New Hawker Centre Philosophy

The most gratifying news today in the front page of ST is about a proposed change in the philosophy of running hawker centres by a public panel headed by entrepreneur Elim Chew. The principle behind the thinking is that as a national institution providing basic needs to the people, it cannot go along like other institutions to be run by market forces where profiteering is the main motivating factor. And hawker centre customers are the average Singaporeans that cannot afford to keep paying ever higher and higher food cost.

The problem of the current system is that hawker stalls are changing hands for hundreds of thousands or being sublet for substantial profits. Also, some private developers are ever eager to grab a hawker centre to ‘upgrade’ it and then you know the story, the prices will have to be double. And the final victims of these transactions are the average Singaporeans. All the profiteering and high cost will be passed down to the customers. And as the prices of these hawker stalls are rising, the hawkers are getting marginal profits despite of it while the poor customers keep paying more for less.

For those who believe blindly about market forces and the fictitious manipulated market forces, I am sure they will be crying foul. How can the govt interfere with the market forces? The customers must pay the price as so determined by the market.

Now, would the govt really accept the recommendations by the public panel? There is hope as the 18 member panel was set up by Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister himself. So would Vivian finally do something good for the people and fight this case in Parliament against those who believe in fictitious market forces and profiteering?


The said...

Now, do you want three meals in a restaurant, food court or MY hawker centre?

patriot said...


'MY hawker centre?'

Saw Dr Leslie Tay lamenting the possible demise of traditional local dishes. He is right.
Not oni traditional food, tribal culture, ethnic culture, language and belief have all gone rojak(bastardized).
Lamentable indeed!


Kaffein said...

The issue is that the rents are too high. The government should not over complicate things.

Anonymous said...

“How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?“

life is like dat.. you never know when karma will come back and bite you hard in the backside...

the very person that violently resisted the increase public assistance handouts back in 2007 due to rising cost of living 5 yrs ago is now working to reduce the cost of food served in his hawker centres... ohh the irony!! surely this is a tight slap across his own face...

moral of story: when you have to say something, always remember to keep your words soft, gentle and sweet, for you'll never know when one day you may have to eat it!! LOL.

Anonymous said...

My neighbourhood coffeeshop has just been taken over, new owner increased rental by 150%. Those stalls whom I have been patronising for more than 10 yrs are giving up and quiting all together. Part of me died together with the stallholders.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Another silly idea.

What is wrong with profit? Profit is the most noble of all human outcomes.

An entrepreneur running the show "not for profit"? My balls are laughing lah!

Anyway, I haven't tasted decent food court/ hawker food for years. Now it is > 90% HORRIBLE CRAP....eeeeeeeeyyyyyyyuuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkkkkk! PUI!!