The Singapore Democrats continued to speak out against the sale of the Bukit Panjang wet market to Sheng Siong. The party was back in the constituency this morning to alert residents to the dangers of the takeover.
Singaporeans have been upset over the sale of several wet markets to Sheng Siong. The company has said that it does not rule out converting the premises into 24-hour, air-conditioned facilities once it takes over.
Like last week, the Democrats visited the Fajar wet market this morning to sell The New Democrat, hand out flyers and talk to stallholders and residents.
Many residents were visibly upset over the sale. One shopper spoke with Dr Chee Soon Juan and said in Chinese: “Of course they are going to raise prices once they air-condition the place. I don’t like it at all.”
The Democrats were on hand to let residents know that the party had asked to meet with Sheng Siong and that the SDP opposed any move that would jeopardise their livelihoods of the vendors or raise prices for shoppers. The flyer that was distributed (in the four languages) cautioned against the sale of the Fajar market:
Dear Bukit Panjang residents,
Even though the HDB has announced that the Fajar Market will not be allowed to be converted into a supermarket after its sale to Sheng Siong, concerns remain about how the change will affect the prices of foodstuff as well as the livelihoods of the current vendors.
This is because Sheng Siong has not ruled out air-conditioning the market or turning it into a 24-hour operation. What Sheng Siong has in store when it takes over the market is still very vague.
The SDP is concerned that as a result of the changes, operational costs will increase and that this increase will be passed on to you the shoppers. In addition, how will vendors be affected if the market is run on a 24-hour basis? Will the stallholders be made to stay open for longer hours? How will rental be affected if that were to happen?
As for shoppers, we understand that you are already saddled with the high cost of living which has outstripped wages. This being the case it is understandable that you are concerned about any increase in prices the takeover might bring.
The SDP has asked to meet with officials from Sheng Siong. The sale of the market has not yet been approved by the HDB. We will oppose any move by the parties that may jeopardise the livelihoods of stallholders or increase prices for the residents.
We will continue to stand up and speak out for you.
Singapore Democratic Party