Reduce exorbitant rent for hawker stalls to help Singaporeans

I have noticed that the price of many food stalls in hawker centres are getting more and more ridiculous. I am sure everyone has noticed that simple traditional dishes like bak chor mee and noodles like ban mian are now costing $4, or even $4.50, pricing them out of the reach of many ordinary Singaporeans. Many Indian stalls now charge $5 or $6 for simple fast food like roti johns, which is really expensive for many elderly Singaporeans. I asked one of the hawker’s assistant, and he told me that the rent has been rising over the years, even for the same location. The landlords will insist on doing unnecessary renovations to give an excuse to raise the rent, and hint the hawkers to raise prices after renovations, as well as pressurise them to raise food prices after Chinese New Year. This is unacceptable as the landlords have no reason to raise the rent if costs have not gone up. Consumers do not want any unnecessary and expensive renovations, just affordable quality hawker food.

Unreasonable landlords are now driving the costs of living up for ordinary Singaporeans, and they should be ashamed of their behaviour. Sadly our profit-oriented government has not bothered to control the rent for our vulnerable elderlies and low income families. I see more and more auntie uncle resort to eating 1 loaf of Gardenia bread for a week at hawker centres, all because of the government’s horrible policy. Even worse, the minister Amy Khor even supported the so-called social enterprises, which have driven up costs even more at their hawker centres. She even claims that rent has nothing to do with the price of food, which is complete nonsense! This is the problem with our government, claiming rent do not affect price of food, claiming carparks should not be free for teachers, but yet pay themselves huge salaries and enjoy free parking. It is easy for rich ministers to say things like Singaporeans should pay more for hawker food, when they themselves do not eat it on a daily basis as they prefer eating their 3 meals at restaurants.

These greedy corporations have been exposed by the true Singaporean KF Seetoh who thankfully cared about our local hawkers and revealed their unscrupulous tactics. Their contracts consists of expensive fees, like consultancy fees, management fees, dishwashing and amenities fees, which are all used to extract profits from our hardworking hawkers, and in turn have to pass on the costs to consumers. So guess who pays for these companies’ profits now? All the auntie uncle who are now unable to afford local foods, and have to resort to eating bread. This is a joke if you compare to other countries. In other countries, foreign food are considered a novelty and luxury, and the middle class and poor can always rely on their local food. In Singapore, many elderly poor cannot even afford our own traditional food they grew up eating all because of unreasonable landlords and companies that do not care about them. The worst part is that the government has decided to grant these new hawkers a dishwashing subsidies to help them with the high costs of business. Look at who increased the costs in the first place! This subsidy will not help the hawkers or bring the price of food down, but only serves to subsidise the evil corporations charging the exorbitant rents and fees in the first place! It is unfortunate that after such a big hooha, the government’s knee jerk response is to fall into the corporation’s trap and used public support for the hawkers to subsidise the hawkers, which now uses the subsidies to pay the so-called social enterprise.

Overall, I am not against subsidising hawkers if it brings down the price of food for ordinary Singaporeans. However, I really doubt the price of our simple hawker fare will go down if the heartless corporations and landlords are here to work against the interest of ordinary Singaporeans. Many of our Merdeka generation Singaporeans have worked tirelessly in their youth to help the country, and it is really sad to see that they have to think twice about enjoying a bowl of bak chor mee or think hard about not ordering fish at the cai png stall. I hope these corporations and landlords who have gotten rich thanks to our country’s success will pity all the auntie and uncles who have to pick cardboards for a living and lower the rent, so that ordinary Singaporeans can once again enjoy hawker food. If they do not lower the rent, the government should implement rent control to bring down the price of food. We do not need any newer initiatives like returning your own tray, air-conditioned food courts or fancy new twists on hawker foods. All we want are simple, traditional affordable food fare for ordinary people. I am very disappointed that something so unique in Singapore has been commercialised and priced out of the reach from many of us. I hope the government can listen to the older generation and put in measures to protect the low income elderly.

A Merdeka Generation Singaporean

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29 Responses to “Reduce exorbitant rent for hawker stalls to help Singaporeans”

  • NotMyProblem:

    For all the Merdeka Generation, didn’t you just received your package? Feeling
    richer and happy now?

    The package is supposed to cover a lot of things, including your PUB and hawker centres meals, etc, etc.

    Who is collecting rental and your PUB tariff and many others charges?

    Now you see how that money flows and where it ends? Still don’t understand?

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  • Singapore Fooled Again N Again:

    Have you all noticed a meal at fast-food like MacDonald with drink and fries can cost less than a meal at hawker centre nowadays? 20 years ago (before top civil servants and many in the government sectors’ salaries started to shoot up), a meal at a hawker centre may cost around $3, $2 for the meal and $1 for the drink whereas fast-food cost around $6 to $7 a meal with a drink, that’s 20 years ago.

    Today, a set meal at fast-food chain cost only $5 with a drink whereas at a hawker centre, it can cost over $5 for a simple meal with a drink. Mine you, fast-food come with clean seats, air-con and cleaned toilet and is private profit enterprise. Hawker centres are supposed to be subsidised by government in order to bring low priced food and drinks for the masses.

    I have in recent months seeing more hawker centre stalls start charging over $10 to $20 for a single meal, be it fish soup or western food. That is ridiculous pricing for a hawker stall

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  • N.Jungne:

    Aiyah they bring massagee to attract the An Kongs to increase business

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  • oxygen:

    MY INFORMED SOURCE TOLD ME THIS – a whole uncooked duck in NTUC Fairprice costs around $14 each. Walk down the street in a hawker stall, that whole roast duck is priced around $42!!

    Rent and energy costs so much, meh?

    PROFITEERING!

    BOYCOTT EXPENSIVE STALLS AND LET THEM DIE!!

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  • SG modus operandi:

    A serial killer likely has a modus operandi, his preferred method of killing people.

    This government-profiteer also has a modus operandi.

    First, it raises the price for everyone. Make it expensive for everyone and super profitable for itself.

    Second, it offers a subsidy for a few poor people (people made poor by the price increase). 154th makes a great show of how caring this profiteer is.

    3. Repeat every year.

    4. Repeat for other places.

    E.g.
    Public transport fare raised every year, and make a big show of small subsidies.
    Do the same for HDB.
    Do the same for hawker food.
    Do the same for water, electricity, everywhere they can control.

    What is really sad is that Singaporeans are still looking to the government to lower price. You

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  • The Other Hard Truths:

    It is all part of the grand strategy by the PAP and its minions to suppress and oppress the people in order to maintain a stranglehold onto political power. Impoverishing the people, so that they will not have the means, the will, the money and the energy left to think about fighting against the unjust policies of the government.

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  • Bobo:

    Chit-chat with table cleaners working in food courts, they seems very happy with the package and their clearning job in air-con place. They are proud of our gov. Also chit-chat with table cleaners in hawker center. They are the bo-bian type. The packages offered by govt. are a just small consolation prize so that they will continue to vote PAP. They do not know anything about our reserves, nor their money inside their CPF. However, they do know that they have to continue working until they collapsed one day. Sad indeed!

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  • I Know:

    Plus the high cleaning fees force hawkers to use disposable food/drink containers and utensils.

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  • Lim Tean can Solve:

    Olden days PAP so much better, now is a whole lot of a expensive Mess.

    Volt for change, let Lim Tean solve the problems, since he always bread walk around markets, alot hard work and efforts by him and his team.

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  • Pain Not Enough:

    The talk about escalating food prices have been going on for 30 years already, when food courts owned by just a few entities raided and wiped out traditional hawker centres and coffee shops.
    First they drove up the bidding price of coffee shops, then they started to recoup through increasing rentals and formed crony relationships with establishment, which further escalates the cost of living in SG.

    The is a classic case of those with capital driving out competition.
    Not all free market is necessarily good.
    Where is the regulation to ensure enough competition to keep prices affordable?
    The establishment actually encourages limited competition to milk the dafts.

    The profiteers are encashing and now exiting by passing it down to stupid ntuc.

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  • More Pain Needed:

    Bobo:
    Chit-chat with table cleaners working in food courts, they seems very happy with the package and their clearning job in air-con place. They are proud of our gov. Also chit-chat with table cleaners in hawker center. They are the bo-bian type. The packages offered by govt. are a just small consolation prize so that they will continue to vote PAP. They do not know anything about our reserves, nor their money inside their CPF. However, they do know that they have to continue working until they collapsed one day. Sad indeed!

    A New bandage had just been applied to an old wound.
    The well timed relief will reduce the pain for the coming election.
    Daft Sinkies feeling very happy and forgotten the cause of the pain.
    The cycle of decline will continue. The immunity to pain has strengthened.
    Much needed change, again, will not happen.
    Most will work till their death, thinking that life is just a digit for the familee.
    Dead old fcuk called sinkies dafts while freed smarties look on.

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  • Singapore Fooled Again N Again:

    More to add. Food prices not only at fast-food chains are now cheaper than at hawker centres, even coffeeshops the food prices can be cheaper than those at hawker centres.

    It wasn’t the case 10 to 20 years ago. Then, coffeeshops always charge slightly high than those food at hawker centres.

    Something is not right with the system, the moneyed system of greed

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    A Bastard once asked…”What is wrong with collecting MORE MONEY”…in Tennis, it is KNOWN as Following Through and so the little bastards are doing JUST that…NIKE the useless Brand with no balls motto “Just Do It”

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  • Asd:

    What Malalak .. What medaka.. why divisive ?

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  • oxygen:

    MY INFORMED SOURCE ALSO SAID BANK LEVY CHARGES for coin deposits which is maddening to hawkers. They will pass on the costs to customers.

    My worrying suspicion is that soon banks will charge fees for both deposits and ATM withdrawals.

    THE POOREST AH BENGs, AH SENGs, AH LIANs and AH HUAYs living frugally can only afford to withdraw,frequently, small amounts each withdrawals will end up paying for banking charges for withdrawal through their a*ses.

    BIGGER POPULATION MEANS CAPTIVE CUSTOMERS IN BANKING HALLS AND TECHNOLOGY IS THERE TO EXPLOIT PEASANTS WITHOUT OPENING THE MOUTH TO ASK FOR CHARGES/LEVIES.

    @ SG modus operandi is right. The 70% dafts are too stupid to think.

    SG modus operandi: A serial killer likely has a modus operandi, his preferred method of killing people.

    This government-profiteer also has a modus operandi.

    First, it raises the price for everyone. Make it expensive for everyone and super profitable for itself.

    Second, it offers a subsidy for a few poor people (people made poor by the price increase). 154th makes a great show of how caring this profiteer is.

    3. Repeat every year.

    4. Repeat for other places.

    E.g.
    Public transport fare raised every year, and make a big show of small subsidies.
    Do the same for HDB.
    Do the same for hawker food.
    Do the same for water, electricity, everywhere they can control.

    What is really sad is that Singaporeans are still looking to the government to lower price….

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  • No Dogs or Dafts Allowed:

    @ oxygen: You’re right. Should boycott those profiteering hawkers.

    Some cases are blatant profiteering. These hawkers usually have long queues and they try to smoke you with the usual BS. Of course there are also the genuine cases. So don’t be daft Singaporeans and pity the wrong hawkers!
    Telling the govt. to reduce costs is like telling the fox guarding the hen house to leave the chickens alone.

    Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for the opinions above, as apparently one of my dogs has learned how to type.

    oxygen:
    MY INFORMED SOURCE TOLD ME THIS – a whole uncooked duck in NTUC Fairprice costs around $14 each. Walk down the street in a hawker stall, that whole roast duck is priced around $42!!

    Rent and energy costs so much, meh?

    PROFITEERING!

    BOYCOTT EXPENSIVE STALLS AND LET THEM DIE!!

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  • Patriotic My Butt:

    KF Seetoh/Makansutra is bank rolled by People’s Association. The author can stop patronising these stalls and cook his own food. People in other countries bring lunch to work.

    Don’t understand what is iy about the Malay/Indian stalls that make their prices higher. Unless it’s beef rendang.

    The Ba Mian at kopitiam may cost $2.8 after using their loyalty card. But it’s just lots of soup, noodles, some veggies and very little meat.

    Those that cost $7 to $9 at food republic will give you a more serving.

    Spoke to some hawkers at Bukit Timah hawker center. Each stall got to pay cleaning companies a few hundred a month. These companies are govt owned, I believe.

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  • a "token' for-show-only:

    //First, it raises the price for everyone. Make it expensive for everyone and super profitable for itself.

    Second, it offers a subsidy for a few poor people (people made poor by the price increase). 154th makes a great show of how caring this profiteer is.//

    like that how ? like that the raised price becomes the benchmark higher price and has the tendency of to stay high (unlikely to be reduced or the reduction is just a “token’ for-show-only relative to the previous price increase) hence inflating the overall environment leh ??

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  • At the bottom of the matter:

    In every first-world democratic nation in the world East and West, the ruling government is obliged to provide their aged citizens (about 60yrs and above) with monthly state-pension payouts until the day they pass on from the earth. How come we Singaporeans of a very rich country do not get such a mandatory dispensation from this government?
    Instead, our lifetime mandatory monthly CPF savings is supposed to be a “superannuation fund” to be paid out in full at a legislated age (55,60,65)!

    The question is: why has our personal lifetime savings been renamed as “CPF pension fund” by the government to be paid out in 20 long years from 65 years old to 85 years old? Isn’t this an extra-legal intervention into the national CPF institution, which was early on implemented in the interests of the well-being of every citizen? It has devolved into an opaque capital resource-pool for the ruling party – but where is our interests at heart?

    Isn’t the food and costs of living in this country too expensive just because your income is too meagre, and what is rightfully yours is hardly yours to keep?

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  • ignorance is bliss:

    //The packages offered by govt. are a just small consolation prize so that they will continue to vote PAP. They do not know anything about our reserves, nor their money inside their CPF. However, they do know that they have to continue working until they collapsed one day. Sad indeed!//

    the more ignorant of them (151th standard is not there for no reason) about public matters, the better it is for the white idiots ?

    ignorance is bliss and “continue to work until collapse” can be made wonderfully habitual once this group of people can be convinced that this is the natural order of their station in life (151th propaganda standard must constantly be churned to maintain such belief system) ?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Many S’poreans are [mentally] handicapped by the fact that either they can’t or won’t cook to save themselves. Eating out is an expensive option for majority of S’pore households especially the jobless & the retirees. The mental bloc that holds them back from achieving savings & accumulating capital; as well as poor time management to maximize the way time is spent for productive uses. Cook at home, pack your meals for work & refrained from eating out as they are 3x to 4x the cost of buying groceries & cooking at home.
    And the proliferation of hawkers, the cleaners & food catering outlets were misallocation of manpower & capital malinvestments for a labour intensive endeavour, a low return eco-system, negative to low labour productivity which limits potential & bluntly, a high turnover, dead end industry with no possibilities for global domination nor for scaling up to reap the economies of scale. All in, it is a waste of time & money to focus on F&B especially the hawker industry because (1) it is too labour intensive & a low return eco-system (most of S’pore’s F&B Industry are predominantly staff by foreigners); (2) it is not sustainable for the majority as the failure rate is extremely high; & (3) it is extremely conducive for rent-seekers as there are fools born every minute but longer-term, fools can go extinct, then what? Food court, hawker centre Apocalypse?
    S’pore’s priorities are all wrong! The PAP govt are just as complicit in this with efforts to showcase hawker industry as a high potential career – highlighting S’pore graduates as hawkers. Nothing is further from the lies, look at Shenzhen instead – the number of intelligent start-ups proliferating in technology eg. 3-D printers, automated food dispensers, everything computer & machine smart-based mechanisms, things that are coming out of this impressive eco-system. They are churning out engineers, not hawkers like S’pore. It simply shows S’pore’s dim future & especially PAP govt bankrupt ideology & economic management. S’poreans can be so stupid if they don’t see the world!

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  • Just look at the Slogan . . .:

    -
    LKY – “What’s wrong with collecting more money?”
    -
    The party founded is PAP – “Pay n Pay”
    -
    nuff said?
    -
    Only 70% still doesnt get it.
    -
    Remember the Ballot Box !

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  • TruBlu:

    Its start with the GLCs n the monkey$ just follow.
    COL IS SIMPLY IRRATIONAL becos ministers’ pay is ridiculous.

    Cut ministers pay, COL sure come down.
    Dont believe?
    Challenge me.

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  • opposition dude:

    You can complain all you want the whole day long but complaining alone is not going to solve the problem.

    The kiasees will have to overcome their deadbeat mindset if things are going to get better. No point forever yelling out the 2 most famous excuses and then grumbling about high rentals, high cost of living, massive influx of aliens and job security.

    PAP sure as hell isn’t listening to the kiasees when they know they will still be having the majority in parliament election after election to do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want.

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  • dont look down on cleaners:

    Bobo:
    Chit-chat with table cleaners working in food courts, they seems very happy with the package and their clearning job in air-con place. They are proud of our gov. Also chit-chat with table cleaners in hawker center. They are the bo-bian type. The packages offered by govt. are a just small consolation prize so that they will continue to vote PAP. They do not know anything about our reserves, nor their money inside their CPF. However, they do know that they have to continue working until they collapsed one day. Sad indeed!

    What are you trying to achieve writing this about table cleaners? You want readers here to join you in mocking, to curse and swear and look down on them for not knowing anything about the “reserves, bla bla, etc”. Didnt you know, there are many Sgeans working in jobs that do not pay CPF?

    Pushing your hidden agenda by asking some random table cleaners a few questions, you come here to mock, despise and look down on them.

    These table cleaners, many of do not have a higher level of education and many are elderly, some are hunched and bent over. Can they afford to stay at home spending their time by surfing the net or watch serial dramas during their golden years?

    There will be people who are not as fortunate in life like you who presumably had a decent level of education, has the time to response and comment in english on forums like TRE. Of all the possibilities to pick on, you pick on some helpless lowly paid elderly table cleaners.

    Question. Should you lose your current job to a fresh ‘off the plane’ foreigner and fail to find another one, will accept a job as a food court/hawker center table cleaner?

    Spare us your ‘sad indeed!” ending. Spare a thought for table cleaners and pick on someone your size!

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  • Went to Japan:

    Until you vote against PAP, nothing will change.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Hawker Stalls are operated by FT. There are no $G hawkers anymore.

    FT charge what they think they can get away with. The rest goes to the government.

    Even if the government lowered their fees the FT will take it anyway. Prices never go down they always go up.

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  • Rotten Banana:

    Every time ENV closing down the public hawker centre to repair or renovation the rental of hawker stalls will increase. Can’t blame the private food courts as public hawker center suppose to regulate the rental etc. for cheaper food forthe general public but they lead the increase of rental and passing all management cost etc to the food sellers. SAD

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  • comes in various patterns:

    //MY INFORMED SOURCE ALSO SAID BANK LEVY CHARGES for coin deposits which is maddening to hawkers. They will pass on the costs to customers.

    My worrying suspicion is that soon banks will charge fees for both deposits and ATM withdrawals.//

    possible lar ? even they charge fees for holding current account and also withdrawing cash over the counter (over certain no. of transactions) ?

    the opportunity for banks to make money is too shiok to be missed and easy ? bifurcate the usual banking services (which used to be free) into various parts (many parts in the future ?) and charge for it (min sum, free for certain OTC transactions, coin deposit charge, cheque book charge, etc, etc, etc) ? Even when encouraging to move over to online mode, some charge for online platform service will also be levied from certain bank(s) ?

    no regulatory oversight on this thingy ?

    FD comes in various patterns (10mths instead of the usual 12mths, perhaps counting on your forgetfulness to renew at 10mths OR mandatory hold of fixed % equivalent in savings account for the amount of FD ????) ???

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