THE NTUC MUSCLE

March 30, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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The Rhetoric

“Costing $200 million, a mega-complex, featuring a 31-storey condominium and a 21-storey office building, will tower over a new bus interchange with an air-conditioned waiting area for passengers. FairPrice will be its anchor retailer… biggest store yet will be 60,000 sq ft, closing in on hypermarkets Carrefour and Giant.”
– Straits Times, Mar 25 2002, report that NTUC to build a mega-mart in Ang Mo Kio

The Reality

“A food seller at the market buys five cartons, we buy five containers. In terms of volume and price strength, we will win…find a niche market for yourself. Who do we cater for? Fifty shopkeepers or four million people?”
– Mr Chandra Das, NTUC FairPrice chairman

If it’s not already a tragedy that the state-controlled Union has not fought for retrenched workers, it is now driving neighbourhood shops out of business. Catering for four million people? Remember the episode when Mr Das threatened to take Carrefour to court for selling cheaper cooking oil?