Singapore is the only country in the world that has banned chewing gum. And even though this decision may sound weird, it seems that there’s a pretty good reason for it: to keep the country clean.
The ban was introduced in 1992 by Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime minister since its independence in 1965. Lee’s dream was to establish Singapore as a “first-world oasis in a third-world region”. One of the ways to establish that and along with efficient transportations and foreign investments, was by the country’s cleanliness. (the article continues after the ad)
Lee, being a perfectionist, always considered chewing gums as a threat to its country’s tidiness. Even when consultants tried to convince him that chewing gum stuck to the pavements might be a sign of the “new burst of creativity in business”, Lee replied:
If you can’t think because you can’t chew, try a banana.
For Lee, chewing gum was the disgusting thing on the subway door, not a mean for creativity and that’s why, by the power he had of being Prime minister for 31 years, he went on to pass the law that still exists up until today.
Of course, as a result of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement in 2004, it is now possible to get chewing gum in Singapore but only for therapeutic purposes (for example nicotine gums) and only for the customers with a medical prescription.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Reason Why Disneyland Doesn’t Sell Chewing Gum
Photo: Market Business News, Limarie Cabrera / Flickr
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