Singaporeans may appear to be quite in conflict when it comes to the issue of rising living costs. It’s clear that all costs, including food, are skyrocketing, and we’re all aware of it, but we’re still surprised by the fact that it can affect someone else. It seems that they also need to raise the price.
Instead of blaming Hawker, why not put your energy into petitioning governments and MPs to lower the cost of Hawker and lower their costs?
In a post on the popular Facebook page Voice Your Grievances, a netizen named Jafri Basron wrote about the “shameful price increase” of the famous Char Kway teow fried food stall. In his post on Tuesday (June 14th), he complained that the price was raised from S $ 3.50 to S $ 4.50 on a small plate and from S $ 5.50 on a large fried char kway teow.
No one likes price increases, but is it really the merchant’s fault that the price increase is necessary? After all, he has to make a living like everyone else in us. Is it natural to assume that if prices rise, Hawker will also be affected by these rises? So why do we blame the merchants?
Netizens also label paying S $ 11 for fish-based caipng or economy rice at a hawker center as “robbery” and “rip-off.”
In addition to rising raw material prices, it’s no secret that street vendor stall rents have been rising for a long time.
As an example, let’s take a look at Tampines’ recent coffee shop sales. The Block 201 Tampines Street 21 coffee shop recently sold for a record S $ 41,682,168. The stalls at the venue confirmed that the rent had risen since the owner of the coffee shop changed two months ago, and some people had to quit the venue because the business was no longer viable.
As we remember, merchants were hit hard when various Covid-19 restrictions severely restricted their business.
In such a climate, merchants are consumers who are affected by soaring living costs. So, instead of blaming the merchants, why not direct our energy to petitioning the government and parliamentarians to lower the costs of the merchants so that our own costs also go down?
Singapore has long ate at the Hawker Center as part of its culture. The country’s Hawker culture has even been added to the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Many Singaporeans also see the entry of merchants into the Michelin Guide as a source of public pride.
According to Gwendal Plenneck, International Director of the Michelin Guide, it’s not surprising that the selection includes hawker stalls. He praised Singapore’s hawkers: “Their tenacity to survive these uncertain times was a source of power for all, and this unique Singaporean hawker culture was a source of national pride. Currently, they are on the UNESCO Intangible Culture List. “
With this in mind, shouldn’t we be more sympathetic to Hawker? Why do you hate them when you can focus on campaigns for change?
The soaring cost of Hawker has been a long-standing phenomenon, even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. Remember that there are concerns about rising rents since 2014!
Still, nothing was happening at the time, so the combined effect of Covid-19 and inflation was added to the mix. Is it really surprising that Hawker has to raise prices? And even if we consumers are naturally frustrated, should we get rid of the frustration of the merchants who are trying to make ends meet? Or can we get angry and more constructive and urge the government to manage rent?
The problems Hawker faces and the resentments they cause may probably indicate how we all live and govern our lives. But it is imperative not only to blame the government, but to remember that we all embraced this way of life, whether conscious or unconscious. Writer Tang Lee properly commented:
“It’s a strange world where people take pride in spending time chasing all sorts of expensive things. Time, the most valuable item, is only for those who can return something to you. Means to be dedicated … When you live this way and everyone else lives this way, it seems normal, but you leave the environment and interact with people in that environment. Suddenly, I realize that my life isn’t normal and uncomfortable, “he said, to put a nail in his head. “But having money is important, but it’s not the only thing in life. In Singapore, ironically, it’s the people with the lowest income who understand this basic concept.”
And if we’re really worried and angry about rising costs of living and hawkers, why not raise their prices and vote for workers’ party politicians, the party claiming the minimum wage? why? Planned GST increase?
Is it as if we choose to get rid of all the complaints about all the wrong people and complain instead of taking action?
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