Singapore Fine City

Singapore has the tagline “Fine City”. As I prepared to move to the city state, I got little jokes that followed along the “Careful not to get a fine” line. And even now that I’ve returned to Canada and I mention how I lived in Singapore, I still get the question, “Don’t they have a lot of fines there?”. But this leaves me with the question, is Singapore Fine City in reality?

Well, my answer is yes and no.

There are a lot of things that could result in getting a fine in Singapore and you will see signs telling you that all over the place. So, in a sense, yes, you can get fined for thing most countries don’t care about. I guess, this is how “Singapore Fine City” stuck. But to go around saying that you need to be careful not to get a fine in Singapore is an exaggeration. I didn’t get a fine while living there for 5 months, nor did anyone I know.

To understand how it’s so easy to get away with not getting a fine, you have to look at what the fines are actually for.

Singapore Fine Posters

Singapore Fines

Spitting
Okay, a fine could be considered a bit harsh for spitting. But really, have you watched someone spit? It’s gross. Swallow your saliva and don’t be nasty. If you NEED to spit go to the washroom and spit in the sink.

Littering
Is walking 3 feet to the garbage can really that difficult? No. So, just put the garbage where it belongs. Litter can ruin a city in terms of cleanliness and visual pleasure, I completely agree with this one.

Eating/Drinking on Public Transit
Once you sit on a sticky seat that had cola split on it, you’ll appreciate this one – I speak from experience.

Chewing Gum
This is a misconstrued rumour. Technically, it is the selling of gum that is not allowed. No one cared or confiscated my pack of gum I bought in Thailand… as long as I didn’t throw it on the ground or stick it anywhere when I was finished (which I feel would fall under a littering fine anyways).

Graffiti
This one I disagree with. I think graffiti can be a form of beautiful public art. But it’s also not that hard to move what you’d like to scribble on a wall to a canvas and save yourself from any repercussions.

Pornography
I’m sure you’ll be able to survive without looking nudey pictures. If you seriously don’t think you can, I’d suggest getting some professional help with that little addiction.

I know I haven’t listed all of them, but these are the ones that tend to pop up in conversations about the topic. So, I wouldn’t worry about the fines if you ever want to travel to Singapore. Common sense will save you! Personally, I found Singapore Fine City to be a great country to live in and encourage anyone who is entertaining the idea to check it out.

21 thoughts on “Singapore Fine City

  1. March 16, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I don’t think I’d have any issues in Singapore either 🙂 Most of those are indeed solved with common sense. I like chewing gum though.. 😀 So I’d probably be prepared with a big pack prior arrival.
    AkwaabaGolden recently posted…Unusual Professions in Africa – Nail CutterMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 16, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      I had a serious gum chewing habit prior to moving to Singapore… The first trip I took out of Singapore, I stocked up! Also, alcohol. Alcohol is SOOO expensive to buy in a store so duty free saved my budget. 😛

  2. March 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I didn’t find Singapore overly oppressive, but I was only there for a few days. I did laugh at the zoo when we were made to wait in lines and not cut through the grassed areas, with the staff there telling us to ‘remember to have fun!’
    Caitlyn recently posted…Believing the hype of BledMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      I didn’t find Singapore oppressive at all. That’s why I think it’s kinda ridiculous when people bring up all the things you could get fined for. Singapore is just orderly. Things are in the right place and they have the fines to keep it like that. But since it’s all common sense stuff, no big.

  3. March 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I think I could survive in Singapore without getting a fine! I think it is all about respecting the rules and customs of the places that we travel, and if those are the rules…we should follow them! I can understand that they want to keep their country clean!
    Lauren recently posted…The Forbidden City Exhibition at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), TorontoMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 19, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Respecting the rules and customs of the places is good advice for every country. Something I try to do but sometimes it’s hard to know ALL the rules and customs… which sometimes leads to awkward and hilarious situation

  4. March 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I have heard so much about Singapore and seriously as much as I dont go around eating gum or throwing stuff about I think I would also have a few fines before I depart the country.
    Bianca @itsallbee recently posted…Mundesley Beach | Sun, Sea & SandMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 19, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      I guess it all depend on the situation. I’ve never heard of someone actually getting a fine there myself.

  5. March 17, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    I have so many friends who are either from Singapore, or have moved to live in Singapore. None of them have ever gotten a fine. I guess its one of those stereotypes that have been blown out of proportion. Just use common sense and be respectful which are all things people should be doing anyways.
    Adelina | PackMeTo recently posted…An Ode to the Pogacsa – A Mouthwatering Hungarian SnackMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 19, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      It’s definitely blown out of proportion. That’s why I always laugh when someone brings it up.

  6. March 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    Now most of those sound pretty reasonable – and your assessment of the porn is right on – it gave me a good chuckle!
    Ace CB @ Life in Dutch recently posted…The Expat Experience: The Reason I LeftMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 19, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      They are reasonable. I didn’t change any habit when moving there from Canada… except drinking in public. I fully took advantage of being allowed that. Haha

  7. March 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    You can’t sell gum? Like in the streets or at the store? I thought the first picture was the guy throwing up haha.
    Samantha @mytanfeet recently posted…Costa Rica Spanish Slang Part 2 – Be Careful, These Words Have Double Meaning!My Profile

    1. meggiekay
      March 19, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Stores can’t sell gum… though I’m pretty sure street selling is also not allowed. If I remember correctly, they put the ban on commercial importing

  8. March 21, 2014 at 4:19 AM

    Well, I think they are all fine fines. Maybe the most innocent one is selling gums. But yes, gums can be annoying, and they really stick everywhere. I’ve read something that every year cities spend fortune to clean the streets from the gums.
    frankaboutcroatia recently posted…Today spotlight: Dolac Market ZagrebMy Profile

  9. March 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Well, this interesting haha…some of them are obvious common sense but the chewing gum is kind of funny. I’ll be going to Singapore for the first time as part of my SEA trip in November…pretty excited! THanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler
    Ashley @ A Southern Gypsy recently posted…Meet the Gypsies: Angela of Angela TravelsMy Profile

  10. March 23, 2014 at 2:26 AM

    I think I’d be okay with all of these except the no eating on the subway. I just need to snack whenever I’m sitting around somewhere!

  11. May 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    It’s kind of expensive to stay there though.

  12. June 20, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    Singapore is my dream country I want to visit Singapore at least once it’s ok that Singapore is very discipline country because that keeps Singapore clean.
    Jesse recently posted…Pheromones: Nature’s Love PotionsMy Profile

  13. Amy
    September 14, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    haha I didn’t know about some of these. I head there in 5 weeks. I’ll struggle without chewing gum!
    Amy recently posted…My travel and hotel plans for Sydney and SingaporeMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      September 18, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      I chewed gum constantly in Singapore. You just need to remember to bring gum with you since you can’t buy it in stores in Singapore.

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