Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor told the Parliament that there is no need to allocate vacant hawker stalls to help those in financial hardship:
“There are no grounds for reinstating an old policy of allocating vacant hawker stalls to those in financial hardship.”
Minister Amy Khor also added that any hawker stall owner can make profit so long he is “disciplined and skilled”:
“Like any other self-employed person, a hawker can sustain his business successfully if he is disciplined and has the required skills and not simply because he is in need of a job.”
The Minister was responding to a question posed by MP Gan Thiam Poh who suggested the government should revert to a Lee Kuan Yew-era policy before 1990 where vacant hawker stalls were allocated to those who are retrenched and receiving financial assistance.
Minister Amy Khor said that she believe the policy is pointless because the take-up rate when the policy was in force 30 years ago was “very low”, and those in financial hardship should approach the different government agencies separately:
“The take-up rate had been consistently very low and most of the applicants had rejected the stalls offered to them, preferring to wait for a vacancy in more popular hawker centres. Those who need financial or other types of employment assistance can seek help from the Ministry of Social and Family Development or the Workforce Singapore respectively.”