Pet Peeve #1584 : The Reason For Chewing Gum Ban


By : B Goode

I have been bingeing on youtube for the past few days watching foreign vloggers posting about Singapore just to get an inspiration for my National Day article.

For obvious reason, all of them seemed to list the chewing gum ban as something worth mentioning. I was however quietly pleased that they didn’t mention the fact that Singapore is fast becoming a haven for child molesters due to our lax laws on pedophilia. But that’s for another article.

What irks me to no end watching the videos is the reason for the chewing gum ban. They all got it wrong. Sort of.

So now allow me to revisit the real reason for the ban.

Chewing gum was made illegal in 1992.

Admittedly prior to that, Singapore like any other cities in the world, was inundated with unsightly dried out black blobs, the result of chewed-up gums spat out by incorrigible people.

Lee Kuan Yew himself stated that whilst his Ministers then had urged him to ban chewing gums, he felt that it would be too harsh. And so the government had to continue splurging out millions of dollars annually to get the gums removed.

And the the MRT happened.

When the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) was launched in mid 80’s, all was hunky dory until someone discovered that if he was to paste used chewing gum to the MRT doors, the trains would not be able to move due to the doors being too sensitive. MRT trains got feelings too you know….

The problem got so out of hand that the government decided to ban chewing gum, and in the wise words of Kanye West, it made us famous.

And so there you have it. Although the consequential result of the ban was to make Singapore a much cleaner place, the straw that broke the government’s back was that one idiot who decided to put used gum on the MRT doors, and the bigger idiots who followed him

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