A flower pot precariously balanced on the edge of the window, a frying pan hurled during a domestic argument. In Singapore, either of this could cost you your life. These normally innocent and everyday objects have the potential to become what the government calls “Killer Litter”.
The Habit of Littering
On Oct 1 1968, Singapore’s founding prime minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew, launched the inaugural Keep Singapore Clean campaign campaign that has been running every year since.
The campaign message has been so successful that Singapore is now regarded as one of the cleanest countries in the world. However, Mr Ravindran Nair, the head of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Western Regional Office, said that it is also largely because Singapore is a “cleaned society, rather than clean”, acknowledging the efforts of cleaners and the town councils for doing their part.
Despite all that, the littering bill issued by the NEA in 2018 hit a nine-year high, with about 39,000 tickets issued, which was an increase of 7,000 from the previous year. These were just the ones who got caught!
Related Article: Littering & Jaywalking
The Price to Pay
Unlike littering, the penalties for killer litter could put you behind bars, with the minimum imprisonment term of up to 6 months (s 336 of the Penal Code).
You can be charged with an offence of killer litter under three possible sections:
|Killer Litter Offence under the Penal Code||Penalties||Illustration|
|S336 – For committing a rash act that endangered human life||Fine up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months||A man who threw a glass bottle out of his flat which hit and damaged the roof of a car.|
|S337 – For causing hurt to any person by committing a rash act that endangered human life||Fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 1 year||If the glass bottle thrown by the man out of his flat had hit a person instead and caused hurt in the form of bodily pain or bruises|
|S338 – For causing grievous injury to any person by a rash act that endangered human life||Fine up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 4 years||If the glass bottle thrown by the man out of his flat had hit a person and caused grievous injury such as permanent disability or death.|
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