A reader and his wife were at Old Airport Road market one evening and had just seated themselves in front of store #01-04 when they were told to get lost by the 2 rude women hawkers from the store. The store holders told them that they wanted the table for themselves to wash their trays and bowls and they would also be splashing water to wash their store.

Angered at the rude treatment, our reader demanded to speak to the store owner, but then he was told that the hawkers at the store were sub lessees who had rented the store from the owner. They told him off for asking to speak to the owner and sarcastically wished him luck in locating the illegal subletting owner.

According to our reader, hawker stores are supposed to be leased only to storeholders who will be conducting the business themselves and should not be leased out to third parties.

Realizing that he was not going to get anything out of these 2 hawkers, the reader has written in to the press and the Quality Service Manager from the Housing Development Board, Ms Heng, to ask whether their organization has been dilligent in conducting its checks on illegal subletting.

Read his account here.

“Dear Mrs Heng,

I would like to bring to your attention about the situation at Kallang Airport Market during the evenings prior to closure.

My wife and I purchased some food at a western stall and proceeded to sit at the table outside #01-04 as we’d wanted to get some drinks as well. Just when we’re seated, we were told to get lost by 2 hostile ladies of the stall who said they needed the table to conduct their washing of trays and bowls and that they will also be splashing water.

May I ask if this is standard practice as I understand that washings are usually conducted by the Town Councils after the end of the business day?

When I asked to speak with the stallholder about their unruly behaviour, I was told that it was a franchisee and that the owner does not come to the stall at all except to send 1 of his relative to collect the earnings of the day and they furthermore, sarcastically wished me luck in finding him.

Again, I understand that all stallholders are supposed to be physically present at their stalls to personally conduct business and not allow their stalls to be illegally sublet. There are many Singaporeans out there who wished to be given an opportunity to run a stall but are denied due to scarcity and over bidders yet we have such selfish people in our midst who use this loophole and lax checks by the various departments to exploit the system.

Hence, I hope you will look into these issues and take the necessary steps of rectification!”

Perera Ivan Joseph
A.S.S. Contributor

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