Singapore Laws

Law & Order

Singapore has very strict laws to maintain the order of the country. Locals and foreigners alike are required to strictly follow the laws. Singapore society is highly regulated through the criminalisation of many activities under the Laws of Singapore. The followings are highlighted public offences to note.

1. Crimes
Crimes such as terrorism, violence, theft, kidnap, brutality, sex, money laundering etc. are dealt with seriously under the Laws of Singapore. Offenders may face imprisonment, indefinite imprisonment or even death penalty.

2. Drugs
Anyone cannot consume or supply illegal drugs; The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15g of heroin, 30g of morphine, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis, 200g of cannabis resin and 1.2kg of opium; Possessing these quantities is considered evidence of trafficking. This means, if a person possesses these quantities, they are deemed to be a trafficker and therefore subject to the death penalty; For unauthorised consumption, there is a maximum of 10 years’ jail or fine of S$20,000, or both;

3. Arms/Ammunitions
The possession of arm or ammunition requires authorisation from the Licensing Division of the Singapore Police Force. Any person who is in unlawful possession of any arm or ammunition shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 6 strokes. Anyone entering Singapore is to ensure no possession of any prohibited/controlled items upon arrival at the Singapore.

4. Littering
Singapore has strict laws on littering of any kind. First-time offenders face a fine of up to S$1,000. Repeat offenders will be fined up to S$2,000 and subject to Corrective Work Order (CWO). The CWO requires litterbugs to spend a few hours cleaning a public place, for example, picking up litter in a park. They are made to wear bright jackets, and sometimes, the local media are invited to cover the public spectacle.

5. Spitting
To maintain a hygienic environment, spitting in the public compounds is prohibited. The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to S$1,000 for a first offence. The fine for a second offence is up to S$2,000 and for the third and subsequent offences the fine is up to S$5,000.

6. Jaywalking
To ensure the safety of pedestrians, the jaywalking offence was introduced under the Road Traffic Act. Jaywalkers caught taking short cuts will face fines of up to S$500 for a first offence. They could also wind up in court and be given penalties twice that or sentenced to three months in jail. Repeat offenders could face a maximum S$2,000 fine or six months in jail.

7. Smoking
Smoking is not allowed in all public indoor places and most outdoor places, unless otherwise mentioned. E.g.; buses, MRT, taxis, lifts, theatres, cinemas, government offices, and in air-conditioned restaurants and shopping centres.
Smoking is also not permitted at all nightspots unless within approved smoking zones.
Offenders face a maximum fine of S$1,000. In addition, smokers who dispose their cigarette butts indiscriminately will be fined SGD$200.00.
Anyone below 18 years old is not allowed to buy cigarettes.

8. Others

  • Student Pass holders are strictly not allowed to work even on a part-time basis.
  • Import, sale and possession of chewing gum are banned.
  • If a person is below 18 years old, they cannot buy or drink alcohol.
  • Jay-walking is an offence.
  • They cannot drive a car if they do not have an International or Singapore Driving Licence or they do not have at least third party insurance cover and paid-up road tax.
  • They cannot bring videotapes, VCDs or DVDs that are not originals, into Singapore.
  • They must abide by all laws applicable to residents and visitors to Singapore.
  • It is an offence to download political, religiously sensitive or pornographic material from the Internet