Singapore is one of the cleanest, safest, and most orderly countries in the world. This is made possible by having stringent laws and regulations in place that govern both local and tourist behaviors. If you are considering booking a Singapore package tour with Traveloka, it could be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of their lesser-known—but strictly-enforced—laws before your trip.
Singing obscene songs in public is illegal
According to the relevant penal code, anyone who sings, recites, or utters obscene songs or words in a public place or within the proximity of one could be imprisoned for up to 3 months or have a hefty fine imposed on them. The law specifically states that it is enforceable only if your singing, reciting, or uttering of vulgarities results in the “annoyance of others,” but it probably is safer altogether to keep that obscenity-filled rap track to yourself. In the same vein, annoying someone with a musical instrument in a public road or area is similarly punishable by law, with an attached fine of up to SGD 1000.
Connecting to someone else’s Wi-Fi without permission is illegal
The Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act has been referred to in the 2006 case of a 17-year-old Singaporean teenager who was found to have been accessing his neighbor’s internet connection without their knowledge and permission. It doesn’t matter whether a wireless network is secured or unsecured—you are better off avoiding them entirely, or face jail time of up to three years and/or a fine of up to SG$10,000 if caught. Stick to publicly available hotspots to log in, such as the ones found in shopping centers or coffee shops. You can also pick up a prepaid SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for your personal use while in Singapore. These are available for sale or rent at the airport, so you can grab one as soon as you land.
Not flushing the toilet after you use it is illegal
We’ve all been taught to flush the toilet after we use it, especially if the facility is public—that’s just common courtesy. In Singapore, there is actually a law that states that anyone who leaves a toilet unflushed and is caught could face a fine of up to SG$150 for a first offense. Urinating in public is also illegal. Incidentally, there seems to have been enough incidences of the act that most lifts in the country are equipped with urine detection devices that can pick up the scent of urine. They then set off an alarm and close the doors on the offender, locking him or her in until the authorities arrive to apprehend the individual.
Smoking in public is illegal
A lot of people know that in Singapore, you can’t buy chewing gum in Singapore, which is prohibited from being sold anywhere in the city. The same can’t be said of cigarettes, which is legally sold in the city state. What you can’t do is light up at any public place or in a vehicle. Bringing cigarettes into the country is also considered an offense. As such, most people smoke in the privacy of their own homes, or make the effort of going to the nearest designated smoking room if they really need to satisfy the urge. We advise you to do the same, or just swear off the habit entirely while you’re within Singapore’s borders.
Drinking liquor in public after 10:30 PM is illegal
Passed in 2015, the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act is one of Singapore’s newer laws. In order to minimize disorderly conduct in public as a result of liquor consumption, drinking in all public places is banned between the hours of 10:30 PM and 7 AM. In this context, public places include parks, beaches, and HDB void decks or open spaces found on the first floor of HDB blocks in Singapore. Retail shops are also prohibited from selling alcohol after 10:30 PM, and these include duty-free shops located at the airport. The rules are even stricter in the neighborhoods of Geylang and Little India, as these are classified as Liquor Control Zones. There, public drinking and buying liquor is banned from 7 AM on Saturdays to 7 AM on Monday.
The penalty for individuals caught consuming liquor after 10:30 PM is a fine of up to SG$1000 for first time offenders, while repeat offenders could face jail time and a fine of up to SG$2,000. Take note, however, that you can still enjoy Singapore’s nightlife at licensed establishments, restaurants, or in the comfort of your hotel room or rented accommodation.
Note that most of these laws have to do with public behaviors. If you know how to conduct yourself properly in the presence of others, then you should have nothing less than a positively idyllic experience in Singapore during your visit. If you aren’t sure about a particular activity, look it up! It’s always safer to be on the right side of the law. You can find an updated database of Singapore laws on the Singapore Statues Online website, https://sso.agc.gov.sg.