Not government’s business to intervene in commercial decisions

‘Not government’s business to intervene in commercial decisions’- forum page writer, Jonathon Wong, Straits Times 22 June 22.

I beg to differ from him on the opinion. Let me explain.

The late Lee Kuan Yew was respected even by people who disagreed with him because among the many, many decisions that he had made when he was in office, he had always strived to and never shied away from doing the right things that were in our collective national interest and not merely being dogmatic, book-smart or politically correct.

Under him, even very personal things like where you lived, the noise that you made and the number of children that one had…etc all had his personal interventions and stamps on them.

I want to strongly stress that although coffeeshops changing hands at many millions of dollars are commercial decisions benefiting some property owners, some property agents, some lawyers and also the government etc, food prices in those coffeeshops must be kept in check! This is where a strong and truly caring government must show up. (Please read this paragraph again).

Very, very importantly, this generation of book-smart pap ministars must have the same level of iron in them or seriously, they don’t deserve the people’s support any longer or continue being in office to the detriment of Singapore and Singaporeans.

Unlike restaurants or foodcourts, HDB heartland coffeeshop customers are largely the nearby residents many of whom are working class people, retirees, maids, students and taxi-drivers.. etc.

If the government turns a blind eye to the trend of coffeeshops changing hands in the many millions of dollars that must inevitably resulted in stall rents skyrocketed and coffeeshop food prices following suit, the little people who patronise them must become ‘silent how lam’ or cry no tears.

Going forward, more consortiums are likely to take a leaf from them and the silence of the government will encourage them to further exploit this business opportunity. Ordinary Singaporeans’ humble coffeeshop meal options will be sacrificed.

Can somebody who knows better tell me does lhl, which of his millionaire ministers, which of those millionaire mayors or which pap MPs eats their 3 meals in coffeeshops or hawker centre everyday? It will be interesting to know.

For foodcourts in shopping centres and restaurants, I agree that the government has no business to intervene with business decisions but for HDB coffeeshops, they are different because in our Singapore context, they serve a very basic and useful social mission.

If this pap government shies away to ensure that food prices in coffeeshops are kept in check, they should be widely publicised and shamed for failing to ensure a very basic survival issue such as having a humble meal outside the house before and after school, work or in between is officially neglected.



Simon Lim




11 Responses to “Not government’s business to intervene in commercial decisions”

  • xoxo:


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  • myfirstscrew:

    The govt controls NTUC, NTUC bought Kopitiam and thereafter rental keeps shooting up and Kopitiam keeps raising prices too.

    So now, other private operators also follow NTUC, they raise price even further.

    Mind you, most of the essential services such as hdb, hawker centres, Utility, ura, singtel, starhub, m1 and ntuc etc are in the hands of govt and they are the ones who keep raising prices.

    Pappy comes and tell you, they have nothing to do with commercial enterprise.

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  • Talk cock no use:

    The gov can talk cock sing song, yeo lp, and hawker food will continue up. It is already very suspicious that the gov’s aim is to make the prices go up.

    The gov has a ready and effective way to control rents. It’s very simple. Build more coffeeshops, build more hawker centres. Take back those single-storey coffeeshops and build 2 or 3 storey ones.
    Do a sers on coffeeshops.

    But it’s easier to give some sweet talk and do nothing.

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  • agreed:

    Need to keep HDB coffee shop food affordable.
    Stupid to think the food price will not go up when the coffee shop price goes crazy high.
    Need political will to do the right thing for Singapore,especially for the poor.

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  • panyusg:

    Are coffee shops value for money? Or it is because of habit that we eat at coffee shops?

    Quality has gone down. Prices have gone up.

    The coffee is what I called black sugared water. The noodles are not really that tasty. Even the cooked food is now more costly.

    Due to being banned for being unvaxxed, I have skipped all eateries for months, saved a lot of money, broke off from my daily habit to have to be in a coffee shop or hawker centre.

    I cook at home..many be simple but I am healthy, eat and sleep well too.

    If people want to pay for higher prices, stop complaining.

    Do I care if coffee shop change hands for millions? I will go elsewhere where it is cheaper. Let’s face it..most hawker’s food are just so-so these days.

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  • xoxo:

    Many elderly sgs living in HDBs are cajoled to go to these coffee-shops to buy food due to mobility issues.
    We must not just think of the abled body n the young.They can walk or cycle to other venues which are cheaper but not the elderly n sick.

    This is not helpful or helping our elderly poor both physically n financially.

    Of course,those who are abld-body n can afford think nothing of it?

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  • xoxo:

    And,what do we also observe?
    Local stall-assistants getting replaced with *cheaper is better* aliens and FA$Terer too!
    They cook ANYHOW,skip steps n you pay higher food prices for lower quantity n quality!
    The new bo$$ collects more money?

    Do govt think this is the RIGHT DIRECTION?
    I * see stars*☆☆☆☆¿¿¿$$$***?

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  • idontbelieveinccpbs:

    The govt is taking lead to buy out kopitiams and then increase rental. The rental of kopitiams have shot up so much that now the noodles are no longer $5 but $7 or 8.

    The other private players also follow suit in buying out coffee shops and push prices up.

    Govt has been key players in all industries, their aim is massive profiteering via the essential businesses and services they provide via what they tell you are private enterprise.


    Which one not owned by govt?

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  • TheObelisk:

    It’s in the interest of the bilderbergs to make things difficult the world over, ferment chaos and hope for the laity to rise up, then they can use the UN which is formed to ensure there is always a boogieman, to embargo elections.

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  • opposition dude:

    Good for the seller and bad for the buyer as always. You want to pay such a price for a mere kopitiam then you better be able to pay the price plus the bank interest.

    As with all things in life, too expensive and the stalls will all close one by one since they can’t afford the rent any more. Whochever new stalls that are opened up to replace them will also be gone since they will face the same issue of ultra high rent.

    The newspaper might not report on the 2 coffeeshops that were purchased for high prices in Bt Batok and Hougang but it would surprise no one that those 2 might have changed hands again by now for a much lower price.

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  • KT2:

    I refer to Mr Simon Lim’s write-up and wish to comment on 2 points

    Firstly, the exorbitant high prices of HDB coffeeshops. The HDB coffeeshops (including other HDB retail shops & All gahmen mkts/hawk ctrs) are constructed with money $$$ from hard-earned tax-payers’ money throughout many donkey years and is still continuing as usual. Therefore, the gahmen as a duty to ensure all the HDB coffeeshops, HDBshops & mkts/hawk ctrs) benefit Sinkies in respect of reasonable pricing for foods, goods & services. Whether the coffeeshops changed hands in millions $$$$, they must not let the operators suka-suka increase the food prices at the expense of lower incomers or those unemployed who take their meals there everydays.

    Secondly, it unthinkable and rare to see white millionisters, their 5 millionaire “majors” eating at the hawk ctrs or coffeeshops regularly. The only times, we can see them eating at the mentioned places is for photo takings for news medias reporting. So, most of the times, where do these millionaire politicians eat ? I think is either at homes or in high class restaurants away from HDB heartlands. They will never go hungry as they pay themselves millions $$$ from tax payers’ money. We hope this “ppl” have a heart for the poor HDB heartlanders.

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