Singapore the Lion City is a global commerce, finance and transport hub which ranks high on its national social policies. Are you aware that chewing gums are banned in Singapore? As I have enlighten you about the ban the next question that should cross your mind is ‘who has impose this ban and why?’
The history of this ban goes way back to 90’s; in 1992 the prime minister of Singapore imposed a ban on chewing gum. The whole purpose for imposing ban was the leftover of the chewing gum which was causing serious maintenance problems in streets, staircases, elevators, pavements, city buses and other public areas.
The problem became more severe when the vandals had begun sticking chewing gum on the door sensors of Mass Rapid Transit the local railway system which was the largest public project implemented by Singapore government in 90’s. The leftover chewing gums in Mass Rapid Transit caused great financial problems to the metro maintenance staff and hence the ban was imposed.
After lot of pressure from other countries in 2004 the law binding ban on chewing gums was changed in which use of some small amounts of therapeutic dental chewing gums is legal but only after doctors prescription. Tourists that visit Singapore are allowed to bring chewing gum with them, but only maximum of two packs per person. Any more than that and they will be susceptible to be charged with “gum smuggling” which carries the penalty of one year in jail and $5,500 fine. People that are caught with leaving chewing gum remains in the public space can be charged with monetary fine, community work, or often public beating with the bamboo stick.
What India should learn from Singapore?
In India you will not find too much of chewing gums leftover in the public spaces but you will surely find the red color pan spits all over the wall and streets. There is a lesson for Indian government to be learnt from Singapore. Can Indian government impose ban on Pan Shops?