Inspiration & Thoughts

Chewing gum

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When I was in New Zealand, I get to talk to a few people from all over the world. There was this Germany guy who show sparkles in his eyes when he first heard I am from Singapore, and he posted me his first question about Singapore.

“Is it true, that you cannot chew gums in Singapore?”

I was amused.

Ok… Let me explain…. Gums had been in my life in Singapore all the while… till 1992. For some reason, the government decided that the vandalisation caused by the gum (e.g sticking it on places like chairs or tables, on the streets, public transports) is too unacceptable that they decided to ban the gums under the “Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations.”. No importing or selling of gums is allowed. There’s no specific law (that I am awared of) that bans people from buying the gums (unless they purchase in bulks from overseas – which then make them offended the importing regulation), but when there is no supply, the demand naturally dies off.

In the recent few years (wikipedia says since 2004), Singapore Government finally recognised the health benefits of certain gums, and lifted the ban partially, such that some people can buy these medicinal gum from dentists or pharmacists, with their names taken down for the purchase.

To save all hassle. Just have your fun chewing gums any other countries, but once you are in Singapore, be a good kid and have some mint sweet to keep yourself feeling refresh instead.

However, do remember not to eat the sweets on public transports – especially Buses, Trains (MRTs), Singapore police usually have more serious work than catching passenger whom are supposed to be fine for “eating” on the public transport, but there’s some passengers who are too eager to play hero and want to hunt down all the “sweet eater passenger” to expose them and shame them.


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  1. I had this conversation with my ex colleagues and one of them mentioned that one of the main reason the ban was executed because the vandalism with chewing gums was so bad that some of the vandals stuck the gums on the train doors, causing problems with the train doors sensors, hence disrupting train services.

    All along I only thought people stuck them on seats and other places that caused trouble to public, but did not know it caused so much trouble with the trains. Haha I read up more on wikipedia after reading your post.

  2. Haha. Yah. I think the MRT problem is the limit.. because we have been living with the problem for so many years but no steps is taken. T_T

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