As readers will remember, just a couple of weeks ago, it was publicly announced that NTUC Enterprise was in the process of acquiring kopitiam. It should be noted that this acquisition, if it is given the go ahead by the anti competition watch dog, will give the NTUC group a virtual monopoly over food ranging from raw to cooked in Singapore. While NTUC has pledged that it is only pushing ahead with this proposed acquisition to keep prices low, a monopoly would mean that it would be difficult for the consumer to ensure that NTUC lives up to its promise. A recent experience shared by a member of the public has given rise to some concern.

Mr Lee Chee Meng had written to the Straits Times Forum complaining about the reduced choice offered by NTUC Foodfare in its subsidised meals section. According to Mr Lee, “When Rice Garden was set up, senior citizens and NTUC union members could buy a $2 meal that included two vegetables and one meat item.” Now however, the same $2 meal is restricted to two vegetables and pork, stewed chicken or curry chicken In other words, fish has been taken off the menu.

Looking at this incident, is there cause for the public to worry that should NTUC take on even more market share in the food industry, that it would be able to increase prices with impunity? Even with some semblance of competition, items have been cut from the menu. With virtually zero competition after the acquisition, will the situation get even worst?

Why has fish been taken off the menu? Is it a cost cutting exercise? If so, why did the General Manager of the Institutional Catering Division of NTUC Foodfare, Koh Kian Leong not mention this? Instead, he chose to mount a defense that does not answer the question by focusing on what they offer instead of why they have removed fish from the menu.

This may sound petty in isolation. $2 is after all not exorbitant. However, when you look at this incident along with the proposed acquisition of kopitiam which would give NTUC full control over the hawker food sector coupled with its purported reasons for the acquisition, this picture is less rosy.

If it wants to keep costs of food down for the consumer while yet providing nutrition and choice, why did they remove fish from the menu? How does this gel with their purported reasons for the acquisition?

Is the anti-competition watchdog looking at this incident?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like


上周,本社报导一名新加坡公民莫汉(Mohan Rajangam),五年前被指涉及一宗在马国槟城的谋杀案,结果被警方逮捕而后引渡到邻国。 莫汉在邻国滞留了近四个月,他声称未有来自新加坡警方或驻马最高专员署等单位的持续跟进。马国法庭未提控他,莫汉最终因未涉及谋杀嫌疑被释放。 但为此莫汉付出惨重代价:除了身心灵煎熬和欠佳的拘留环境影响健康,他还因此丢了工作,他在众目睽睽下被警方逮捕,致使被人误会他就是杀人凶嫌,如莫汉自己形容,那是“天大的耻辱。” 根据新加坡引渡法,马国法庭可发出逮捕令,在得到新加坡法官的首肯下,从新加坡引渡嫌犯。不过相对地,我国法官也可对逮捕令提出异议。 案发时莫汉不在马国 从莫汉的叙述我们不禁要提问,警方或法庭是否掌握清楚状况或资讯,了解为何莫汉要被引渡到马国、且是否妥当? 莫汉被指涉嫌于2015年3月2日晚9时20分,在乔治市枪杀一名印裔男子。不过前者指出,事发当时自己在兼职的夜总会办生日活动,况且护照也可以证明自己那段时间根本没到过马国。 去年12月17日就致函询问 尽管本社总编在去年12月17日,就已致函外交部、国家法院、内政部等各造,以核实事实详情,不过致截稿为止仍尚待这些部门的答复。 莫汉尝试向新加坡法庭索讨他的诉状,不过被驳回。但迄今也未解释为何拒绝把当时的诉状揭露给莫汉。 莫汉被指涉嫌在槟城杀害一名保安公司董事。但吊诡的是,莫汉被押解到槟城的同一天(2015年3月23日),其中两名凶嫌已认罪,且在他们住家找到涉案武器。…

Caning is torture and racist in origin: M Ravi

On 22 August, a constitutional challenge against judicial caning was heard in…

前国手质疑改选涉内幕 乒总文告七点驳指控

本地乒乓球教练、前国手陈开国关心国家乒乓运动前途,但是甫在上月15日结束的乒乓总会改选,令他感到失望,有感而发在个人脸书撰文,批评前人民行动党议员李玉云律师,也是现任乒总会长,罔顾国家乒运前景,乃至耍手段打压对手取胜。 《网络公民》记者针对陈开国的文章,电邮向李玉云求证。随后,乒总即对外发文告,指责陈开国发出不实指控,并列出七点反驳陈开国在文章内提出的论点: 陈开国的指控 乒总回应 1. 3H团队领导卓建南迫于压力,辞去草根领袖职位 这是不实且毫无根据的。 2. 原本乒总理事已有3分2是基层,投票是稳操胜算,但是李还是不放心,利用职权之便,前后又吸收9个有投票权的会员。 不对。李玉云美滥权,所有乒总成员(包括新会员)的招募都符合章程。 3. 根据章程,刚进来的会员须先做一年的普通会员,这是沒有投票权的,只有通过观察期,一年后才可成为正式会员,才拥有投票权。但是,会长可以利用职权,免除一年的观察期,让新加入的会员直接具有投票资格。…

Final line-up of Singapore Democratic Party for GE2020

For next month’s general election (GE), the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is…