Why the Social Entrerprise hawker centre model is badly flawed

I used to be agnostic about the Social Entrerprise hawker centre model and tot that its problems were caused by the Pay And Pay attitude of the PAP govt, its biz allies and NTUC: Pay And Pay in action

But then I read this on FB (edited for paragraphing):

[T]he idea of a hawker centre operator runs counter to the nature of the business. We forget that hawkers are first and foremost small independent business operators, not employees that serve the greater social good or cause. That’s how ‘hawker culture’ started and it should be left to grow organically as it had for many years. It was never meant to be all things to all people.

By artificially suppressing hawker centre food prices and trying to ‘curate’ and dictate the terms of their businesses, this new model has unintentionally made it harder for them to do what they do best, reasonable food at reasonable prices in a way that makes sense for them. Whatever services that truly support the hawker in his business should be kept but whatever terms or conditions that reeks of unreasonable control or which takes away the hawkers choices should be jettisoned.

The G and these social enterprises have to understand that these hawkers are individuals against the might of a behemoth, they have little bargaining power, so taking the strict legal route is not the way to go.

Just bring the hawker centre back to its roots and let it flourish organically. It was for the hawkers to have a clean and safe operating premise. Just provide that at nominal or reasonable rent and throw in the support services at cost and leave them be. This heavy handedness is killing whatever hawker culture there is left, and then there’d be nothing left to gazette or enjoy. And no CKT worth eating when you want some.


Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.



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16 Responses to “Why the Social Entrerprise hawker centre model is badly flawed”

  • Boh Lum Paa:

    Let’s all go back to good ol’ laissez-faire street hawking (which is what it means, anyway!!)!

    What sayeth thee, peasant & serb?

    Agree? Then keechiu lah, cum onn (that chew-hoo-ahsoh Amy’s face), this after all is the would-have-been-4G-PM, your ‘humble, personable’ dear BeeGee Ah Chan tokkin’ kok-kok-kay here, you know!!! Show some bloody respect, all yew soldiers!

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  • LIONS:

    No matter what,at the end of the day,the PAP GAHmen must MAKE $$$ out peasants.

    NTUC,via its various vehicle$,is a BLOOD-$ucker.

    Milk the citizens n take the $$$ to pay themselves humongously n squander the rest away.

    The MIWs are the ENEMY OF THE NATION

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  • RDB:

    Pee An Poo own kaki must be big boss over fellow Singaporeans to earn huge bugs to further feed and grow their enormous greed disease till deaths do they part lah!

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  • Bapak:

    Those good old days, when tick-tock hawkers were roaming the kampong, no one got food poisoning and no one die. The day they put them in hawker centers, also no one die. But the moment they open the floodgate, so many kena diarrhea and someone so unfortunately died.

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  • rukidding:

    “…the moment they open the flood gate..someone dies”…..and yet these “bastards” who opened those gates got away “scot free”…and even dare “robbed” its peasants by “demanding” Obscenely paud salary ????

    We are Dafts !

    “Controlled” by a bunch of “unscrupulous Pimps and prostitutes” !!!

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  • LIONS:

    guess our NGOs are doing nothing of substance for our less privileged countrymen.

    all diam diam and LAW SOC too???

    only when it comes to ‘ANIMALS’ OR ALIENS do we see NGOs COME OUT ONE BY ONE TO KAYPOH!

    i was at Toa Payoh Hub,got approached by some youngsters canvassing for MONEY FOR SOME PANDAS.

    think the ELDERLY BENDED WOMAN WHO COLLECTS CARDBOARD FOR “VIGOROUS’ EXCERCISE think the same: probably she pray to HEAVEN to let her become a PANDA in her next life??????

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  • oxygen:

    THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE HAWKER CENTRE MODEL is badly flawed and FAKE economics. Don’t believe me? Bring back the street mobile tick-tock hawkers operating without rents. I am confident that from this lower cost base, foods will be sold much more cheaply in public housing estates. No need for washing worry or “chope seats” – it is bring your own plate and bowl or paper wrap.

    Bapak: Those good old days, when tick-tock hawkers were roaming the kampong, no one got food poisoning and no one die

    And hawkers centres will fall into line – ALL WILL ALSO BE VERY HAPPY hawkers too, running on lower, maybe negligible rent and ready customer pool congregating everyday in certainty.

    If our regulated taxi service can be disrupted by “Grab technology” etc etc, why can’t we bring back street food cockroaches capitalism hawking for our enterprising youth and our otherwise unemployed elderly whilst benefiting genuinely the community with us as the customers in support?

    Regulated hawker centre is NOT a sacred cow but social enterprise hawking is a burdensome ghost to all – hawkers and peasants alike.

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  • Asd:

    Reinventing the meaning of word social… just like the selected resident based on religion… wonderful of whats becomed of sinkepore…

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  • Stop 'fixing' stuff:

    Everything they try to control turns to dust!
    Why try to fix whats not broken.
    Just made it worse for the hawkers n even worst for the customer=higher prices with less or no quality.

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  • Greedy & Evil To The Core:

    PAP will fail, it’s social enterprise model will fail simply because the focus is on greed and expediency.
    PAP singlehandedly inflated the cost of living.
    To arrest the escalating cost, it’s book smart policy makers further look into trying to control it by squeezing and controlling hawkers, while it couldn’t part with the senseless entrenched need to increase fundings for it’s gambling investment needs.
    To achieve the ability to control the market place, PAP used it’s monopoly in parliament and power, to reduce competition and installing crony entities to provide outsourced fake services,while attempting to achieve their desired outcome of getting more money, reduced responsibility, accountability and burden. PAP sat back and allowed greedy cronies to capitalize on the ploy they derived, squeezing poor hawkers and hardworking citizens instead.
    Such evil scheme has been repeatedly reused and copied to other areas by PAP, as anyone would expect, no good ideas bookish beholdened self-entitled inexperienced upstart policy makers could come up with. It is so predictable, yet dafts continue to passively buy into such evil schemes and lies.

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  • N.Jungne:

    They gave these birds employments, like dish-washing, table cleaning and other jobs, which Singaporeans can’t do.

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  • Too clever by 3/4th:

    “Even if the paradise of material satisfactions – which they envisage as their final goal – were realized on earth, it would not bring mankind either contentment or peace.”
    - Mahatma Gandhi

    So, those overpaid gomen administrators should leave us multi-racial hawkers to do our own business in our time-tested ways as lesser mortals serving everyone.

    Gandhi also said: “Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion … The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

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  • Failed Elites:

    The failed elites we can do without. The hawkers we must have.

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  • chim terminologies:

    //[T]he idea of a hawker centre operator runs counter to the nature of the business. We forget that hawkers are first and foremost small independent business operators, not employees that serve the greater social good or cause.//

    aiyoh. the whole white idiotic idea at the end of the days is to ‘convert’ them slowly into non-independent ones to be at the ‘mercy’ of those fat-cat operators lar in the name of innovation, productivity and efficiency. nowadays, when these chim terminologies are spewed out by the white idiotic gang, most likely it will smell ‘badly’ later on lar.

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  • Bapak:

    Another mass food poisoning.

    First case (9Nov) – 81 person (1 fatal),
    Second case (23Nov) – 190 person,
    Now, third case (26Nov)- 131 person.

    How many Singaporean after visited toilet never wash hands? The answer will tell you who and (most important) from which countries.

    So what are the four agencies (NEA/MOM/MOH/AVA) going to do? Just fine & suspend the joints is not enough. This is no positive action.

    Round up all three joints, which countries are their workers from? These countries people should be banned from working in this industry. You can blanket banned chewing gum, why can’t you do the same here? Locals good to bully is it, Do Good Together?

    SG has just scored another WORLD’s FIRST – HIGHEST SWISS COST OF LIVING, LOWEST “SWISS” STANDARD OF LIVING. Thank you PAP & no thank to Sinkies70.

    For those who didn’t know what is happening inside the kitchen, enjoy the show – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4jX1NSuZPo.

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  • Hawker food nowadays tasteless:

    During the 1970s, there were hawkers who came downstairs to the flats to sell food. The satay man will just carry his pole with two small cupboards and some stools. The mutton satay was fantastic! It has this middle layer of fat that just pops in your mouth! People just sat around and ate while he fanned.

    There was this hokkien mee who took 20 minutes to fry per order. The guy will put broth over the noodles and cover the lid – repeat this several times. It was the best in my life. Nothing comes close. Not even hotel chef can beat.

    So hungry, gotta eat now.

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