10 stupid rules in Singapore

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Laws need to be enforceable, if it is not, why have them in the first place? Here are 10 rules you’d probably have broken or might break in the future, and the authorities won’t be any the wiser.

If you are against these rules, appeal with your local MP to have them repealed. Life is hard enough to live as it is.

 

1. No keeping of cats in HDB

If you keep a cat in the HDB, you’re harbouring a criminal. This is because HDB thinks it is “difficult to confine cats within the premise of a flat”. But it is ok if you keep them in a condominium. Maybe cats are posh.

 

2. Smoking in yellow boxes

Yes, it is easy for enforcers to prosecute you if you don’t smoke within the yellow zone. But let’s put it this way – having a smoking zone in a food court is like having a peeing zone in a swimming pool. We say, have the smoking zone, but remind smokers it is an anti-social habit to be doing what they do around people who don’t smoke. Education goes a further way than blind legislation.

 

3. Means Testing

If your family needs assistance, you need to pass a test that proves that you have absolutely no money to support yourself before the Government will provide you charity. This means any room you can rent out, any friends and relatives you can borrow from, any limbs you can move to get paid.

Who doesn’t have friends and family? And do we really have to bankrupt all our resources before we can get an ounce of help? And what good would it do to drive your kins to poverty and then both parties require social assistance? Government needs to seriously re-look the mechanics of means testing.

 

4. Compulsory Education

You are compelled to send your children to 6 years of education. Failing which, you could be prosecuted in a court of law. But think about it – MOE can’t really enforce this. Sure, they can pay you a visit, but they can’t present you to a judge. Why? Well, what happens when you send parents to prison or drive them to poverty with a large fine? The kids become at-risk children, leading them to become social problems in the future.

Today, about 1500 children do not attend school and MOE cannot do anything about it.

But do you know which group of families suffer? It is parents who want to provide wholesome homeschooling for their children! These are the parents who declare their intention and comply with rules, only to find out they’re being turned down for home schooling (and reasons are never given).

 

5. Oral Sex (Legalised in 2007)

I found out this was recently legalised, but before 2007, it was illegal to *ahem* pay lip service – even for hetrosexual couples. But how in the world would law enforcers ever find out?

 

6. 377A

It does not matter if you’re for or against homosexuality – how can you possibly enforce this? Do policemen look out for same-sex couples who hold hands? Behave intimately? Do you arrest them like you do shoplifters? And so what if they’re brought to a court-of-law? Can you imagine how ridiculous the case would sound?

 

7. Chewing gum

Look – if you want chewing gum, you can get it. It doesn’t take a genius to know that this is so easily available in Johore. It is so commonly available, it isn’t even cool amongst teenagers anymore.

 

8. Walking around your house naked

If your neighbour wants to keep looking at you naked, then it should be him that’s hauled to court and not you. My father is disabled and has to disrobe before going to the bathroom – does that make him a criminal?

 

9. Suicide

For goodness sakes, even if someone attempted suicide, this person needs help and counselling more than being handcuffed and hauled to prison. This is akin to rubbing salt, chilli, vinegar and lemons into a very fresh, bleeding wound. And then carving the wound larger with a knife. And then stuffing chilli peppers into it.

 

10. Illegal gathering

Three’s a crowd – and it could get you arrested. Maybe once upon a time when law makers had very few friends, this was possible. But may we remind you this is one of the most populated countries on the planet, you cannot, with a straight face, expect only three people to hang out. Have there been any arrests for this? No? We thought so.

 

Ok – since you guys have been such a good audience, we’ll leave you with one more bonus stupid rule (to show that we have no lack of these):

 

 11. Bartop dancing

I’m not particularly certain, but I think the law provides for bar top dancing on a platform that is at least 2m x 2m or something like that. That’s not really the point, the point is – does this really need to be criminal? Punishment is dished out very quickly, either by gravity or an angsty bouncer.

 

If you think these rules are dumb, please help to share and please – book a session with your local MP and bring it up to them for review.

 

 

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About the author

Benjamin Chiang

Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, labour issues and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com and occasionally on Yahoo!

The views expressed are his own.

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5 Comments

  • Hi there,

    Sone small edits; it’s illegal to SELL chewing gum, and even that has changed, because you can now buy gum at Watson’s and Guardian and other pharmacies on the pretext of dental health, but you can’t find the awesome fruit flavoured ones anymore.

    Oral sex was illegal if not followed up with penis-in-vagina sex, so if your guy is a, um, early bloomer, you’ve got a problem.

    The walking around your house naked thing, well, you can, if you draw your curtains. It’s kinda the same as the 377A and the oral sex thing. I guess the idea is that if you do it in the comfort and privacy of your home, then fine, but if any performance artists decide it would be a great idea to convey the futility of human existence by being sodomized in public, they have a law for that.

    But yes, I fully agree these are retarded laws. I’m not sure if it helps that were not alone in having retarded laws; some states in the US won’t let a man and a woman sleep in the same hotel bed if they aren’t married. But they’ll let them marry their first cousins.

  • Hi, very interesting points but please do substantiate them! For example, where in the law says “no walking around naked in your house”? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but it will really back your case if you can supply more information about the very statutes.

    Means testing as well.

    Otherwise, this is leaning towards sensationalised reading :(

    Thanks!

    • Good idea – I’d especially like to do one full piece on means testing and its absurdity, thank you for the idea!

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