With the new year comes Singapore’s latest package of laws that come into effect, and it’s important to know about them (in case you didn’t want to go to jail.)
But if you don’t mind paying hefty fines and possibly living in Changi Prison for a few years, you can completely ignore the following and just keep doing you:
Using Personal Mobility Devices on footpaths can send you to jail
What started as an abrupt ban on personal mobility devices or PMDs on November 5 has now turned into a divisive issue in Singapore. The only place PMDs are allowed are on shared footpaths, which are wider and have safety features that regular footpaths don’t have.
Gravely-affected PMD users who are often food couriers or delivery workers have tried to get the ban reversed, but without any success.
Any person using a PMD on the road or footpath could be fined $2,000 and jailed for six months. Until January 1, 2020, though, they’d only get a warning. So far, the Singapore Police Force has issued hundreds of warnings.
Contributing to risk of fire
The revised Criminal Law Reform Act which was passed in Parliament in May 2019 included a new charge called, “causing or substantially contributing to the risk of a dangerous fire” can carry fines, or both jail time and fines.
This means that innocuous actions such as improper disposal of cigarette butts or even leaving a stationary PMD could be punishable by law, especially if that object was the cause of a fire.
One of the cited problems of PMDs are the fire safety issues, where a lot of them spontaneously combusted, even when they weren’t plugged into a power outlet. Several apartments and HDBs have been razed by such fires in the latter part of 2019.
Various sexual acts criminalized
What started as Monica Baey’s series of Instagram stories calling out Nicholas Lim for his voyeurism has turned into legislation that can now criminalize anyone who is caught taking upskirt photos, spreading revenge porn, sharing of unsolicited photos of genitalia, and accessing databases that contain personal, nude photographs.
Stealthing, or the removal of a condom prior to sex without the consent of the partner will also be criminalized, as well as sexual communication of any sort with minors.
Protecting minors, the disabled, and domestic workers
Causing harm or death to vulnerable groups is also going to carry criminal charges.
Decriminalization of suicide
If you try to end your life and fail, or change your mind after you’ve tried, you will no longer be persecuted. Doctors who assist patients in committing suicide, though, can still be sent to jail.
No more immunity for marital rape
Being married is no longer a defense for rape, and part of the non-consensual acts that can be penalized under the new legislation include penetration of the anus and mouth.