LAXspotter
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Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:00 am

I've been to Singapore many times, been outside of the airport and checked out the place, but Ive noticed that Singapore is quite strict when it comes to certain things like Drugs, but here are a couple of more things that I'm puzzled about, why are Publications by the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Unification Church illegal, and why is porn illegal? Seems kind of strange for such a "Westernized" Country in Asia? I'm sure there are other things that are illegal in singapore that would otherwise be okay in European countries and in America?
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:17 am

Quoting LAXspotter (Thread starter):
I'm sure there are other things that are illegal in singapore that would otherwise be okay in European countries and in America?

chewing gum is also illegal in singapore. I wish more countries would ban it, disgusting stuff that makes a hell of a mess!
 
cabso1
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:54 am

Yeah, loads of things are illegal in Singapore. However, the irony is that prostitution is legal, but a public display of homosexuality isn't. I really don't understand this country sometimes.

Why wouldn't SIngapore be strict in drugs? A lot of countries are.
 
WestJetYQQ
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:24 am

You aren't allowed to spit in the street there either, but a lot of North American cities are implementing that law now as well.
Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.
 
LAXspotter
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:45 am

Quoting Cabso1 (Reply 3):
Yeah, loads of things are illegal in Singapore. However, the irony is that prostitution is legal, but a public display of homosexuality isn't. I really don't understand this country sometimes.

yeah there are those things

And about the Drug issue, I think it has to do with the majority Chinese background of the country. When western imperialism over China began, many of the Chinese were heavily addicted to drugs such as Opium, and this historical perspective probably led to the Singaporean government to be so DAMN strict about drugs.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:03 am

All I can say is Singapore is a very orderly society, some of the things that happen there puzzle many. Many things implemented there (Drugs, spitting, etc etc..) are very good ideas and should be implemented by many other countries in my opinion. But this whole westernised thing I hear alot about from Singaporeans...

And all this about it being a 'westernized' country is not true. It is less 'westernized' as many people make it out to be, the traditions of asian culture is still strong, and some laws in place push it away from being a total 'western' country. Singapore much of the time percieves itself as being a 'western nation' but in fact it is not, its just a strict Asian country trying to be good friends with the States.

Many Singaporeans I know are very good at kissing arse as well in order to get what they want. Of course not all are like that, but many in the 'higher up society' are. Many a time have I seen back stabbing and arse kissing for personal gain, and from many many of them. Many Singaporeans I know are very narrow minded and have very little respect for other countries around the world to the point where you feel offended in your own nation, imagine that a second class citizen in your own country.

The group of people I am talking about do not have the western mindeset of politeness and being subtle. I have been told many times how crap NZ and other countries are and heard them talk about how Singapore should be the centre of the world

As I said before, not all are like this. There are alot of very nice people there, but this kind of this happens more so than in other countries from my observations. It is a nice country and many things are how an ideal society should be like, but some of it is overboard.

And befroe you flame me, My family are Singaporean, some of my so called 'friends' are Singaporean (When they need things) and I have lived there for a decent amount of time. There are many nice people but alot of things are to do with power, status, money, materials and face. These things are more Eastern traits when compared to countries and societies such as NZ and Australia where they are not too much of an issue.

This is an honest opinion from some one who have been and lived there while NOT ON HOLIDAY. So that means minus the smiling faces and hospitality etc etc...

[Edited 2007-09-16 03:04:40]

[Edited 2007-09-16 03:08:19]

[Edited 2007-09-16 03:10:10]
 
ronglimeng
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:29 am

I can't find the exact numbers, but the population of Singapore is at least 75% Chinese.

If you've ever read any of the Trip Reports in other forum pertaining to Chinese passengers, a common opinion is that a lot of them are big-time rule-breakers or rule-ignorers.

When Singapore became independent, I think the Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew decided that they would do some social engineering and turn the place into a country where rules were taken seriously. Hence the rather Draconian laws and punishments. Gee, I think you can even be fined for forgetting to flush a public toilet. Some people may think this is a good law!

They seem to have executions there every Friday - at least it seemed like that to me when I was there on a project in 1985-86.

Remember Michael Fay, the delinquent American kid who was caned for vandalism in Singapore?

Its not exactly a liberal democracy but a lot of people seem to like it the way it is.
 
Blackbird
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:42 am

Well it's a matter of how they view the whole of society vs the individual.

In America we care a great deal about individual rights and we try to balance them against the rights of society as well. Singappore cares about the whole of society more than the individual, seemingly this doesn't seem unreasonable, but many rights in america that would be considered basic rights are to protect the individual, and since the Asians don't think that way, a lot of personal freedoms end up going over the wayside.

They know drugs cause serious effects to society, so when they find people with drugs, they view it as simply eliminating the "problem".

Unfortunately most evolved societies would view taking a person, dropping them with a rope tied around their neck in such a way as to snap their neck and kill them, or slowly strangle them to death (Hanging) because they had a bunch of weed or a bit of heroin on them is barbaric, inhuman, and even crazy. Most evolved societies have largely banned the death penalty, but the ones that have it usually consider it unreasonable except under the most heinous acts (Murder / Espionage, etc)

Of course there are some people who will disagree with me...


Andrea Kent
 
ltbewr
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:50 am

From what I understand about Singapore, it is largely a Chinese ethnic dominated, ex British colonial territory surrounded by a largely Islamic country. That means a strongly authoritarian government structure, a desire to have a great deal of order and stability and to minimise possible offenses of their Islamic neighbors and workers who work in the city-state. That is probably a simple (or even overly simple) explanation of their unique policies.
 
cabso1
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:16 pm

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 5):

You know, I'm not Singaporean, but in the short time that I've live here and observed the culture, I can safely say that you've spoken like a true Singaporean, or a person who has lived here for a long time. I concur with all your points.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 8):
it is largely a Chinese ethnic dominated, ex British colonial territory surrounded by a largely Islamic country.

You've hit the nail on the spot right there. I had a cabbie yesterday, and when I told him that National Service was a bit rubbish, and what's the point of it, he turned around and told me that they need to be scared of all the Muslims around them.
 
LAXspotter
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:45 pm

Quoting Cabso1 (Reply 9):
You've hit the nail on the spot right there. I had a cabbie yesterday, and when I told him that National Service was a bit rubbish, and what's the point of it, he turned around and told me that they need to be scared of all the Muslims around them.

what I dont understand is how the hell did the Chinese come become the rulers of Singapore? What did the Malay's do so wrong to become minorities in their own ethnic land?
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
cabso1
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 10):
what I dont understand is how the hell did the Chinese come become the rulers of Singapore? What did the Malay's do so wrong to become minorities in their own ethnic land?

Wiki's your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_in_Singapore#History

I didn't actually know that, it's a bit of an interesting read.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:21 pm

Quoting LAXspotter (Thread starter):
Seems kind of strange for such a "Westernized" Country in Asia? I'm sure there are other things that are illegal in singapore that would otherwise be okay in European countries and in America?

Singapore has never been a westernized country. Yes, there are many things illegal in Singapore which are legal in other countries. And there are many things legal in Singapore which are illegal in the west. That's true of almost any country.

Back in the early 1970's when I first visited Singapore, the police was stand at the gate where our US Navy ships docked - and send sailors back to the ship to change into 'more appropriate clothing' or to have their hair cut because it was too long.

My view is Singapore is much like France about outside influences, just many times for effective.

Quite frankly the government in Singapore doesn't give one hoot in heck what is legal in other countries, what is acceptable behavior in other countries.

They are going to run their country their way and if you don't like it - leave !!!
 
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moo
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:02 am

Quoting Cabso1 (Reply 2):
Yeah, loads of things are illegal in Singapore. However, the irony is that prostitution is legal, but a public display of homosexuality isn't. I really don't understand this country sometimes.

Well, the obvious thing about the two examples you picked is that in many cases prostitution is forced, while homosexuality is a personal choice and should not be illegal
 
ajd1992
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 13):

Well, the obvious thing about the two examples you picked is that in many cases prostitution is forced, while homosexuality is a personal choice and should not be illegal

Not to nitpick, but being gay isn't a choice. Just gets on my nerves a bit when people say that.

I'd visit Singapore, but i suppose it would be like being spied on. I don't think i would like it. The government even blocks porn sites - I'd expect that from for example, Saudi Arabia but not a country that has several religions practiced in it (according to wiki).
 
andz
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:58 am

Quoting LAXspotter (Thread starter):
otherwise be okay in European countries and in America

It never ceases to amaze me how Americans are so dumbfounded when other countries don't fit their norms. Get with the program, the US is not the world.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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moo
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 14):
Not to nitpick, but being gay isn't a choice. Just gets on my nerves a bit when people say that.

Not to nitpick as well, but it can easily be a choice - you don't have to be 'born gay', you can choose to be gay as well.

Regardless of how you came to be gay at any particular moment in time, you should not be penalised for it.
 
bagpiper
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting Andz (Reply 15):

It never ceases to amaze me how Americans are so dumbfounded when other countries don't fit their norms. Get with the program, the US is not the world.

I agree.

The whole word does not wake up at 7, eat a bagel for breakfast, drive to work in rush hour, get an hour for lunch, work at a desk for another 5 hours, then go home and watch TV.

There are other people, other cultures, and other customs out there. The world is one big helluva place, and to think that you or your customs are the center or the norm... well... sorry to say it, but thats wrong.

I'm not saying that everybody here acts like that... but... ugh its annoying.

Sure, it seems weird that they restrict gum, or that they are hard on drug users, but, thats their prerogative.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 16):
Not to nitpick as well, but it can easily be a choice - you don't have to be 'born gay', you can choose to be gay as well.

Always to nitpick, as that's what I'm known for on this b!tch-- you can choose to engage in homosexual activity (as anyone familiar with the gay porn industry can tell you) but cannot to "be" gay.

Just as a Caucasian could choose to "act Black" (I hate that phrase) but not "be" Black.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
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moo
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:03 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 18):
Always to nitpick, as that's what I'm known for on this b!tch-- you can choose to engage in homosexual activity (as anyone familiar with the gay porn industry can tell you) but cannot to "be" gay.

I respectfully disagree  Smile
 
ajd1992
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:15 am

Moo, are you gay?

If you're not, then here's my point of view -

As a bisexual, i can fully vouch for the "born gay" theory. I've always felt the way i do and i dare say gay people are the same.
 
LAXspotter
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting Andz (Reply 15):
It never ceases to amaze me how Americans are so dumbfounded when other countries don't fit their norms. Get with the program, the US is not the world.

holy crap, I was just pointing out some differences, and I am labeled as that stereotypical american, geez. I've been to Singapore many times, I am amazed at how affluent singapore is compared to other countries in the area, but I just wanted to know why certain things were illegal, I am an immigrant to America so I've had to fit into the norms of the US, so I am aware of other countries and their norms but to me Singapore seemed like a country that was trying to "fit" into the western world yet was lacking some basic principles and please lets not turn this into whether being gay is a choice or not.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
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moo
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:47 am

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 20):
Moo, are you gay?

Does it matter?  Wink
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:20 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 22):
Does it matter?

Yes.
Because if not, we'd looove to know what source you draw upon as evidence (that you feel is) sufficient to contradict the virtual consensus of those who've been living out the situation of topic, every day of our lives.

Quoting Andz (Reply 15):

It never ceases to amaze me how Americans are so dumbfounded when other countries don't fit their norms. Get with the program, the US is not the world.

Oh grow up. No one said nor even implied that it is, and the O.P. was merely questioning the origin of laws that he's not familiar with-- which people do even in their home countries.

[Edited 2007-09-16 23:23:02]
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ajd1992
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:21 am

In the context of my post, it does. If you are, it makes me look like a total ass.
 
LAXspotter
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:22 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 23):
Yes.
Because if not, we'd looove to know what source you draw upon as evidence (that you feel is) sufficient to contradict the virtual consensus of those who've been living out the situation of topic, every day of our lives.

damn it, this thread is about singapore and has descended to be about if whether one is born gay or not, can you open another thread and argue till your heart's content.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:23 am

Was already amended/added to before you rant. Chill out.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
docpepz
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:50 pm

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 14):
I'd visit Singapore, but i suppose it would be like being spied on

All governments spy on other countries and on their own citizens to some extent. It would be naive to think it doesn't happen anywhere else. Though I don't think the govt of Singapore would spy on me or you unless we're a real threat.

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 21):
but to me Singapore seemed like a country that was trying to "fit" into the western world yet was lacking some basic principles

I don't think Singapore ever tried to "fit" into the western world. Yes, the education system is entirely in English based on the British education system, yes the legal system is based on English common law. The entire business world in Singapore is structured to make doing business as easy and seamless as possible for MNCs. But in many ways Singapore retains its Asian roots and culture. Also, what "basic principles" does Singapore lack?

There is also an unwritten social contract between Singaporeans and the ruling government - We let them get away with having a one-party state so long as they deliver us a high standard of living. It's a contract I myself as a Singaporean am perfectly happy with. It has worked very well for us for 42 years. It's not as if if I lived in a liberal democracy that I would be desperate to take part in demonstrations or what not to throw out the government of the day.
 
bill142
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:58 pm

Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 1):
chewing gum is also illegal in singapore.

No it's not. It's illegal to sell it yes, but it's not illegal to bring small amounts into the country.
 
Superfly
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:48 pm

What is so hard about respecting the laws of the country you are visiing?

Quoting LAXspotter (Thread starter):
Publications by the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Unification Church illegal

That is good to know. I wish other countries did this and I wish it would extended to other religions as well.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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Coal
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:58 pm

I've been living in S'pore for about 11 months now and honestly I barely feel the difference between not being able to chew gum, buy a Barely Legal, or smoke a fatty, than to be living in any other country in the West.

However, all the rules have made the S'porean populace, IMHO, very square and on many occasions unable to think outside the box. Try ordering a non-alcoholic drink at a bar, getting a double, or switching roast beef for turkey at Subway. You're gonna have to talk to the manager or even to the owner if you intend to break those rules!  wink 

Cheers
Coal

[Edited 2007-09-17 16:00:10]
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cabso1
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:31 pm

Quoting Coal (Reply 30):
However, all the rules have made the S'porean populace, IMHO, very square and on many occasions unable to think outside the box. Try ordering a non-alcoholic drink at a bar, getting a double, or switching roast beef for turkey at Subway. You're gonna have to talk to the manager or even to the owner if you intend to break those rules!

Coal, can you understand what they say at Subway? I've been living here for 12 months now, and I can't understand anything when I'm ordering fast food.
 
bill142
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:32 pm

Quoting Cabso1 (Reply 31):
I've been living here for 12 months now, and I can't understand anything when I'm ordering fast food.

Go to MOS burger on Orchard Rd then, above Isetan.
 
ag92
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:58 pm

I am born and brought up in Singapore and I have one opinion

However strict Singapore is, it is because of this strictness I can go out, enjoy life and come back home and not even have to worry about something happening. I can travel alone in the middle of the night. I am pretty sure if I was to step into a cab at 2AM, I wouldnt be in any trouble at all. It is just so safe.

I think what I have said above can rarely be achieved anywhere else. My friend who used to live in Singapore still misses Singapore, and the amount of freedom she would get. Once she is outside her house in America, she has to be with someone elder otherwise it is unsafe

Back home in India, I dare not to step outside without someone at least doing a job. It just scares the heck out of me.

Back to Singapore, I have so much freedom, I do things at my own will and not have to worry about crimes.

Yes Singapore does have lots of rules, it can be annoying at times, but I have learnt to live with it, and I am a happy fellow living in Singapore. Life can be hard sometimes due to these rules, but in the end, I know when I leave Singapore I will struggle more than anyone else with the loss of freedom, regardless of what I may be saying today

Regards
Ag92
 
cabso1
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RE: Why Are Certain Things Illegal In Singapore?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:25 pm

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 32):
Go to MOS burger on Orchard Rd then, above Isetan.

Been there, and I have to agree, that ordering can be easier than Subways or McDs

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