Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Questions Hawkers
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment what can be done to continue encouraging Singaporeans to patronise hawkers in view of the pandemic and stiffer competition from food delivery apps and portals.
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in light of the desire of many young Singaporeans to support hawkers, whether more platforms can be created and more awareness can be raised for hawkers in need such that the support can be channelled appropriately.
1 To encourage Singaporeans to continue supporting our hawkers, we as individuals can rally our family, friends and networks to buy food from our hawkers. Many grassroots leaders, Hawkers’ Associations and community groups have done so, for example, through social media. The Government is also committed to supporting them during this difficult period. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has provided stallholders with three months of rental waiver and subsidy for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services this year to help defray their operating costs.
2 To provide assurance on the cleanliness and hygiene standards at our hawker centres, NEA has been working closely with stakeholders, such as cleaning companies and Town Councils, to conduct more frequent cleaning of hawker centres, with emphasis on the sanitisation of tables and toilet cleanliness. Patrons can do their part by adhering to safe management measures, such as wearing their masks properly, returning used trays and crockery, and binning their litter.
3 Food delivery services provide hawkers with an additional option to boost their day-to-day business. To help hawkers increase their online presence and adopt the food delivery service that best suits their business needs, NEA has convened an Alliance for Action (AfA) with the Infocomm Media Development Agency (IMDA), involving multiple stakeholders, such as delivery companies, hawkers, and hawker food advocates. There are also community-driven and ground-up initiatives on social media platforms that promote our hawkers through authentic and well-curated content. Recognising the influence of these platforms, the AfA will look into ways to increase consumer awareness of and demand for hawker fare through both digital and offline means. Details of the AfA’s recommendations will be shared when ready.