Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Hawker Centres That Are Not Social Nor Enterprising

A less sentimental view of hawker centres - Neither Not Social Nor Enterprising



What is a 'social enterprise' hawker centre? MP asks in Parliament
The term "social enterprise" hawker centre often used by the media is a "misnomer", said Senior Minister of State for Environment & Water Resources Amy Khor in Parliament on Monday (Nov 19)

She was responding to Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah, who was among several MPs who raised questions on this model of running hawker centres.

"A lot of residents are asking, what is the definition of social enterprise? We don't see Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) coming in but we see those social enterprises that are set up by big companies. So what is their motivation?" Ms Lee asked.

Dr Khor explained that such operators of hawker centres must have a "social mission".

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Discussion over social enterprise hawker centres partly fuelled by ‘well-meaning but misinformed' comments: Amy Khor
While the authorities “appreciate the passionate conversations & discussions” about the hawker industry, Dr Amy Khor said she wanted to address some misinformation — on rental & operating costs, budget meals and the deal that hawkers are getting — that “is really quite concerning”

Debate over social enterprise-run hawker centres — a hot-button issue that has come under scrutiny in recent months — has been “in part fuelled by hearsay & anecdotes which have emotive appeal”, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor.

Seeking to dispel some mistaken beliefs surrounding social enterprise-run hawker centres, Dr Khor said the management model was never meant to be “a magic pill”.

“Some of these hearsay and anecdotes may be well-meaning but (are) misinformed. In fact, quite a number are really not verified,” she told TODAY in an hour-long interview at Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre on Fri (Nov 16).

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Model of social enterprise hawker centres needs to be tweaked to benefit all involved: Elim Chew
Ci Yuan Community Centre Hawker Centre in Hougang is one of the first in Singapore to be run by a social enterprise Photo: Fann Sim

The model of having social enterprises manage hawker centres on a not-for-profit basis was mooted with good intentions, but it will now have to be tweaked so that it benefits all parties involved, said local entrepreneur Elim Chew.

In particular, the issue of higher rents & additional fees faced by hawkers at some of these social enterprise-run hawker centres will have to be looked into, she told reporters on Wed (Oct 24).

"It (was recommended with) a good intention,” said Ms Chew. “I don’t think it’s a wrong model but it needs to be tweaked to a model that benefits all.”

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Social enterprise hawker centre model 'generally sound', market mechanism working: Masagos

Despite some challenges with implementation, the socially-conscious enterprise hawker centre (SEHC) model is “generally sound" & the Government should let market mechanisms work instead of mandating low rents, Environment & Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli told Parliament on Monday (Nov 19).

"Food prices are kept affordable with a good variety of high-quality options, & the majority of hawkers are doing well at the SEHCs," he said. "We should not undo these achievements."

Mr Masagos was responding to a barrage of 19 questions tabled by several Members of Parliament on the SEHCs, including the challenges hawkers under this model face and how the ministry is addressing them.

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Govt to stick with social enterprise hawker centre model, ‘not enough to keep doing things the same way’
Environment & Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said that food prices at social enterprise hawker centres are not kept artificially low, with operators working with hawkers to offer a range of food at different price points

Social enterprise-run hawker centres are here to stay, said Minister for the Environment & Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Mon (Nov 19), as Members of Parliament (MPs) raised questions about the new model & why the National Environment Agency (NEA) could not manage the centres directly.

Existing hawker centres under the NEA have done well to meet the needs of communities and hawkers, but it is not enough to keep doing things the same way, said Mr Masagos.

Despite implementation challenges, the social enterprise hawker centre model is generally sound,” he said, outlining what the social enterprises could do better than the NEA.

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Grumbling and rumbling at social enterprise hawker centres — what’s the rub?
Just 3 years after the social enterprise model was rolled out to new hawker centres in Singapore, it has failed to live up to its promise. The questions on everyone’s minds are: Where has it all gone wrong? Are there underlying issues that need to be addressed? What is the best way forward?

The natives are restless in Singapore’s much-cherished hawker landscape, with a litany of issues plaguing what is one of the country’s most important community spaces & social institutions.

Allegations of poor management practices as well as high rentals & auxiliary costs at social enterprise-run hawker centres have hogged the headlines in recent weeks, not long after it was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally that the Republic is eyeing a spot for its hawker culture on the Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In announcing the bid, Mr Lee emphasised the hawker centres’ special place in the Singaporean heart, on top of the important role which they play in keeping the cost of living low.

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Not all can stomach social enterprise hawker centres, stall owners call for flexibility, lower rent
A hawker at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre — which is run by NTUC Foodfare — said that there was not enough transparency in the services they were paying for, such as information on how the monthly “concept and marketing” fee of S$300 was used

They were introduced 3 years ago with the aim of keeping food prices low for consumers, among other social objectives.

But the jury is still out on not-for-profit, social enterprise hawker centres, as they came under the spotlight recently after food critic and consultant K F Seetoh raised concerns about how they were run.

Mr Seetoh said in a post on his Makansutra website that hawkers at such centres have to pay an average of S$4,000 a month in rent due to extra expenses that included coin-changing services, charges for crockery washing, collection & return, as well as a fee for spot-checks on food quality and operation.

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Hawker reacts to Amy Khor’ criticism that hawker complaints are merely unverified anecdotes

Public debate over the effectiveness of the social enterprise model that’s being piloted in seven hawker centres around the island is continuing to heat up.

Some of the main concerns that have been raised by the hawkers themselves include high rental, high ancillary costs, the requirement of having an ‘affordable meal’ option that’s less that $3, and unreasonable contractual terms just to name a few.

A recent episode of New Naratif’s Political Agenda podcast included three hawker stall owners who shared their experiences with being in the hawker business and their take on the whole social enterprise model that the National Environment Agency (NEA) is testing out. The feedback was less than glowing.

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NEA to co-fund half of centralised dishwashing costs borne by stallholders at new SEHCs starting January next year

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has included the co-funding of centralised dishwashing costs as a part of its extension of the 'Productive Hawker Centres' grant to stallholders at social enterprise hawker centres (SEHCs), which will take effect on 1 Jan next year.

In a press release on Friday (16 Nov), NEA said the grant will soon include stallholders at "the seven new hawker centres" as a means of increasing its "support" in terms of "managing the cost from the adoption of centralised dishwashing service at these centres."

The seven new SEHCs are:

  • Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre
  • Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre
  • Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre
  • Ci Yuan Hawker Centre
  • Yishun Park Hawker Centre
  • Jurong West Hawker Centre
  • Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre

The agency added that it will subsidise 50% of the dishwashing costs for the first year, and then 30% for the second year. Stallholders are expected to bear the dishwashing costs in full the third year onwards.

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Social enterprise hawker centres need time to establish themselves: Masagos
“As with any trials and experiments, we cannot always get it right the first time,” said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli in Parliament on Monday (19 November). (PHOTO: MCI)

The seven existing socially conscious enterprise hawker centres (SEHCs) need “time to establish themselves”, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Monday (19 November).

“Despite implementation challenges, the SEHC model is generally sound. Food prices are kept affordable with a good variety of high-quality options. And the majority of hawkers are doing well at the SEHCs. We should not undo these achievements,” Masagos said in Parliament.

“As with any trials and experiments, we cannot always get it right the first time. We have heard the feedback and we will adjust the model to better serve Singaporeans.”

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Strong public views on social enterprise hawker centres will lead to change: Makansutra's K F Seetoh

The public’s “indignant” responses towards some practices by operators of not-for-profit social enterprise hawker centres are heartening and encouraging, said Makansutra founder K F Seetoh on Friday (19 October).

The food critic, who has in recent months raised concerns about the management of such hawker centres, said in a sit-down interview with Yahoo News Singapore that such public reactions would pave the way for changes in the business model.

His comments come after Jurong West Hawker Centre announced on Thursday that it is changing its tray return policy. Customers patronising the place are now required to pay a 20-cent deposit to collect clean trays for use, and be refunded when they return them to the collection points.

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Rentals at hawker centres do not directly affect food prices: Amy Khor

A study on the factors determining food prices at hawker centres has found that stall rentals comprised only 12 per cent of the overall costs incurred by hawkers, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Amy Khor in Parliament on Monday (19 November).

The same 2014 study by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) showed that raw materials and manpower made up 76 per cent of hawkers’ cost.

Studies by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) also revealed that hawkers generally price food according to what the market can bear, influenced by competition in the area and the demographic profile of customers. “Hence, stall rentals do not directly affect food prices,” said Dr Khor.

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Full Coverage:
Alternative social enterprise hawker management model still being evaluated
Dishwashing subsidy extended to stallholders at new hawker centres: NEA
Government to retain social enterprise hawker centre model
Grumbling and rumbling at social enterprise hawker centres, what’s the rub?
NEA suggests changes to contract terms between social enterprises, hawkers
NEA working with hawkers & operators to 'iron out' cost and contract issues
Some social enterprise hawkers unconvinced biz model of packaged charges
Extra fees of S$650 levied on some Ci Yuan hawkers a ‘miscommunication’
Social enterprise hawker centre model 'generally sound', market working
Dishwashing subsidy extended to stallholders at new hawker centres: NEA
Jurong West Hawker Centre customers to pay deposit when using trays
Hawkers can flag concerns with NEA place managers: Amy Khor
Grumbling at social enterprise hawker centres
Some social enterprise hawkers unconvinced by business model
Social enterprise operators to get views of hawkers
Are hawker centres run by “social enterprises” really not giving

Not Social Enterprise Hawker Centres - Makansutra
Not all can stomach social enterprise hawker centres
Social enterprise operator says $600 monthly inspection fee optional
Social enterprise hawker centres are neither an evil nor a magic

Bedok hawkers in pioneer social enterprise centre
Amy Khor: NEA will take errant social enterprise hawker centre
Hawker Centres Public Consultation Panel - Ministry of the
“Look at their ability and not their disability”: Meet Singapore's first
Singapore – future of hawker centres in the hands of social enterprises
Some Social Enterprise Hawkers Kill people
Hawker centres are a great social leveller in Singapore, a place where
NTUC Foodfare rebuts allegations of unfair treatment in running Old
Stepping into Jurong West Hawker Centre during lunchtime on a

If Only Singaporeans Stopped to Think: Hawker Centre Public
Let’s Support Singapore Hawker Culture
Committee to support hawker culture’s UNESCO bid only one hawker
Discussion SEHC 'useful' Spore Unesco nomination for hawker culture
NHB: Spirited debate on hawker culture shows investment its survival
Discussion about social enterprise hawker centres
Singapore hawker culture to be nominated for Unesco listing
Spirited debate on hawker culture shows investment in its survival
Our Hawker Centres- A UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Icon
Hawker Culture – Heritage Plan - Our SG Heritage
UNESCO listing may lift hawker culture but saving it is a
NDR 2018: Singapore to nominate hawker culture as 'intangible
Committee to guide Singapore's hawker culture nomination to
NHB: People care, so they debate on hawker centre model
Discussion about social enterprise hawker centres 'useful' to
Spirited debate on hawker culture shows investment in its survival
Singaporeans upset that committee to support hawker culture's
Committee set up to advise on Singapore's nomination of hawker
Getting Singapore's hawker culture on Unesco's list: Committee set up
Grumbling and rumbling at social enterprise hawker
Fleshing out Singapore's bid for Unesco recognition of hawker culture
Social-enterprise model for hawker centres needs to change
“NTUC contract robs hawkers of their dignity” – Netizen blasts PAP
Spirited debate shows S'poreans' passion for hawker culture: NHB
Strong public views on social enterprise hawker centres will lead to
14-member committee convened to prepare for Singapore's
Hawker Centre Public Consultation Panel Chairman: 'Not-for-profit
Donald Low takes on Lim Biow Chuan, questions “why should
“Hawkers do not exist to make the hawker centre or the city vibrant
Operating fees spike at another hawker centre managed by NTUC
“Hawkers do not exist to make the hawker centre or the city
Koufu owners buy back shares after price fall on tray-return debacle

Hawker centre model to be fine-tuned: Amy Khor, Environment News

Hawker centres | Infopedia - NLB eResources

Here's Jurong West Hawker Centre Tray Return Fiasco Explained

Hawkers do not exist to make the hawker centre or the

Koufu owners buy back shares after price fall on tray-return debacle
We Don't Take Social Enterprises Seriously Because
Model of SEHC needs to be tweaked to benefit all involved: Elim Chew
Only 2 stalls at Old Airport hawker centre have minimum operating hrs
NTUC Foodfare debunks management of Old Airport Rd Hawker Centre
Amy Khor asks social enterprise operators to form hawker feedback
If want to keep hawker culture alive,put our money where our mouths
NTUC Foodfare clarifies management of Old Airport Hawker Centre
Elim Chew who chaired 2011 hawker centres panel
“NTUC contract robs hawkers their dignity” Netizen blasts MP's response
Foodfare's statement regard Old Airport Rd Hawker Centre contradictory
NTUC alleged made Old Airport hawkers sign “ridiculous legal documents”
Lim Biow Chuan responds to allegations hawkers at Old Airport Rd FC
Longtime patron of Old Airport Rd FC relays the despair felt by hawkers
Majority of self-pay machines at Ci Yuan Hawker Centre faulty
NEA needs to take hands-on approach in new scheme
New hawker centre model has failed, Letters in Print News & Top Stories
Discussion about SEHC 'useful' to Singapore's Unesco nomination
Social enterprise model needs to improve, says Elim Chew
People care, so they debate on hawker centre model: NHB
Model of social enterprise hawker centres needs to be tweaked to
The Big Read: Grumbling at social enterprise hawker centres
Some social enterprise hawkers unconvinced by business model of
TODAYonline | Social-enterprise model for hawker centres needs to

TODAYonline | Discussion about social enterprise hawker centres

S'pore hawkers struggling to survive in private social enterprise

More hawker centres to be run by social enterprises

'Social enterprise' management model for hawker centres may need

Public Consultation Panel on Hawker Centres - Ministry of the

Public views on social enterprise hawker centres will lead to change
Not Social Enterprise Hawker Centres - Makansutra
Food guru K F Seetoh accuses social enterprise of profiteering at the
NEA: Hawker centres run by social enterprises have met objectives of
10 Facts about the Social Enterprise Hawker Centres Saga That's
NTUC Social Enterprises | Media Releases
Amy Khor: NEA will take errant social enterprise hawker centre
This is the one who started the social enterprises running hawker
MARKETS / HAWKER CENTRES MANAGED BY NEA
Customers Boycott Trays at Social Enterprise Hawker Centre in
Social Enterprise Hawker Centres - If Only Singaporeans Stopped to
NTUC Foodfare - Leasing Opportunities
The not-for-profit, social enterprise hawker | Facebook
Grumbling and rumbling at social enterprise hawker
KF Seetoh takes issue with how Social Enterprise Hawker Centers
NEA Copies Banksy With Self-Destructing Social Enterprise Hawker
Social Enterprises to Run More Hawker Centres
Are hawker centres run by “social enterprises” really not giving
Social Enterprise Hawker Centres seetoh - XtremePlace Forum
Dignity Kitchen – Singapore's first hawker centre run by challenged


related:
Hawker Centres That Are Not Social Nor Enterprising
The hawker centre debacle
Singapore hawker culture to be nominated for Unesco listing
Michelin Guide Singapore
Savour The Craft Of These SG Heritage Hawkers

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The Royal Couple is as in Love as ever!

The 97-year Queen & Prince Philip celebrated their 70th Platinum Wedding Anniversary on 20 November 2017

Monday, 19 November 2018

International Men's Day 2018

Men Leading By Example

On November 19 International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities.

International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek.”  It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to prosper.

International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.

International Men’s Day is annually held on November 19 to improve gender relations and promote unity