25 July 2012
So I heard the story today. The why-gum-chewing-is-illegal-in-Singapore story. I guess I could've looked it up on the interwebs, but I didn't. Instead, my new friend Tanya told me all about it.
It hadn't always been illegal. It was in the late 80's when everything in the Singapore gum chewing world went sour. Apparently several raucous gum chewers kept putting their chewed bits over the sensors of the doors to the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). And one day the sensors stopped working and the trains got backed up for several hours. Then this happened again. And, again. And, the 5 billion dollar train system was now costing double that due to delays and repairs. And, the gum chewers were hard to apprehend.
And so the ban was introduced.
As a visitor to this great land of Singapore, I have to agree that I have never been in a cleaner subway space or train system. I think the gum chewing ban has served the city well. And, I commend them for cracking down, even if it sounds a bit silly.
After all, isn't cleanliness next to godliness? (Insert winky emoticon here.)