5 Laws in Singapore Everyone Should Know About

Admin 3:20 pm

For the safety and security that we all enjoy here in Singapore, there are a few laws that Singaporeans and foreigners here ought to know about :

Stealing Wifi

A lot of internet users are guilty of this at some point in their lives. Stealing or ‘borrowing’ wifi is not seen as a big issue and some do it habitually. However, under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, stealing wifi counts as ‘Unauthorised use or interception of computer service’, which is similar to hacking.

In 2006, 17 year old teenager Garyl Tan Jia Luo was caught using his neighbour’s wifi without his permission reportedly for online gaming because his mother had confiscated his modem.

District Judge Bala Reddy sentenced him to 18 months probation, including a stint in a boys’ home for his offence. On top of that, he was required to perform community service and was banned from using the internet for one a half years !

He was the first person to be tried under this section, and let his story be a reminder to you to stick to your own wifi network.

The maximum fine under Section 6(1) (Unauthorised use or interception of computer service) is $10,000, 3 years jail, or both.

 

Committing Suicide

Attempting suicide in Singapore is illegal.

However, it is rarely enforced because a person who has attempted suicide is probably emotionally fragile and has to be treated with utmost care so as to not aggravate the situation.

Alternatively, if you aid someone with their suicide plans, you are also committing an offence and are liable to be punished under section 306 (Abetment of Suicide) of the Penal Code, which consists of imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine.

 

Being Naked At Home

There is a common misconception here about being naked in your own home. You are allowed to be naked in your own home (obviously!), BUT you cannot be naked while exposed to public view.

So if you are in the nude while your curtains are not drawn properly, or if there is an open window/door from which others can see you, then you might be committing an offence.

This offence falls under Section 27A of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act which states that a person who appears nude in a private place and is exposed to public view shall be guilty and is liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000, 3 months imprisonment, or both.

So if you want to be in the nude while at home, make sure the public can’t see you.

 

Smoking Areas

The government’s long term goal is to eventually prohibit smoking in all public areas, except at Designated Smoking Areas. This is done to protect non-smokers from the effects of second-hand smoke. That being said, there are simply too many areas to list, (full list of places here) , so instead we have listed the areas where smoking is allowed :

  • Beaches
  • Residential Homes
  • Private vehicles (e.g. cars), as long as no second-hand tobacco smoke is expelled (i.e. windows are fully wound up)
  • Open space in residential estates
  • Open public spaces except within the Orchard Road Precinct Smoke-Free Zone
  • Open space in town centres
  • Surface carparks
  • Uncovered areas on the top deck of multi-storey carparks buildings
  • Uncovered walkways
  • Vacant land
  • Designated smoking areas
  • Approved smoking rooms at entertainment outlets, offices and Changi Airport
  • Approved smoking corners at outdoor refreshment areas of food establishments

Source : NEA

The fine for smoking in prohibited places is $200, or up to $1,000 if convicted in court. On a side note, for underage persons caught smoking, the fine can go up to $300.

 

Laws on Pornography

It is illegal to keep, distribute or sell pornographic material, which falls under Section 30 of the Film Act, Section 12 of the Undesirable Publications Act and Section 292 of the Penal Code.

However, it is legal to view pornographic material as long as you do not download or store any of it on your device.

 

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