Tag Archives: Wet Market

Wet markets have been transformed, says hawker’s son

MY PARENTS are hawkers in a wet market and I have seen how the markets have been transformed.

One good example is Tiong Bahru Market. Before the refurbishment, it was small and unpleasant. Now, it is clean, has modern shopping facilities and a wide variety of items.

Wet markets are also places where the elderly gather to share the latest news on their families. I remember vividly how old grannies would come up to my father and ask him to keep a lookout for their friends so they could sit down for a cup of tea in the cooked food section.

With flexible prices, wet markets are also ideal places for foreign workers to patronise.

An increasing number of young people can be observed shopping at the wet market as well. It is not only the increased cleanliness that draws people to shop there, but also the closeness and friendliness of the stallholders.

So if you have not been to a wet market, head down to Tiong Bahru Market this weekend. It is an ideal model for other wet markets to follow, and I hope it can change the misconceptions some Singaporeans have of wet markets.

Lee Yean Yang

Source : Straits Times – 31 Oct 2009

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Wet markets are the heart of Singapore food

I WRITE with regard to Ms Jessica Lim’s thoughts last Saturday that it is ‘Time for wet markets to go‘.

While I agree that wet markets today are less popular, especially among the younger generation, the recent uproar suggests that to many Singaporeans, the wet market is still at the heart of their food consumption experience – even if it is not for Ms Lim.

My greatest concern with any calls to close wet markets is the loss of diversity regarding our food suppliers. Like many other industries in Singapore, food supply here has increasingly come under the control of a few major corporations. Who can stop them if they come together to dictate pricing and food variety? Wet markets, which are made up of small independent hawkers, can serve alternative and minority needs that are not met by a supermarket.

Also, in a wet market, one can easily negotiate the amount of food to suit one’s needs, no matter how big or small the quantity. This is unlike in supermarkets, where food is pre-packaged and shrink- wrapped for the ‘standard’ consumer.

These reasons have nothing to do with nostalgia, although I must add that to those who use the wet market, it is not entirely about lower prices as Ms Lim has suggested. She seems to have missed the community spirit in a wet market, which cannot be guaranteed even if a place is clean and air-conditioned.

So let wet markets continue to exist as long as they can on their own. And if Ms Lim represents the sentiments of most of Singapore’s next generation, then the wet market will eventually die a natural death.

Justin Zhuang

Source : Straits Times – 27 Oct 2009