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4. Singapore: What to Avoid

Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. Illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is strictly prohibited.

Any individual found keeping, possessing, having under his control, discharging or letting off dangerous fireworks (including firecrackers, rocket fireworks, sand crackers and such other fireworks) is liable to a fine not exceeding SGD 5,000 or imprisonment for up to 2 years or both.

Charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries, and on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races are the only authorised forms of gambling in Singapore. All other gambling activities are illegal in Singapore. 

Apart from banks and hotels, money can be changed wherever the sign Licensed Money Changer is displayed. Most shopping complexes have a licensed money changer. Visitors are discouraged from changing money with unlicensed money changers

The Singapore Government has and will continue to be vigilant in ensuring that Singapore remains safe. It has stepped up security measures at key installations and other sensitive places. The Government has also made it known that extremism originating from religion or race has no place in Singapore and it will not hesitate to take action against any extremist or terrorist groups or individuals. 

Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. Offenders can be fined up to SGD 1,000. While it is an offence to smoke in air-conditioned eating places, smoking is permitted in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots. 

Spitting in public places is an offence. 

Tipping is not encouraged as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers’ bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore and is prohibited at the airport. 

Touting and Soliciting. While shopping in Singapore is a hassle-free and pleasurable experience, there have been incidents of touting and soliciting. There have also been occasions where visitors felt pressured into buying products or services from vendors who approached them on the streets. Please keep in mind your right as a consumer not to go into any transaction with any of these vendors. If you are not interested, ignore the touts or tell them firmly you are not interested and then walk away.

Here is a short list of what to be wary of: 

  • representatives from companies selling timeshare programmes, promising freebies or deals if you fill in a survey form, visit their showroom or attend a briefing at their office.
  • representatives claiming to be from reputable department stores selling premium products like perfume or watches at attractive prices.
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TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific editorial team has an experience of over 35 years in B2B travel journalism as well as in tourism & hospitality marketing and communications.

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