It was Lee Kuan Yew, who had put a ban on chewing gums in Singapore. He was known as the man, who transformed the small port of Singapore into a huge trading hub in a few years. He died at the age of 91. When he was alive, his prime motive was to concentrate on the tidiness of the country, along with a maintained behavior of its citizens.
So what was it about chewing gums that he hated them so much?
The ban on chewing gums was put in the year 1992; while Lee Kuan Yew did not talk to the foreign journalists at first, he broke his silence to the US writer Tom Plate. He had introduced the punishment of ‘caning’, for the offence of chewing gums in Singapore.
Chewing gum is banned under the “Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations.” Except for chewing gum of therapeutic value, the “importing” of chewing gum into Singapore is banned. Gum can be bought from a doctor, but must be prescribed.
Lee Kuan Yew had always given importance to cleanliness and tidiness. According to him, chewing gums and then throwing them at different places in the country simply disturbed the appearance of the streets and architecture of Singapore. He believed it to be a disgustingly yucky habit, which was being followed by a lot of people.
Thus, along with a ban on littering, spitting, throwing mucus from the nose, graffiti and urinating anywhere and not in the toilet, he had put a ban on chewing gums as well, to protect the hygiene of the country.
Also, he was tired of the mischief created by the youngsters that liked chewing gums. A lot of people often chewed gums and then put them on the subway train doors so that they couldn’t open; Lee believed that this was no creativity, but pure mischief and had to be put a stop on.
Thus, after banning the gums, he advised people to eat banana to think, rather than connecting their thinking ability with chewing gums!