Focus on helping Sungei Rd hawkers in other ways

I visited the Sungei Road market several times in recent months, out of curiosity, and realised that many items being hawked are old, discarded and unwanted household items. Some are even fake merchandise.

Of course, some will argue that one man's junk is another's antique.

However, I am more disturbed that in First World Singapore, old and destitute citizens have to eke out a living by selling such goods.

Why are they not being helped in more constructive ways than to squat under the hot sun and spread their wares on a groundsheet in hopes of earning some small change?

This reflects poorly on Singapore and is symptomatic of deeper societal problems.

Nostalgia is not a bad thing, and we can remember Sungei Road market as part of our collective, colourful past.

But rather than revive or replicate the market elsewhere (From Sungei Road to Golden Mile Tower; July 11), it is time to let it go and focus on how to improve the quality of life of our old folks.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'Focus on helping Sungei Rd hawkers in other ways'. Print Edition | Subscribe