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NEA adopts transparent tender system for hawker stalls

06 Sep 2018

Reader's letter:
"NEA must relook tender system for hawker stalls", Michael Lum, The Straits Times, 1 Sep 2018

Discussion points:
1. Concerns over existing tender system for hawker stalls
NEA's reply:

This is a full version of NEA's reply issued to the media agency; published in The Straits Times, 6 Sep 2018.

We thank Mr Lum for his feedback regarding NEA’s Hawker Stall Tender Scheme, through which the National Environment Agency (NEA) lets out vacant stalls in our hawker centres in a fair and transparent manner. To assist potential tenderers in deciding how much to bid, information such as Tender Notices and Provisional Tender Results, and the list of successful tender bids for the past 12 months, are also made available on NEA’s website and at our One Stop Information and Service Centre. Of the 1,006 successful tenderers for cooked food stalls in the last three years, less than 4% terminated their tenancies upon signing the tenancy agreement, due to reasons such as tenderers changing their minds on their choice of stall. The average successful tender bid for our 6,000 cooked food stalls over the last three years is $1,514 per month. The lowest bid was $5, and almost all bids were less than $5,000 per month. We encourage bidders to consider the overall overhead costs for their business when submitting their bids, and ensure that their business can be sustainable.

NEA has put in place various measures to moderate hawker stall rentals. These include disallowing subletting or assignment of hawker stalls to prevent rent-seeking behaviour which could drive up food prices. Reserve rental price had been removed in 2012 to allow stall rentals to fully reflect market conditions, where tenderers can bid at the price that they deem is fair and sustainable for their business. Today, about 85% of cooked food stallholders at existing hawker centres are paying monthly rentals below $1,500.

We thank Singaporeans for their strong support for our hawker trade, and our nomination of Hawker Culture to the UNESCO Representative List. Indeed, hawker centres are our “community dining rooms”. We will continue to seek ways to sustain our hawker trade and preserve our hawker heritage. Together with Singaporeans’ support for our hawker trade, cultivating a gracious and caring society and playing our part in keeping hawker centres clean, we can look forward to enjoying tasty and affordable hawker fare in our beloved hawker centres.

Ivy Ong (Ms) 
Director, Hawker Centres Division 
National Environment Agency