Tattoos not illegal, MHA doesn’t ensure minors get parental consent: Shanmugam

There is also no evidence suggesting that tattoos lead to a 'life of crime', Shanmugam said.

Tanya Ong | July 9, 05:29 pm


Some tattoo parlours in Singapore may have regulations mandating that persons under the age of 18 may need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

However, currently, there are no laws prohibiting minors from getting a tattoo in Singapore.

Minors getting tattooed in Singapore

Regarding the issue of minors and tattoos, Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah filed a parliamentary question asking the Minister for Home Affairs:

  • In the past three years, has there been any study on the number of minors getting tattoos?
  • How does MHA ensure that a minor has the consent of his/ her parent/ guardian before getting a tattoo?
  • What redress is available to parents if a minor has been tattooed without their consent?
  • Has anyone been prosecuted for such an offence?
  • Will MHA consider imposing a minimum age on getting tattoos in Singapore?

No evidence suggesting tattoos lead to “life of crime”

In a written response addressing Lee’s questions on July 8, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam said MHA does not track the number of minors who get tattoos by themselves.

He emphasised that it is not an offence for minors to get tattoos, and there is also no requirement for minors to seek parental consent.

MHA also does not see a need to regulate the tattoo industry for now, he stated.

This is because there has been no evidence to suggest that body tattoos lead individuals towards a life of crime.

And while some do so to “show their affiliation to unlawful gangs”, many may choose to tattoo themselves for “beauty and fashion”.

Top photo via Wikipedia, photo of tattooing by fxxu via Pixabay

About Tanya Ong

Tanya hopes to own a roller skate disco one day.

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