Singapore 1972 Nunchaku Ban

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exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.

Popularised by Bruce Lee in the late 60s and early 70s, Nunchaku (also known as nunchucks) became a popular self-defence weapon in Singapore back in the days and was widely promoted in karate classes and newspapers.

However, in 1972, Nunchaku was banned by the government of Singapore as it was deemed to be an offensive weapon. It is believed that the ban was part of efforts to crack down on secret society members.

In 1975, then 23-year-old Sethupillay Rajaretnam became the first man in Singapore to be jailed and caned for possessing nunchaku.

Today, the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act defines nunchaku as “segments of wood or metal joined by a chain, leather strap of cord”

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