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Singapore laws I should be aware of

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singaus
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Singapore laws I should be aware of

Postby singaus » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 2:30 am

So I've recently been offered a teaching job in Singapore. The package is very nice, but the one concern that I and my family all have is the laws in Singapore. Singapore obviously has very strict laws. Most of them won't affect me; I am not talking about forgetting to flush the toilet, chewing gum, doing drugs, or littering.

I'm mostly worried about freedom of speech issues, specifically Singapore defamation laws and issues such as monitoring the internet for criticism. I'm fairly outspoken and I have very progressive leanings. How much of my behavior will I have to curb, what topics should I avoid (I am already aware that race, politics, religion should be avoided), and how difficult would it be to avoid them? Also, have any of you living in Singapore had any difficulties in watching what you say both in real life and on the internet that you normally would not worry about back in your home countries?

I thank you for any advice that you may have on this topic.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 3:08 am

Welcome to the forum Singaus.

Do as Singaporeans do, hold and express what ever views you like, but only in private amongst trusted friends and family. Otherwise, in public, play the ball and not the man. I.e. debate a policy rather than the personalities/politicians behind it. You will become a master of nuance I expect.

Finger pointing (never mind derogatory comment) at current ruling politicians is your main taboo IMHO - the rest don’t worry too much, I hardly see you as a potential hate-preacher.

Yes sometimes I do find myself having to bite my lip with high-up SGn acquaintances, simply because you never quite know where many of them have their true colours pinned. But the fact is most of them claim to be totally disinterested in politics anyway.

Don’t worry about it. There isn’t freedom of speech in SG, but you very quickly learn what can and can’t be said, where and when. I remember all those years back having the precisely the same fear: And you too will be fine too.

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Postby Brah » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 7:47 am

Basically there are rules for things that aren't necessary, rules for things that should be common sense, and a lack of common sense requiring rules that haven't been implemented yet.

And what JR said.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 8:27 am

Actually there is freedom of speech in Singapore (it's constitutionally protected) but there is also a higher level of responsibility for ones speech as defamation laws are rigorously enforced.

I'd only worry about outrage of modesty and 377A here. You'll find Singapore has a perception of being quite lawful and rigid but actually the laws aren't really enforced that much.
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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 9:45 am

By your monicker I'd say you're from Aust.

Here's what's better (wrt laws);

No more speed cameras every 1km (there are a few tho) set with +2 kph tolerances (here it's at least 10, sometimes 19 kph).

No more booze buses.

No more stop and search on the railway.

No more sniffer dogs outside clubs.

No more ATO and a tax rate of about 1/10 of what you're used to.

No more armed police everywhere.

No more BULLYs in the police force - here they remember who pays their salary - the people!

No more ridiculous endless litigation and lawsuits.

No more Julia Gillard!
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Postby nutnut » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 10:58 am

No e-cigarettes! They are illegal because they may turn young people to crack coccaine apparently!!
nutnut

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:25 am

nutnut wrote:No e-cigarettes! They are illegal because they may turn young people to crack coccaine apparently!!


Not at all. This is Singapore, follow the money. How do you earn re-occurring tax revenue off a re-usable eCig? Better to have addicts dumping $10+ per pack.

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 3:48 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
nutnut wrote:No e-cigarettes! They are illegal because they may turn young people to crack coccaine apparently!!


Not at all. This is Singapore, follow the money. How do you earn re-occurring tax revenue off a re-usable eCig? Better to have addicts dumping $10+ per pack.


not the tax part .. honestly

there is a lot of 'unkowns' in E-Cig use, as well as a lot of people considering it as a risk-free intro to smoking ..

And on top of all, most E-Cigs are made in China !! that's food for thought I guess

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 4:25 pm

ecureilx wrote:not the tax part .. honestly

there is a lot of 'unkowns' in E-Cig use, as well as a lot of people considering it as a risk-free intro to smoking ..


No, it's Singapore. It is about the money. Tell me you also believe COE and ERP is structured the way it is as congestion control and not revenue generation too?

ecureilx wrote:And on top of all, most E-Cigs are made in China !! that's food for thought I guess


Most *everything* is made in China. If it's not, some part of it most likely is. How's that for "food for thought"?

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 5:14 pm

zzm9980 wrote:No, it's Singapore. It is about the money. Tell me you also believe COE and ERP is structured the way it is as congestion control and not revenue generation too?


About that, won't it be easier and far more effective to just cap the number of vehicles on the road, right? :wink:

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 5:15 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
ecureilx wrote:And on top of all, most E-Cigs are made in China !! that's food for thought I guess


Most *everything* is made in China. If it's not, some part of it most likely is. How's that for "food for thought"?


Well, i was thinking aloud .. maybe the concern is more towards "consumables" which are more of a health risk (yes, there is concern for smokers .. by ensuring they don't smoke rubbish :D :D )

And that reminds me of my former discipline master .. (when I was in Secondary 5) when a few of us were caught by the Physics teacher and were getting reprimanded, in walked our Discipline master and listened to the story and said "boys, you are old enough .. if you want to smoke, try not to smoke cheap fags and spoil your lungs and all .. go back to your class now .. " :D

I am not kidding .. ;)

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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 5:17 pm

Are e cigs illegal to import privately?

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Postby Sergei82 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 5:38 pm

Hannieroo wrote:Are e cigs illegal to import privately?

They will fine you if they find it.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 6:07 pm

Well this has given Singaus both a snapshot insight into how a government policy (COE/ERP) can be publicly debated and - in part within consideration of the whole - criticised without fear; together with pondering why some of the random stuff that is banned is banned...


:)

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Re: Singapore laws I should be aware of

Postby taxico » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 6:48 pm

singaus wrote:...I'm mostly worried about freedom of speech issues, specifically Singapore defamation laws and issues such as monitoring the internet for criticism. I'm fairly outspoken and I have very progressive leanings. How much of my behavior will I have to curb, what topics should I avoid (I am already aware that race, politics, religion should be avoided), and how difficult would it be to avoid them? Also, have any of you living in Singapore had any difficulties in watching what you say both in real life and on the internet that you normally would not worry about back in your home countries?


don't make public (ie, on a soap box in orchard road or on your public blog) libelous or defamatory comments.

singapore's standards/tests for libel/defamation differ a little for public figures (ie, politicians).

as you've noted: avoid cursing others' religions, making racially spurious remarks, and baseless accusations against politicians and you'll be okay.

you can criticize the government/ministry "as a whole" but not a specific minister for his actions/inactions.

you're over thinking it.


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