Thursday, 3 April 2014

DPM's $1.80 chicken rice?

A sad story behind $1.80 chicken rice in DPM’s GRC

Coffee shop at Blk 446 Pasir Ris Dr 6

TRE correspondent ordered a plate of chicken rice for $1.80

Chicken rice for $1.80 only, but it is a promotional price

Rather than trying to score political points by touting cheap food in his constituency, DPM Teo should go and talk to the hawker to find out if there is any story behind it. This is what it means to “stay close to the ground”. If he is too busy, he should dispatch his grassroots.

But then again, his own grassroots leader, Ng Cher Pheng, instead of finding out more about the story behind the $1.80 promotional price, quickly put up a Facebook message, “Lunch only $1.80 @Blk446“, to inform DPM Teo about it without mentioning that it is a promotional price in the message.

Are PAP MPs and grassroots close to the ground and do they really understand the ground? What do you think?

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Cheap hawker food – the reality behind politicians’ Facebook postings

Following the debacle over Member of Parliament (MP) Baey Yam Keng’s posting about having paid S$3.00 for a meal of nasi padang and a cup of bandung in December, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean is being questioned about his Facebook posting about a S$1.80 chicken rice. On 29 March, Mr Teo posted the following on his Facebook page [you can still see it here].

The two episodes, however, have thrown up a deeper issue which has come to the fore in recent weeks – how high rental for food outlets are forcing stalls to close. While the Pasir Ris chicken rice stall is trudging on, Mr Baey will no longer be able to eat at the nasi padang stall. It has since closed down due to high rental, reported the press. Ironically, in December, while Mr Baey was posting about how cheap a meal of nasi padang was, foodcourt chain Banquet was reported to be closing down. Part of the reason was high commercial rents. In March, the famous nasi padang restaurant at Zion Road, River Valley, announced that it will be closing down on 28 March 2014. Again, one of the reasons cited by the owner was high rental. Even the Hai Bin Bishan Prawning business was compelled to close due to the high rent imposed by its landlord, Nature Park, as TOC reported in September. [See report here.]

Thus, the bigger story or issue here from all these stories – including those of the Pasir Ris chicken rice stall and the closure of the “S$2.50” nasi padang stall – is how rentals are killing the small businesses. How many other small businesses are struggling silently just to keep their heads above water? This is what Mr Teo, Mr Baey and Mr Ng should be more concerned about.

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DPM Teo has come into the spotlight due to a photo he shared of some Chicken Rice with the caption "Lunch only $1.80 at Pasir Ris Blk 446".

The photo was shared by DPM Teo on March 29th but was actually a photo originally uploaded by Grassroots leader Mr Ng Cher Pheng. The whole thing feels far too familiar, sounding a lot like Baey Yam Keng's $2.50 Nasi Padang saga.

Similar to the time Baey Yam Keng had a cheap meal, netizens were quick to question whether normal Singaporeans would enjoy such cheap prices.

$1.80 Chicken Rice - DPM Teo

Does our DPM understand the story/meaning behind "one swallow does not make a summer"? 

If not he could read this up on the link below

A reader sent the following screenshot of DPM Teo’s Facebook post to TRE. DPM Teo was sharing a photo of chicken rice with netizens yesterday (29 Mar), with the following message:
"lunch only $1.80 at Pasir Ris Blk 446"

The photo actually originated from Ng Cher Pheng ( He posted the photo on his own Facebook page and shared it with DPM Teo on Friday (28 Mar):

Mr Ng posted it with the message: “Lunch only $1.80 @Blk446 - with Teo Chee Hean“. DPM Teo then added the words, “Pasir Ris” to make the message clearer when he re-posted Mr Ng’s photo on his own Facebook page.

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Tampines restaurant that gave discount to PAP MP Baey Yam Keng for his nasi padang has closed

Has MP Baey given Al Madina the kiss of death? What do you think?


related: The $2.50 Nasi Padang Furore