PAP MP Patrick Tay at Jurong West Hawker

One of the five Lee Hsien Loong’s “Smart Nation” hawker centres, which charges a tray-return fee, has gone bankrupt.

Hawker Management, a subsidiary company under Koufu Group, will terminate its lease at Jurong West Hawker Centre by August 6. In a media statement to the state media:

“Koufu, as a publicly-listed company, has an obligation to safeguard shareholders’ interests.”

The director of Koufu, Pang Lim, is a PAP member from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC grassroots.

Jurong West Hawker Centre was newly opened in October 2017. The National Environment Agency is seeking a new operator, but there has been no taker for the poorly-located hawker centre.

The “Smart Nation” have features, thought up by Lee Hsien Loong, like a RFID tray-return robot and cash cards are highly unpopular with Singaporeans. In 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his admiration for China’s cashless transaction system and attempted to copy them into Singapore.

The dictator’s idea crashed and burned with cash still being Singaporeans’ preferred way of transaction.