If you’re told to pinpoint Singapore on the world map, you’d really have a hard time locating this tiny island nation. After questing relentlessly for a while, you bump on a tiny, microscopic dot between Indonesia and Malaysia with Singapore written all over it. Although more than 5 million people are squeezed into a total land of area of approximately 274 sq miles, Singapore is billed as one of the cleanest cities in the world.
According to many travel and tourism websites, Singapore ranks amongst the top five spotless cities in the world. Successive governments in Singapore have upheld the commitment to keeping the city clean and Singaporeans have well adapted to the government’s cleanliness policies and are very particular about not transgressing the laws that are nothing short of Draconian.
You could be fined on the spot for spitting or littering or even chewing gum and spitting it out in a public place by plainclothes policemen who appear out of nowhere! So before you can plan a trip to Singapore, apprise yourself of all the strictures on dos’ and don’ts to save your skin in public as many tourists traveling to the city-state for the first time end up paying hefty fines for as mundane an act as chomping on a stick of chewing gum and then spewing it out.
You’re constantly under surveillance
Once you head to the metropolis from the Changi International Airport which keeps on winning numerous awards and accolades for being one of the swankiest and tidiest airports in the world, you enter a high surveillance region. When you step out of the hotel for sampling the local cuisines on the streets or taking a walk through any of the numerous boulevards, you’re constantly being watched by policemen dressed in civil clothes.
You’ll not be able to spot them as they’re intermingled with the crowd and keep moving from one spot to another but nobody knows better than Singaporeans that they can catch you unawares if you happen to spit or litter. Apart from the numerous epithets that Singapore has earned (‘Lion City’, ‘Garden City’, ‘Little Red Dot’, and so on), it won’t at all be out of place to add one more-‘Police-State’.
Orchard Road which is the most bustling shopping district in Singapore has close to 700 police officers in plainclothes from the National Environment Agency that have a knack for swooping down on people committing even the smallest of misdeeds.
Fines are quite hefty
Just try dropping a cigarette stub on the elevator of a supermarket or discarding an empty soda can on the street pavement. From nowhere a policeman will appear and hand you a penalty ticket. It could be anything in the range of $700-1000 Singapore dollars that is equivalent to $600-800 USD which is quite a sum. So now you why Singapore is able to keep itself clinically clean. You’ll come across many billboards and hoardings that list the guidelines for keeping the city spotless. Although it is not illegal to chew gum in Singapore but importing the same in bulk, and then peddling it is. Refrain from jay-walking, littering or spitting as long as you’re on the streets.
Singapore is almost crime free
Singapore is so safe that even a heavily bejewelled lady can move around in the streets late at night without the fear of being mugged or molested. And contrary to what you may think, policing is not very strong at night to nab you red-handed. Singaporeans have ingrained it into their psyche that it‘s not only illegal but also immoral to waylay un-chaperoned women or even men for that matter.
The public toilets in Singapore are so clean that you won’t feel like urinating or emptying your bowels that might mar the sparkle. The first prime of the country, Lee Kwan Yew was the pioneer who set down stringent rules for growth and development and his policies have transformed Singapore in a manner that has caught the attention of the entire world!