Excerpts from readers' letters


Singapore has always been a stout defender of free trade.

The book Seven Hundred Years: A History Of Singapore, published in conjunction with the bicentennial celebrations, recounts how in the 1850s, the government in Calcutta wanted to impose port fees and tariffs on the Port of Singapore.

The local community protested.

When a VIP who supported their cause visited, they put up a plaque praising "the wisdom of liberating commerce from all restraints, under which enlightened policy this settlement has rapidly attained its present rank... and with which its future prosperity must ever be identified". This monument stands by the Singapore River.

Perhaps in this bicentenary year, we should add our generation's own positive endorsement to this monument to early Singapore's support of free trade.

Stella Kon


Mr Kenny Goh's suggestion of constructing standing tables at hawker centres is well thought-out especially in space-scarce Singapore (Standing tables at food centres, June 28).

The concept of a high table or ledge just wide enough to place a tray on, and preferably flush against the walls to prevent utensils from falling off, would be ideal for diners who wish to have a quick meal. In this way more diners can be accommodated at any one time.

Standing will also result in shorter turnaround time as such diners will tend to vacate the place immediately after their meal, making way for other diners.

Ho San Cheow


I am surprised to learn that not all eligible Singaporeans could pick up their Merdeka Generation folders at the Merdeka Generation appreciation events held from June 2.

Only a lucky few were selected to personally receive their Merdeka Generation package from an MP on stage. This has created a divide between those who did get an invite and those who did not.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2019, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe