Oral Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Oral Reply to Parliament Question on Regulation of Tattoo Industry by Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development

Published: 20 February 2017



Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there is any link between body tattoos and identification with criminal gangs; (b) how many tattoo shops have opened over the past five years; and (c) whether the Ministry will regulate the industry and impose a minimum age for any person who wants to put a tattoo on his/her body.  




1. Madam Speaker, while some people apply body tattoos to show their affiliations to unlawful gangs, many others do so for reasons that are non-gang related, such as for beauty, fashion and self-expression. There is no indication from the Police that applying body tattoos lead individuals to join gangs.


2. Given the many varied reasons why people choose to apply body tattoos, it may not be feasible to regulate the tattoo industry. MHA also does not track the number of tattoo shops in Singapore.


3. Nonetheless, the Police will continue to take a tough enforcement stance against unlawful gangs.