Hefty fine, but many still spit in public

SINGAPORE - Spit on the ground and you risk a hefty fine.

Yet, many people here do it, often with a loud clearing of the throat before letting fly a glob. The only time they seem to resist the urge is when there is an imminent health threat.

In 2003, during the Sars outbreak, the Government took action against people who spat in public.

Then-Environment Minister Lim Swee Say said: "Sars is a timely reminder that spitting is not only a cleanliness issue but also a public health issue."

On May 20 that year, 11 men were hauled to court, fined $300 each for spitting in public and shamed by having their pictures published.

But that episode appears to be largely forgotten with several people spotted spitting last week.

On Thursday afternoon, The New Paper checked out the areas around Junction 8 in Bishan and People's Park Complex at Chinatown.

A Chinese man in his 70s was spotted at Eu Tong Sen Street spitting on the pavement behind a wet market three times within 15 seconds.

Ungracious, unhygenic

No, he said, he didn't know he could be fined for that.

When asked why he wouldn't spit in a tissue paper, he declined to answer and walked away.

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