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The SDP has written to Sheng Siong to ask for a meeting regarding the acquisition of wet markets. This is because the company has said that it would not rule out air-conditioning the premises and turning the facility into a 24-hour operation.
Although Sheng Siong has indicated that it will not raise the rental of the stalls, its plans for the markets are still murky. This has caused great ire for the stallholders. The Singapore Democrats are also concerned about the impact the transfer of ownership will have on the vendors as well as consumers.
For example, will vendors be forced to operate longer hours if Sheng Siong goes ahead with its plans to make the market a 24-hour outfit? Will the rental still remain the same if markets become a round-the-clock business? Will vendors be made to obtain their items from Sheng Siong’s suppliers? Will the cost of these items be increased? Will the increase be passed on to the buyers?
These and other questions remain unanswered by the company, and shopowners and buyers are all legitimately concerned about their livelihoods and increased prices.
For this reason, the SDP is not placated just because the HDB says that Sheng Siong will not be allowed to convert the wet markets into supermarkets. This is the reason why the party has written to Sheng Siong to ask for a meeting to clarify some of these issues.
If the Singapore Democrats cannot get assurances from Sheng Siong that the people and, in particular, the residents of Bukit Panjang will not be adversely affected by the sale of the markets to company, we will call on HDB to stop the takeover by Sheng Siong.
Ms Tan Ching Fern
Sheng Siong Supermarket Pte Ltd (Head Office)
3000 Marsiling Road Singapore 739108
Dear Ms Tan,
As you may know, the Singapore Democratic Party is concerned about the impending takeover by Sheng Siong of several wet markets around Singapore, including the Fajar Market in Bukit Panjang.
We welcome the news that the markets will not be converted into supermarkets and that the rentals of the stalls will not be increased.
However, press reports indicate that Sheng Siong is not ruling out turning the premises into an air-conditioned facility as well as a 24-hour operation after the acquisition. Given this situation, we fear that operational costs will increase and that this increase will be passed on to the shoppers.
Singaporeans, especially workers, are already saddled with a high cost of living that has outstripped wages. This being the case it is understandable that they are concerned that the acquisition of the markets by your company will lead to a greater financial burden for them.
In this regard the SDP would like to meet with Sheng Siong officials to hear from you directly about the matter and to see if the interests of all parties can be addressed.
As this matter is one of public interest, we may post this letter on our website. Thank you and we look forward to meeting with you.
Singapore Democratic Party