12/20/2020

The next industrial revolution in Singapore is food and hawker centres

The Big Read: With UNESCO listing in sight, will new breed of 'hawkerpreneurs' rejuvenate or erode hawker culture?

Meet Mr Onion: Why this Singapore chef wants you to give vegetables a chance.

Commentary: Lab-grown meat approved for the first time in Singapore – but will people bite?

Above are the headlines in CNA Online news on 7 Dec. Food, food, food, hawker food, Michellin Stars food, lab grown food...these are headline news in Singapore. Looks like food is the future going forward for Singapore and our reporters would be experts in writing about food and chefs, no longer writing about pets, cats and dogs.

What about 5G, AI, new technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, leading edge technology, IOT, going to the moon? Oh, lab grown food is new tech. Good. With food and hawker fare as the future, the new frontier to drive Singapore's economy and tourism, the ITEs, maybe tertiary institutions as well, should reorganise their courses to be relevant so that the students on graduating could find jobs in the food industry, as cooks, chefs, waiters and waitresses and the sikit atas wine smelling and wine tasting sommeliers.

More hawker centres and food courts and restaurants should be built to cater for the growing food industry. The listing of hawker centres in UNESCO is a good start. Next would be food courts and 5 star Michellin restaurants and we will have new heroes, entrepreneurs and celebrities like world famous chefs and world famous hawker centre cooks.

This must be the new innovation and creative spirit of Singapore.  When we cannot compete in high tech and science, find out own niche, in food and hawker centres. Graduates should be encouraged to become hawkers and 'zi char' stall owners and make big money. No need to have a degree for sure. And our reporters would have a lot of things to write and report about hawker centres, food courts and best dishes, best recipes, best cooks. There will be so many things to write about, never short of material, and our newspapers could be 40 pages thick, and full of hawker advertisements, more profits for sure.

Perhaps I shall write more about hawker centres, food courts, food and chefs in mysingaporenews too. And now with UNESCO listing, Singapore everyday can talk and write about hawker food and cooks. Other countries can talks about going to the moon, IT, IOT, science and technology, we talk about how to cook good hawker food, where to find the best hawker food, how to attract tourists to see our hawker centres and taste our hawker food.

Singapore will now be world famous for hawker centres and hawker food. Great achievment. Next target, get Orchard Road to be recognised as the best shopping belt in the world. India can take a leaf from Singapore by putting up its Dabbawalla to be recognised as an Indian heritage.  Malaysia can try Teh Tarek as a Malaysian specialty that has gone to the International Space Station.

What do you think?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Judging by what Mr RB wrote above, there is a high possibility that Sg gonna have a University of Hawkers Food & Management sooner ( probably a first of it's kind on this planet). Well, this might bode well else lots of university students degrees of whatever field might go to waste, it might turn out a good thing becos it might be a place to groom top chefs, copland culinary skills & food management services.

Anonymous said...

Culinary skills is the future, to serve the hundreds of thousands of rich foreign talents working here, with funny degrees, fake degrees and some no need degrees.

Our future hawkers and cooks would all have degrees from the world's top universities, to serve the funny and fake degrees and also the no degrees.

Anonymous said...

U missed out NE-Water, drinking water that's from toilet bowls and sewage pipes, with urine and all the faeces . . .

KT said...

It seems that stalls in coffeeshops are not included in the hawkers culture heritage. Are the peoples selling at the stalls in coffeeshops around the island not hawkers ? Rmbr they are selling the similar concept of foods as those operating in hawkers centres. Char kway teow, chicken rice, nasi padang, roti prata, etc etc. You name it they have it. Why then coffeeshops are not included in the hawkers heritage culture. Coffeeshops' stalls also holding SFA licences like those in hawker stalls. Why are they biased against coffeeshop stalls ? The hawkers culture is about low-costs food and family-eating concepts, so how it is the coffeeshops are left out ?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha......

You don't know meh....

Sg aims to be the hub for everything!

Finance, telecommunications. IT, Etc etc etc etc etc... now hawkerism!

This is Sg!

Hahaha.....

Anonymous said...

Before 2004, we never heard of the concept "Spirit of Singapore" - that's propaganda conjured to indoctrinate Sinkies as the PAP tried to transform Singapore into a big global city, that there's a spirit in the land that welcome the millions of foreigners into the tiny city state.

We are true blue nationalistic Sinkies, born and bred here, and only know the Sovereignty of Singapore, not some kind of Spirit . . .

KT said...

On 2nd thought I think y persons selling foods at coffeeshop stalls are not called "hawkers" as compared to hawkers in hawker centres. First thing, the coffeeshops are not owned by the Gahmen, whereas hawkers centres(some 100++) are. This is the only difference and they collect stall rents themselves. Hence, the Party Against People (forming the Gahmen), of course, give credits to themselves, and got the Hawker Culture heritage recognition. Coffeeshops are owned or rented from/by private landlords, hence, they are typically excluded them. This is what I see it now !

jjgg said...

How many believe there's a hawker culture in Singapore. U mean just by being labelled a UNESCO heritage that there's an inbred culture in us? Comfort food is Comfort food the world over... I don't see the Americans promoting their mobile kitchen into a loftier sphere nor do I see Sydney's fish market or San Francisco/new York Chinatown trying to climb the unesco ladder..hawker food IS comfort food..served in crowded..somewhat untidy environment..lack of social graces being norm of the day as tissues n umbrellas often denoting reservations..u can try to paint it in gold n silver but hawker food remains the diet of those with limited lunch hour..and for those who are prepared to jostle n suffer discomfort

1984 George Orwell said...

A Jack of all trades is a Master of none.

Aiming to be first for this and first for that, first for everything, is aiming to become first of none.

Only vain, glory hunters and glory seekers like to go for first in everything.

Such glory hunters and glory seekers are not nation-builders. They are self-builders who seek fame. That's why they are very sensitive about their fame. And they will endeavour to sue anyone who they think has defamed their name or tarnished their reputation in the slightest way.

They are so thin-skinned and vain that even the slightest criticism attached to their names is going to be a big issue that they cannot swallow, cannot tolerate, and cannot sleep for days and nights.

As a result, the nation suffers - suffer in silence. Some dare not even make a small sqeak in the comment section.

This is the pathetic state of affairs in the Kingdom of Sinkingland.

Virgo49 said...


In the fifties and Sixies, our POP had no choice but to be hawkers and stall holders as most unable to have jobs in the Commerce World.

Only a few much educated ones and the Whites are able to hold these professions.

Now, we progressed to the 21st century and Sinkies are much electrocuted and still they encourged them to be hawkers and small stall holders.

We should have Foreign Labours doing there jobs instead of Sinkies.

Reverse, they held the plum jobs and Sinkies back to the 50s and 60s became hawkers and par hong chaiks drivers to serve them.

Sinkies are easily persuaded and con by their just few model hawkers and said these are the.Prestigous.professions.

Normally, you have not much choice just like most Malaysian Chinese in Matland in small states to be hawkers as the Bumis are given special privileges in their Govt and Private Services.

Hawkers lives are tough with long hours and also without much benefits of old age savings unless you know how to save your cash.

Also, have to depend on the demands of their customers.

Yet the Govt wanted Sinkies to be hawkers and be proud of their wares.

Really regressed back to the unemployment rates of the 50s and 60s.

Anonymous said...

Why need human hawkers? Sorry. No need! No need!

Design robots to be the cooks! Also use robots to serve foods. Cashless payments. Everything online!

Just do it! Think out of the box! Be the first robofoodcourt!

Anonymous said...

Unaffordable food is what I think. Hawkers with degrees is same as using a big sword to cut a tiny chilly. Oh yes they add value to food, of a different kine. What value they added is going to be just monetary value. Nothing more nothing less.

I wish this had never happen.

Food at hawker centres will be very very expensive. Rentals will reach for the sky. Who is going to laugh all the way to the bank?

Right now, eating at hawker centres is no longer that cheap. Of course those who eat at restaurants will never know. Their's is a world apart.

Virgo49 said...


Last time to encourage Singaporans to eke a living with much unemployments they were encouraged with cheap rentals from the NEA to hold hawkers licenses.

Also mostly for the real needy and also the elderies.

Certain age groups even for taxi licensed drivers.

Now they have the Big Landlords and Sharks to rent out stalls by the thousands of dollars instead of Hundreds.

Previously, they can sell at 1.50 to 2.00. Now four to five or six.

Lower incomes Sinkies die die with low salaries.

Some pioneer NEA stall holders even held two stalls as their parents might had transfered to them and they themselves their spouses hold another stall.

Paying just Hundreds but they rent out to new suckers by the thousands.

Some evee shake their balls and patronised the China half naked beer women every day.

Their spouses took care of their stalls. So now they charged 4 to 5 or even 6 to cover their rentals.

So its a vicious circle and the poor Sinkies suffered.

The Govt with.their cronies Malls owners just closed their eyes.

Even now HDB coffin, oops coffee shops tendered at millions and hundreds of thousands.

So they cannot charge 1.50 or 2.00 dollah.

GST just increased 2 percent, they increased 100 percent.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is going to the dogs. Without ability to achieve big things, now going for hawker centre fame. What the Fuxs!

Anonymous said...

Jack up Universities to the top artificially, producing graduates who cannot compete with foreigners, and have to drive taxis to earn a living.

Jack up paper academic scholarship grabbers to become Ministers and pay them by the $millions but cannot perform, unable to think out of the box, and depend on past glories of the old guards. Only thing good at is to be obedient dogs to the Emperor without clothes.

Jack up white donkeys to be white horses and make them paper generals but cannot perform; only good at talking cock and scolding the people.

Anonymous said...

"Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be on local leave for two weeks from Thursday (Dec 17) to Dec 31, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday.

No Acting Prime Minister will be appointed as Mr Lee will remain contactable throughout this period, added the Prime Minister’s Office."

It would be more exciting and interesting for RB to write about the next political revolution instead of the next industrial (hawker food) revolution.

Looks like it is inevitable. No political parties can dominate and control the people forever.

With weak leaders, picked from recycled talent pool with half-baked political training and acumen, unable to stand on their own, greedy for exorbitant salary, and ever ready to be yes men, the time for a complete change of guards is ripe for the country.

Not a single one of them, even the Deputy PM, can be trusted to stand in as Acting PM.

Moreover, in the past, we never heard of LKY on leave. Nowadays, every year we hear this PM taking leave. Why?

Time for a political revolution, Singapore Springs but without violence and bloodshed of course. A peaceful political revolution through the ballot box.

What say you?

Anonymous said...

Sydney Looks Like A Ghost Town. Streets are totally deserted.

Australia has announced a five-day lockdown and new restrictions for the Greater Sydney area in an attempt to contain its third outbreak of Covid-19 infections.

Household gatherings are limited to 10 people and hospitality venues at 300.

All residents are to stay at home.

Many Sydney residents have rushed to leave the city ahead of Christmas. Most of them travelled to New South Wales, Victoria. In response, Victoria has closed its borders to residents of Greater Sydney and the NSW Central Coast.

All arrivals from the Greater Sydney area to NSW would have to quarantine for 14 days.

People who have been in the Northern Beaches of Sydney are barred from the state entirely.

The outbreak at the Northern
Beaches has forced the organisers of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race to cancel the event for the first time in its history.

Anonymous said...

The 5-Eye cuntries - USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - all have new outbreaks of the COVID-19 infections simultaneously. Why?

Anonymous said...

Even Israel also has new outbreaks, at the same time as the 5 Eyes. Why?

Anonymous said...

Because of their spying activities. Their spies brought the virus back to their respective cuntries and infect their own people.

This is called RETRIBUTION!
Or Karma for the evils they have done to the rest of the world.

1984 George Orwell said...

NEWS ALERT: New Strain of Covid-19 From UK Spreading FAST!

European countries have or are considering banning travel from the UK to prevent the spread of a more infectious variant of coronavirus.

The Netherlands and Belgium have suspended flights to/from the UK.

Trains to Belgium have also been banned.

Italy's foreign minister has indicated his government plans to ban Fights to and from the UK.

France and Germany are also planning similar action.

The new variant has spread fast in London, Wales and South-East of England.

PM Boris Johnson has introduced a new Tier 4 Restrictions and scrapped a planned relaxation of rules over Christmas.

Top UK Health Officials said it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible but whether its more deadly or not is still unknown.

Desperate airlines like SIA may want to take this opportunity to fill in the gaps, while European airlines are being banned from flying to the UK. At the same time, import the new strain of Covid-19 to Singapore, to introduce it to Singaporeans?

1984 George Orwell said...

Perhaps, there is a lab in SE England that experimenting with the Corona virus for biological warfare purposes?

Just like the one in Fort Derrick in the USA?

Anonymous said...

So sad, so sad to see Singapore trying so hard to be the hawker centre of the world. Doesn't this un-inspiring ambition to be famous for such a low tech. economy goes to should how the PAP think? Want to be the first in everything. Maybe can be the first in collecting cardboard for exercise or can be first to develop the art of cleaning tables at foodcourt. Be world famous for small things isn't glamorous at all. Only in Singapore one can be proud of small things, because it is the country of small minded people.

Anonymous said...

LKY sued his political opponents. His son sues commoners instead of political opponents. Therein lies the huge difference between a big mind and a small mind.

SSO said...

Yes, indeed. It's extremely sad to see Singapore going down the slippery slope of regression.

From 3rd world to first world in 30 years. However, over the last 20 years, slowly and steadily slipped down the rabbit hole and goes from 1st world to 3rd world.

Moral of the story:

A country under good leadership progresses; whilst a country under bad leadership regresses.

The same things happening in Malaysia and Indonesia, Burma and Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines, Hongkong and Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, India and Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, and UK and USA. Everywhere.

As we can see over the last 20 years, very clearly, the well-being of a country is closely linked to the quality of its leaders. There's no doubt whatsoever.

SSO said...

US Mafia Leader Don Trump is planning to close the two remaining US CONsulates in Eastern Russia, the State Department confirmed Saturday, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office.

Probably, this is part of Trump's overall plan to sabotage the new Biden Administration so as to make it difficult to achieve much during the next 4 years, when Trump will contest the Election again in 2024?

Virgo49 said...


SSO

Don't think he can live up to 2024

Will be in HELL 30th storeys below.

They are now constructing the extra under ground storeys for him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.23

When they brought in the two casinos the writing was already on the wall. They were desperate to have to go that route. They had no other choice. When LKY was alive, he said that casinos can only be built over his dead body. But even before he died, he had to relent over something that he was so strongly against. Why? Because they were at the end of their tether.

Now, we are going even further backwards by encouraging hawking. That is why so much song and dance is made about the benefits of hawking and telling all and sundry that even university graduates have found their calling in hawking.

Throughout the decades hawker parents of children slog, well before daybreak and well into the night, to send their kids to university, all to make sure their kids avoid the hardship of hawking, and here we are encouraging our graduates to become 'tyre company' cooks working long hours.

Yes, we are regressing to third world status. That was where we came from in the days of hawking. We are going back to our roots. How ironic!

Anonymous said...

Singapore used to be a paradise for Singaporeans. Now it is paradise to third world fake talents.

Anonymous said...

Third world fake talents take on the good jobs.

Local talents take up hawking. That is such a bright idea!

Anonymous said...

When Singapore was a third world country, even barbers and 'chee cheong fun' sellers have entered Parliament as MPs. That is the reality the older generations had seen. From third world to first, such possibilities existed, but have all but banished from the minds of the elderly, and younger Sinkies have only seen all the good stuff of their dreams.

Now, going from first world to third, it makes sense that they are bringing back low tech economy of table cleaning, gardening, food delivery, taxi driving and now hawking. As Anon 11.23 said - so sad, so sad.