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Mr Gandhi Ambalam, chairman of the Singapore Democrats, has written to Dr Teo Ho Pin, PAP Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang, to ask the MP to oppose plans to convert the wet market at Fajar Road to a supermarket.
Sheng Siong, a giant grocery chain with several stores all over Singapore, has intentions to buy over five wet markets and convert them into air-conditioned supermarkets.
The SDP contested in Bukit Panjang, a single-seat constituency, in the last general elections and is continuing its work there in preparation for the next elections.
Mr Ambalam challenged Dr Teo to state publicly his position on the sale of the wet market. Silence and inaction on the part of the MP on such a controversial issue, one which has riled many residents, is not an option.
8 October 2009
Dr Teo Ho Pin
Member of Parliament
Bukit Panjang Constituency
You may be aware that plans are underway to sell the wet market at Fajar Road to Sheng Siong which will convert the market to an “air-conditioned” supermarket.
There are many Singaporeans who are concerned that the move will mean the loss of livelihood for many of the current vendors and stallholders of the market. You will agree that the survival of these vendors cannot and should not be sacrificed for the sake of increased profits of a private company.
In addition, it is almost a certainty that with the conversion of the wet market to a supermarket the cost of operations will rise. Being a profit-making company Sheng Siong will pass the cost on to buyers. This will add to the already burdensome cost of living of residents in Bukit Panjang.
Apart from economic considerations, wet markets have been a way of life in Singapore for decades. There is no added value for the wet markets to be converted to a supermarket. There are already very many supermarkets stores in Singapore such as Shop n Save, NTUC Fairprice and Carrefour. Surely there is a no necessity to take away the wet market for another supermarket chain.
Wet markets should be left alone as they provide Singaporeans a choice, that is, for those who wish to buy their produce and other foodstuff fresh from the vendors instead of from frozen shelves.
For these reasons, we hope that you will join us to oppose the sale of the wet market at Fajar Road as the move directly affects the residents in the area.
Given that you are the current parliamentary representative of Bukit Panjang, we hope that you will state publicly your opposition to the sale of the wet market and stand on the side of the residents. Given the unhappiness surrounding the matter, your silence and inaction would mean that you are supportive of the sale and conversion of the wet market to a supermarket.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Singapore Democratic Party