Friday, December 15, 2017

Give illegal hawkers a chance to make honest living

[A letter from almost 3 years ago. I sometimes draft blogposts and then feel that they are not good enough, or that I want to write more and I put the post in draft, and never publish them. Sometimes it is because I am trying to be more... critical? nasty? sarcastic? Yeah. One of the above. So here is a "mediocre" post. Not very nasty. Though I do think the letter was not thought through.]

Jan 02, 2015

I SYMPATHISE with the food hawkers who continue to ply their trade despite being fined ("Complaints rising against illegal food hawkers"; Tuesday).

Are there any statistics to show how many people have suffered food poisoning after consuming food from unlicensed hawkers?

If the authorities feel that these hawkers' food is not prepared in accordance with proper hygiene procedures or has not undergone quality control checks, perhaps they could send these hawkers for food hygiene courses or do random quality checks on their food.

[Of course! That is precisely why they should be registered and licensed and... you don't know what you are talking about, do you?]

I propose that the National Environment Agency give such Singaporean hawkers a chance to make an honest living, by giving them a licence to peddle their wares, just like how some seniors are allowed to sell ice cream along Orchard Road and in parks.

I believe some unlicensed hawkers are truly unable to find jobs, for various reasons. It is good that they do not steal or peddle drugs.

[So these were the only two alternatives you can think of? So illegal hawkers other options are to steal or push drugs? I love your perspective. And what you think of the less fortunate.]

I admire their strong determination and perseverance in wanting to make a living on their own, instead of depending on government assistance and handouts.

Instead of playing a cat and mouse game, why not legalise their trade in a way that is acceptable to the public?

Allocating designated spots for them to ply their trade will make routine checks easier.

The smell of fresh and piping hot chestnuts sold by street hawkers reminds me of my childhood days, when my father would buy roasted chestnuts from these hawkers.

[So, only roasted chestnuts? kari-pok? Otah-otah? nasi lemak? kueh-kueh? Or just those that remind you of your childhood?]

They will continue to add colour to our Singapore culture.

Lim Chye Hai

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