting for someone, but this is actually against NEA laws.
The Environmental Protection and Management (Vehicular Emissions) Regulations states that leaving the engine of a motor vehicle running while it is not moving is an offence, liable to a fine of $100 and maximum court fine of $5,000 if the fine is not paid.
The only exceptions to the rule are taxi drivers and bus drivers who are waiting at designated taxi stands or terminals.
But, this law is probably good for your pocket. Turn off that engine and you can actually keep your petrol bill lower.
7. Letting your dog run towards people, vehicles or bicycles
If your sociable dog is known to constantly gravitate towards people, take care to leash it.
If it is proven that the dog has the habit of running into persons, vehicles, or bicycles on a public road, it is an offence under Section 8 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. No matter how cute the dog may be, the owner may be liable to a maximum fine of $1,000.
Do you know of any other unusual laws in Singapore? Tell us in the comments!
Image credit: yeowatzup via Flickr
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