I wish his scholarly minders in his MEWR would get their ground facts accurately. This is wrong on so many fronts. Firstly, “ingredients from abt 60% of hawkers cost”, leh yao mo kao chor ah! If your food cost is 60%, eh, you long long close shop liao la. If you cannot do below 30%, go be a highly paid civil servant better la. Also, the “progresseive wages for hawker assistants”.. allo, they are already paid way more than your govt mandated $7+ an hour. No takers. Linda Heng is already offering $100 a day for assistant and take up is sluggish and reluctant. The problem is manpower availability, not just about overpaying them. Mana ada orang kereja !
And please, do not make turn the hawkers into minions out to do community and political favours, they really need to make money too. No wrong there at all. Getting them to feed the poor with low priced meals is ok, many i know will happitly give out free and even big disocunted cost+ meal to the displaced, but offering it cheap across the board to all and sundry, will invariably attract the rich and kiamsiap who will invariably bitch about quality and comfort. Let market rates dictate what they will do, it’s a Sg meritocracy thingie.
Sure, there is a big chunk of hawkers paying under $400 for rents, but these are hawkers from the President Devan Nair days still managing the old rental structure. The new stalls in decent places are all hovering at 4 figure rents. (they pay up to $3k at Maxwell). And lets see how these indie operators can “help bring the cost of food down” and make the place viable and relevant.
I am very sad to see the marginalisation of our beloved food culture struggling to grow in our food centres. Makansutra
You may view his original post here.