By David Lim
The predicament of hawkers are long neglected and their livelihood slighted by the government's nonchalant tidak apa attitude and commercially driven policies.
The Minister's response to query on the discontinuation of the hardship policy was most idiotic and baseless reply.
To discontinue it because of low response from poor families? Definitely I doubt that this is a genuine reason.
With benefit of doubt, did you even find out why the response was poor? It's simple - they cannot afford the cost of the business setup. Why? Because they are poor. And your reactive action was to scrap the policy?
Even though the poor's response was low, then there are the poor ones who would have manage to procure borrowed money or enough savings to set up? You are denying this group of poor people. Because you wanted to convert your policy into a commercially driven tendering system.
15 years ago I was poor. I was the first batch of PMETs that you replaced with dirt cheap foreign talents (FTs). I was always unsuccessful to find the most basic jobs like waiter, delivery driver etc for two years but they always hired experienced FTs instead. And i seek out my Member of Parliament, Khaw Boon Wan for a hawker stall.
I was told to access NEA's website and tender their hawker stall. And sinfully they had a minimum cap on the tender price - $1800. and had to up it to compete with other 'rich towkay hawkers tenderers who owned a chain of hawker stalls at a much higher rental.
Thus how could the government give an excuse that due to poor response, you put it up for commercially driven tender and deny the genuinely poor people of a decent livelihood?
It was your screwed and failed policies that some of the elites today earned their millions from food chains and living in bungalows and terrace houses.
We do not need to go into details why are our hawkers rentals are so high. The same situation applies to your renting of shop units and market stalls. You are just too greedy ... and the people are too enslaved by your policies because you are the largest landlord in Singapore. And you were driven by these policies after S'pore was converted into S'pore Inc.,
This was first written as a comment in response to the article on Singapore government's stance on hawkers