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The SDP opposes plans to close five wet markets in Singapore to be replaced with supermarkets. This will increase the cost of doing business and raise prices of produce and other foodstuff.
Supermarket chain Sheng Shiong announced that it was buying over five wet markets in various housing estates and converting them into air-conditioned market facilities. The plan has sparked off unhappiness among Singaporeans.
The Singapore Democrats are concerned that such a conversion will mean that the stallholders will end up having to pay more for operating in the new facilities. The higher costs will be passed on to the shopper and add to the already high cost of living of Singaporeans.
At a time when inflation is already outstripping wages, such a move is reprehensible. It will only lead to more difficulties for the people.
If the idea is to create a one-store supermarket, the vendors will lose their independent livelihoods and may end up becoming workers of the supermarket. They will then have to compete with foreign workers which means that their income will be drastically reduced.
For these reasons, the Singapore Democrats are opposed to HDB approving the sale of the wet markets to Sheng Shiong. Among the five markets that are affected are: Choa Chu Kang Street 62, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, Serangoon North Avenue 3, Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 and Fajar Road.
The SDP will take the case to Singaporeans especially the residents at the Bukit Panjang constituency where we contested in the last general elections.
In our regular and on-going visits to the estate, we will draw attention to this unthinking and uncaring move, and will call on residents there to reject the politics of greed and profit-making at the expense of the economic well-being of the people.
We will ask the residents to oppose the sale of the wet market at Fajar Road and in so doing keep prices of foodstuff and other essentials from going up even further.
Singaporeans must put a stop to this hawking of the people’s interests to the highest bidder. This has caused much hardship for the people as prices continue to escalate beyond our means.