You know the recent news about the social enterprise hawker centres? It got me mad. Mad because I firmly think it goes against the spirit of being a hawker. How dare you set rules on the duration of our opening hours and also how many days we can close in a month? Why should we submit an application if we wanna go on a holiday. Isn’t being a hawker means being our own boss? As it is, the hawker trade is a job no one wants to be in unless you have the passion and tenacity to survive in this harsh environment. With this kind of crazy rules and exorbitant pricing, no wonder no one wants to be there.
As I am writing this, my neighbour beside me is on 2 weeks holiday. No questions asked, no application needed. We pay rent and when we close, we still pay the table cleaning fees and the town council. Where got so good to have pro rate? Why should we let some management dictate how long we should work?
When we signed the contract at Jurong, we specially told the Operators to remove the clause of our stipulated opening times and minimum operating hours. Our stance is clear: family first, business second.
Anyway, my point is, if you want the hawker trade to flourish and gain new blood from the younger generation, pls remove all the barriers of entry. Make it as pain free as possible and all the additional charges? Make it optional rather than compulsory. You never know, I may like washing my own bowls instead of spending $700 to outsource to a dish washing company. I may like to change my own coins with my followers or family rather than pay an admin fee for coin exchange.