Singapore, A Fine City?

We all know of that Singapore stereotype. When foreigners think of Singapore, they shudder in fear, as they wonder how crazy tough life must be here, especially since they think we get caned if we chew gum.

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Perhaps we would be more familiar with this instead:

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If you’re sick of seeing signs like these everyday and desperately yearn to do something out of line… well,  just because, we have a list of things you can try out legally.

We highly recommend exercising common sense though — do not attempt every single thing on the list.

But if you do… we are not responsible if anything bad goes down hor.

Here are some things you can do, for a change:

1. Own A Gun

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A big reason why Singapore is the safest country in Asia is because all guns are banned, right? Well, you’re in for a surprise.

Trafficking arms in Singapore can earn you a death sentence, but owning guns is a different story altogether.

As with everything else in Singapore, you’ll be fine if you follow the rules.

The regulations surrounding gun ownership already act as a barrier of sorts though — one would first have to be a member of the Singapore Gun Club, which is open only to Singapore citizens and Singapore Armed Forces personnel. Then, you would need to apply for an Arms and Explosives licence from the Singapore Police Force.

And potential gun enthusiasts, be warned: Gun ownership in Singapore is expensive — just the entrance fee alone to become an ordinary member of the Gun Club is $3,000, and there’s also a monthly subscription of $300.

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If the fees don’t phase you, here are some retailers in Singapore that can help you kickstart your cool new hobby.

  • Chye Whatt Sing, located at #02-73, Golden Mile Complex. Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm, Closed on Saturdays/Sundays

  • Black Tactical, located at #04-36, The Adelphi. Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday 12pm-8pm, Closed on Sundays

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2. Buy A Sword

Wow, don’t these surprises just keep coming. First a gun, now a sword?

That’s right, it is legal to own a sword in Singapore. There’s a catch though — you have to be above 18. Sorry kids, but the samurai dream just isn’t gonna happen so soon.

For those above 18, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows too — you’ll have to provide the seller with all your particulars when you buy a sword, and swords are often made blunt for safety purposes.

Not to mention, swords are expensive, and you’re are not allowed to carry the prized possession out in public without any lawful purpose, according to the Singapore Police Force.

Of course, if you’re brave enough to splurge your hard earned money on these inanimate sharp things, you are welcome to buy swords from well-known sword retailers here like Caesars or Sheares Marketing.

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You could also personally import swords into Singapore, but that would mean strict procedures like having to obtain an import licence, and potentially having your sword confiscated or even destroyed.

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Guess we’ll stick to licensed sword retailers.

3. Marry Your Cousin

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Yes, you heard it right. These are the marriages prohibited by the Registry of Marriages, Singapore:

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If you’re observant, you’ll realise that marrying your cousin is not on the list.

Though marriage between cousins is legal, social stigmas still stand firm, so I’ll suggest thinking twice. There’s also the long-standing belief that cousin-and-cousin marriages are considered incest and would bring about birth defects, and experts agree.

According to The Guardian, a study conducted in Bradford points to the fact that marriages between first cousins doubles the risk of children being born with birth defects.

Moreover, The Telegraph reported that “while British Pakistanis were responsible for 3 per cent of all births, they accounted for 30 per cent of British children born with a genetic illness”.

Yep. I don’t know about you, but legal or not, I sure am steering clear of marrying my cousin.

4. Have More Than One Wife

But only if you are Muslim. A Muslim man may marry up to four women, on the condition that he fulfills the financial requirements set by the Registry of Muslim Marriages and has obtained the permission of his existing wives.

While legal, polygamy definitely isn’t prevalent among Singaporean Muslim men — according to the Department of Statistics’ report, only 13 Muslim men had polygamous marriages in 2014 (a.k.a. 0.2% of all Muslim marriages).

5. Have Lesbian Sex

The Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code states that:

Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.

This means that sex between men is officially illegal, even in private. But… there is no mention of women anywhere in this statute. And is no comparable statute that mentions women in this way either.

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Whoever drafted this law may have forgotten that women exist, or are capable of having sex with people other than male persons.

While we’re tempted to say, in the interest of women’s equality, that women should be recognised as sexual beings too, in this case we will pass.

6. Engage In Prostitution

Prostitution in itself is not illegal, but several prostitution-related activities are.

You can be a prostitute or visit a prostitute, but you are forbidden by law to live on the earnings of a prostitute (i.e be a pimp), even if it is consensual. It is also illegal for prostitutes to solicit.

Singapore’s Penal Code prohibits commercial sex with minors under 18. Yet, at the same time, pimps will be penalised for “selling minors for the purposes of prostitution”, with minors here referring to those under 21 years of age.

Essentially, Singapore’s legal landscape regarding prostitution is a complicated and tricky one, abound with restrictions.

A limited number of brothels are unofficially tolerated and monitored — brothel licences are issued by the Anti-Vice Squad of the Singapore Police Force, rendering these brothels safe from police raids. Health checks are also regularly conducted in licensed brothels.

7. Rape Your Wife

Legal things in Singapore_it is legal for a husaband to rape his wife_excuse me

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Section 375(4) of the Penal Code states that:

No man shall be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) [that of rape] against his wife, who is not under 13 years of age…

There are some exceptions to the rule listed though, according to Singapore Statuses Online:

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In simple human terms, assuming the couple is still together, there is no divorce underway, and the wife was not covered by a Protection Order under the Singapore Women’s Charter, the husband is legally allowed to rape his wife.

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Yes gurl, we feel you. Ladies, take note, and get that Protection Order if you have to!

8. Go On Strike

If you want to go strike, go ahead… but only if you inform your employers at least 2 weeks in advance. Which kinda defeats the purpose of a strike, actually.

This is according to Singapore Statuses Online:

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Unfortunately, not everyone can strike, legally.

Legal things in Singapore_striking not for everyone

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9. Install A Home Security Camera

Whether it’s for security reasons, or to spy on a domestic helper or a spouse, more and more Singaporeans want a security camera within their compound.

Fortunately, as long as no one’s personal privacy, way of life, or freedom are being interfered with, you can install one on your own accord.

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However, if you intend to install a voice-recording Closed-Circuit TV camera within your premises, which may serve to keep an eye on neighbours or potentially dangerous passer-bys, you’ll have to seek the permission of the Town Council and Housing Board first.

10. Chewing Chewing Gum

Under Chapter 272A (The Regulation of Imports and Exports Act), no chewing gum is allowed to be sold or brought in to Singapore.

So if you want to chew gum, the gum should preferably magically appear in your hands.

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However, in line with the 2004 United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, chewing gum that is of therapeutic value can be sold.

Some commenters on SG Forums and Singapore Expats’ Forum claim it is possible to buy gum from pharmacies.

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Bonus: Buy A Condom Even If You’re Underaged

There is no legal age to buy a condom in Singapore. They may be displayed near the cashier’s counter in most supermarkets and convenience stores, but that’s just to ensure maximum embarrassment for the buyer.

After all, having a legal age defeats one of the purposes of selling condoms altogether, no? i.e. reducing teenage pregnancies.

Still A Fine City

While the list of things that are legal in Singapore may surprise you, some of them are legal not because the powers that be think they should be legal, but due to omission, i.e. they just haven’t got around to enact any specific laws to criminalise it… yet.

Either that, or it’s legal to do it but you get buried under rules when you try to do it.

So if you want to do it, go ahead but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Featured photo taken from remoingay.