Meals for under $3 at new centre

The new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market is due for completion by the year end. NTUC Foodfare CEO Perry Ong said he hopes to attract "good quality" hawkers by focusing on not just the rental bid, but also the selling price, product quality and
The new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market is due for completion by the year end. NTUC Foodfare CEO Perry Ong said he hopes to attract "good quality" hawkers by focusing on not just the rental bid, but also the selling price, product quality and operating hours. The tender exercise will end on Aug 3.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Upcoming Bukit Panjang hawker centre will also stay open longer - from 6am to 10.30pm

Plain roti prata for 80 cents, chicken rice for $2.50, and fried hokkien noodles for $2.80.

Social enterprise NTUC Foodfare yesterday announced some of the lowest-priced dishes in the neighbourhood, which will be sold at the new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market.

The centre, due for completion by the year end, will stay open longer than other such food places too - from 6am to 10.30pm daily.

The new hawker centre - with 28 cooked food stalls - will have price caps for all cooked food stalls on at least two basic meals.

All other items sold will be subject to price moderation by NTUC Foodfare.

"We aim to stretch every dollar of our fellow workers and their families in their everyday expenses for food and groceries," said chief executive of NTUC Foodfare Perry Ong during a pre-launch event held at the Senja-Cashew Community Club yesterday.

  • SAME FAVOURITE DISHES,
    WITH LOW PRICE CAPS

    • Prawn noodles: $2.90
    • Egg prata: $1.40
    • Nasi lemak: $2.50
    • Dumpling noodles: $2.80
    • Lor mee: $2.70
    • Satay (chicken/mutton/beef): 60 cents a stick

"For those residents who can afford more and want better options, the stalls will provide such options but (they must be) reasonably priced."

The price caps were determined by NTUC Foodfare based on the price range of eateries near the new centre and a survey of 503 hawker stalls islandwide done by the Consumers Association of Singapore last year.

The price cap for fishball noodles, for instance, will be set at $2.70, while that for chicken nasi briyani will be $4.80.

Tender documents stated that potential hawkers can submit prices that are below the price cap, but not higher. Larger portions may be proposed at a higher price but the regular portion, that is subject to the cap, must be made available.

To ensure that enough stalls remain open for the benefit of residents, cooked food stalls will have to operate for at least six days a week and for 12 hours a day.

The market will also operate for at least eight hours daily, six days a week compared with traditional wet markets which typically operate only in the morning.

MP for Bukit Panjang Teo Ho Pin, who was present at the event, said that the operating hours will benefit residents in the area.

"Besides operating in the morning and afternoon, we would like to extend it all the way to supper time. We are hoping that this 12-hour operation will be able to benefit more residents in Bukit Panjang," said Dr Teo.

Mr Ong said that he hopes to attract "good quality" hawkers through a different set of selection and assessment criteria.

Other than the rental bid, which will make up only 40 per cent of the scorecard, the remaining percentage will come from such criteria as the proposed selling price, product quality and operating hours.

Hawkers will be allowed to have joint operators without the need to pay extra rent and charges.

The tender exercise will open today and last until Aug 3.

Apart from lower prices and longer operating hours, the market section will have a "dry market" concept while the cooked food section will have chairs instead of stools mounted to the floor.

Bukit Panjang resident Chua Ying Lun, 23, said that he is looking forward to enjoying the new facilities at the hawker centre.

"If it is clean, looks good and smells good, why not?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Meals for under $3 at new centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe