Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on operation of interim markets by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) why are interim markets, such as the one for stallholders while Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre is closed for reconstruction, operated privately rather than by the National Environment Agency; and (b) why are subsidised rentals unable to be offered at interim markets.
1 When a market/hawker centre has to be redeveloped, the Government will fully fund the construction of the replacement centre but will not fund or build temporary centres. The National Environment Agency (NEA) will inform the affected stallholders at least 6 months ahead of closure so that they can make alternative plans for their businesses. For stallholders who wish to continue their businesses during the redevelopment period, NEA will offer them the option to operate temporarily at vacant stalls in other hawker centres, subject to availability.
2 Notwithstanding the above, affected stallholders may choose to work directly with the local Grassroots Advisers and Grassroots Organisations to discuss and collectively finance and build a temporary centre. In the case of the Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre, the stallholders were informed in March 2023, more than a year ahead of the intended closure. After discussions with the Grassroot Adviser and local Grassroots Organisations, the community decided to collectively finance and build a temporary centre.
3 To facilitate the development of such temporary centres, NEA will work with relevant agencies to secure the use of the identified land at zero land cost, as in the case for the temporary Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre. As the temporary centre is funded, built, and owned collectively by the community, the rental will be determined by the community.