By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the Editorial “Baey: Owner charged me $2.50 out of respect & goodwill” (TR Emeritus, Dec 17).
It states that “In his column in My Paper today (17 Dec), Mr Baey started by saying that he loves hawker food and likes to eat at hawker centres, coffee shops and food courts.
“There are not many countries in the world like Singapore where one can easily find reasonably priced food with the same high level of hygiene and great variety. Singapore is indeed a food paradise,” he said.
“In Parliament, I have spoken a few times on hawker centres, hawker food and our hawker culture. I have urged the government to help preserve this heritage and national identity of Singapore, and even proposed setting up a Singapore Food Museum.”
From statistical perspective, someone who loves and likes and talks often even in Parliament, is probably (statistically) not very likely to not know that a glass of bandung is normally about $1.20 and arguably, therefore a statistical abnormality to think that it is only 50 cents?
As to “He said that he likes to post photos of hawker food on social media, not to promote the stalls but to “document and celebrate the richness of our hawker food that many of us love”
This may be what we call in statistics a “black swan” – because since its “not to promote the stalls” – why are we now literally promoting and advertising for the stall that charged a statistically exceptional low price by saying,
- “Apparently, after the controversial incident, the stall owner wanted to do his part to fulfil his “corporate social responsibility”. The owner intended to offer a $2.50 deal for nasi padang and a drink to all customers over lunch time (11am-2pm) this weekend (Dec 21-22). Up to 100 customers per day will enjoy the special offer and he will donate all proceeds to the Tampines North welfare fund to help needy residents.
- “I naturally applauded and supported his initiative,” Mr Baey said. “I shared this charity plan with my activists. One of them decided to give his support by pledging dollar for dollar so as to raise more money to benefit the community.”
Abeit the impropriety of seemingly now promoting and advertising in the media for the very stall that people have been complaining about giving him, and his accepting the statistically abnormally low price?
With regard to “He also said that he is not so naive as to think that all food is cheap. “And if I were to jump to a conclusion that all food is cheap just because I had paid $2.50 for a nasi padang, that would have been too naive of me,” he said”
– this may be what will henceforth be known as a “statistical contradiction” – why then did you post in facebook in the first place?
“Rare statistical event”?
In respect of “He acknowledged that his staff had recognised me that day and out of respect for my work and service in the community, charged me only $3 when it was more than $4″
– This may be what we call a “rare statistical event” – when the staff of a hawker stall can decide on his own to charge $3 instead of about $5 “out of respect for my work and service in the community”? By the way, this appears to be another statistical aberration – shouldn’t it be about $5 ($3.70 Nasi Padang plus about $1.20 Bandung drink), instead of “more than $4″?
“Statistical favourite” of the day!
Looking at all the numbers and statistics in this continuing saga – I particularly like the subject TR Emeritus Editor’s remarks – “Actually, if Mr Baey had wanted to compare apple with apple, he should have ordered a piece of chicken and two veggies, plus a bandung drink – the exact same food he ordered on 11 December. Then Singaporeans would know how much actual “goodwill” he received from the stall owner that day” – kind of like my “statistical favourite” of the day!
Ordinary citizens don’t have to worry too much about statistics?
Oh, by the way – I had Nasi Padang recently and paid the normal price, but I was charged only 50 cents for the mineral water (normally $1). You see – yet another hawker offered not to charge me anything – she said “you must be quite poor writing for free almost everyday and I like to read your articles at TR Emeritus, theonlinecitizen and The Real Singapore”. I tried very hard to decline to accept the free food (after all it only happens once in a blue moon – like about every few months or so).
Well, like they say in statistics – if you are just an ordinary citizen amongst the millions – you are just a mere lesser mortal (like a pin in a haystack) – you may not have to worry so much about accepting a bottle of mineral water at half the price, from a very insistent hawker once in a while!