Government looking at ways to keep hawker food affordable
The Semi-Naked Chef read recently the article and watched the TV coverage of MP Vivian Balakrishnan – Government looking at ways to keep hawker food affordable.
Man oh Man whatever is agreed by whom, I just hope the outcome is that we retain and make prosperous this icon of Singapore and beyond and not to marginalise it.
This would be a crying shame for all us foodies in Singapore if this spiralled out of control. It the best food in the country, a heritage that must live on, decades old recipes that must be handed down, and social gathering points for locals and foreigners alike that are unique and have to be retained.
Click on the link above to see the man speak on Channel News Asia. We shall see where this goes.
It was interesting to see some commentary from KF Seetoh of Makansutra. Which seems to be received with mixed emotions from many, some even stating some MP origins were from hawker stalls in the first place. Wonder who that was?
I am a big fan of KF Seetoh and what Makansutra has achieved, he of any has the voice in my opinion. In fact why is he not the MP of Food Affairs for Singapore – how about we start a campaign? Even his mate Bourdain would vote for him I’m certain!!
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
Well The Semi-Naked Chef leaves it up to you to decide your own thoughts on this.
But please Singapore don’t mess too much with my beloved hawkers, my family second home here and everywhere we travel. The very best way to understand the country you are in is to sit and eat with the locals, and enjoy where you are.
If they are no longer there it will be a crying shame.