Chewing gum legalized in Singapore

After twelve years, Singapore has relaxed its ban on chewing gum. But not so fast.

Before Singaporeans think about unwrapping a pack of Wrigley's Orbit gum that's just started selling here -- and only in pharmacies -- they must submit their names and ID card numbers. If they don't, pharmacists who sell them gum could be jailed up to two years and fined 5,000 Singapore dollars ($2,940).

Chewing gum, or more precisely the threat of chewing gum, is employed in the wonderful movie I Not Stupid, which I heartily recommend. It seems to revel in the mixed feelings Singaporeans harbor towards their own culture. (My favorite character is the chubby kid.)

Comments (16)
  1. B.Y. says:

    Banning chewing gums, now name and ID to buy them ? I wonder how they feel about "a man with a gun is a citizen, a man without a gun is a subject". Replace gun with chewing gum.

  2. Chris Nahr says:

    As I recall they banned chewing gum because people would spit their chewed-out gum all over the place. Singapore is a densely populated city state. Having lived in a rather large and very dirty city myself, I certainly see the point of this ban…

  3. Florian says:

    I am deeply disappointed. Such wusses, giving in to some fat, gum chewing, spitting Yankees. This is the beginning of the end.

    Actually the event that finally lead to the ban on chewing gums was that people thought it to be funny to preventing the doors of the subway to close by sticking gum to the sensors.

  4. MilesArcher says:

    Most countries would just tax the heck out of it rather than ban it.

  5. Being a Singaporean, I would say this issue is overrated.

    However, being a Singaporean (one who wants lots of freedom), I think the Singaporean Govt is making a mountain out of a molehill.

  6. Aarrgghh says:

    You’re right, B.Y. Gum control is thin end of the police-state wedge. Ruby Ridge happened because the Weavers sold a Bazooka Joe comic to a skinhead posing as an ATF agent.

    Florian: "the event that finally lead"?! I sure hope you’re not a native speaker of English.

  7. Raymond Chen says:

    Florian is a regular here and he’s a native German speaker as I recall.

  8. Raymond Chen says:

    "The straw that broke the camel’s back" is the corresponding English phrase, but I’m certain Florian already knew that and was just teasing me. (The German phrase literally means "The drop that caused the barrel to overflow.")

    The phrase is kind of altmodisch nowadays. A more fashionable alternative might be "the tipping point".

  9. Florian says:

    No, I really didn’t know, thanks for telling me.

    Reading that first post again, I now absolutely deny having written that. Some evil gnome must have been gnawing at some cable and altering the text during transmission. Or ‘t was my evil twin brother. I mean, "to preventing the doors of the subway to close"? Ew.

    Sorry, "Aarrgghh", I feel your pain. :) I’ll have the Ethernet Scrutinizer come by tomorrow to take care of that gnome.

    (Although I somehow still fail to see the mistake in "the envent that finally lead".)

  10. Raymond Chen says:

    Should be "led", past tense of "to lead".

  11. Florian says:

    "Aarrgghh" said: "I sure hope you’re not a native speaker of English."

    You hope right. <pauses> Your hope is true. <ouch> Do I make you cringe, yet? =)

    Serious, no I am not. Now you made me blush. Unfortunately I have the feeling that my English skills are rather decreasing instead of increasing over time. You know, you would have done me a favour had you suggested a correct wording. In German it would be "der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen brachte", which I can’t think of a good English equivalent for. Now let’s see if Raymond can translate *that*.

  12. Keith Moore [exmsft] says:

    Florian: If the evil Gnome is really causing problems, try KDE instead…

  13. Florian says:

    Uh, oh, uhm… typo!

  14. Molewood6 says:

    Just heard about this monentous change in the law. That bit about the ID is ominous. All they need to do is instruct the pharmacy to get a saliva sample and log it with the "registered user’s" ID. Then they can trace any wad of gum found spat out in a public place. I not stupid.

  15. Raymond Chen says:

    Commenting on this article is closed.

Comments are closed.

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