I've been meaning to address this issue for some time now. There are approximately 3 things that the average person in the US said to me in response to our plans to move to Singapore. In no particular order they are:

1) China?
2) Don't graffiti
3) Don't chew gum
(and variations thereof)

We've responded to #1 previously, but to be thorough, No.

2) Well yes, we think this is good advice really no matter where you live. It is very true that Singapore is pretty well known for what we in the Western world perceive as harsh punishment, maybe unfitting the crime, but so long as you follow those rules, I doubt you'll complain much about the relative safety.

3) On to the point of this post. It's a little more complicated than most people realize I think, but the bottom line is that chewing gum in Singapore is 100% legal, well for the most part...

It wasn't always. In 1992 a law was enacted banning the sale or import of chewing gum. This was reportedly backlash against people who left their chewing gum wherever they pleased and even used it to vandalize homes by sticking the gum into locks and other assorted delinquency. It stayed that way for 12 years, but was revised as part of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Despite this development, however, you can not buy any bubblicious at the 7-11. In fact, you can not buy any gum at the 7-11. The only way you can get chewing gum in Singapore is if it has a therapeutic benefit, and then it is sold by pharmacies and dentists. It remains illegal to bring chewing gum into the country, although I've heard that people regularly do so anyway--apparently the punishment is not as severe as that for vandalism, many do not realize that it is technically illegal.

So, to sort of prove a point, I bought some chewing gum, for its teeth-whitening capacity of course! I felt strange waiting in line at the drugstore, listening to the mothers in front of me ask the pharmacist the best medicine to give their ailing children, feeling like I was going to need to have a good explanation when I got up front- "oh yes, see my teeth, I think they are a bit yellow and I really want some whitening, also smell my breath-- hhhhhh-- terrible right? Please can I have some gum I NEED it"

Luckily I just had to say "can I have some chewing gum" and it was supplied without any fuss (or prescription for that matter). You do have to provide your name and passport number though, interestingly enough.

And here it is, it even came in a medicinal looking little bottle. Tasty, and I think my teeth already look whiter...