Sunday, 1 October 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Tharman shows sudden interest in Geylang Serai but not during bazaar controversy

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam who has announced his intention to run for President, was the guest of honour at a ground-breaking ceremony for a rejuvenation project in Geylang Serai on Saturday (10 June) along with his colleagues from People’s Action Party (PAP).

The rejuvenated area will have new public spaces, improved infrastructure, and enhanced programmes to facilitate “community bonding”.

The work on the Geylang Serai Market and Joo Chiat Complex, as well as the construction of an arch anchored at the corner of Geylang Serai Market and Tristar Inn, are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2024.

During the ceremony, Tharman volunteered to sing a P Ramlee Song, “Getaran Jiwa”, and talked about bringing back the golden age of Geylang Serai. State-sponsored news media outlet Straits Times and Mothership, wrote positively about how Tharman serenaded the crowd.

Straits Times said, “A rendition of the P. Ramlee song Getaran Jiwa – loosely translated as Stirring Of The Soul – by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was met with cheers and applause by an audience of residents, merchants and other stakeholders in Geylang Serai.”

“As Tharman sang the first line, the crowd in attendance clapped and cheered for him,” reported Mothership. “When he finished singing, he joked that he needed to continue his speech.”

Tharman not around when Geylang Serai Bazaar stallholders complain

Tharman’s appearance in the Saturday’s event seems to show his sudden interest in the welfare of Geylang Serai despite the fact that he is not a Member of Parliament of the constituency. Tharman is an MP of Jurong GRC.

But three months ago, when the Geylang Serai Bazaar controversy erupted, he was nowhere to be found. At the time, stallholders were complaining about the high rental costs at the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar.

Some vendors reportedly were paying rents ranging from S$16,000 to S$19,000 for one unit. Furthermore, all food and beverage stallholders were subjected to incidental costs of between S$30 and S$3,100, including utilities, water supply, fans, coolers, tables, and chairs.

Even Kf Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, quipped that the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar is “easily the world’s most expensive pasar malam stall”.

Despite complaints from various vendors and criticism from netizens regarding the high rentals, the PA contracted organizer defends itself by saying that its stalls are “within market rental rates.”

The organiser said that they had incurred additional costs to “enhance visitors’ experience by curating concept zones”. The main organiser of the bazaar is actually the People’s Association (PA), and it tendered out the organisation of the bazaar to the consortium via a GeBiz tender at an award value of S$2.26 million.

Many stallholders actually regretted participating. A kebab seller said, “We’re all losing money. (We) cannot cover costs, cannot even cover rent.”

Another kebab seller estimated that 85 per cent of his earnings went towards paying rent. He was paying about S$30,000 – three times what he would pay at other night markets.

A fried snacks stallholder said, “Maybe we can pay for supplies, workers and rent, but (my family) may not draw a salary.”

It appears that when the people at Geylang Serai really needed Tharman to meditate on their behalf to fix their problems, he wasn’t around. Instead, he prefers to come and sing to them three months later.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts