'Singapore style' to reserve tables? Certainly not

Mr Ronald Lee Yew Kee raised some salient points in his letter (Give hawker centre 'chope' culture the chop; March 20).

I was recently at a hawker centre, carrying an umbrella, a handbag and a tray with a bowl of very hot soup, and looking for a seat.

I saw a young man seated at a table meant for six waiting for his companions who were ordering food. The table was reserved with tissue paper.

I asked if all the seats were taken, and was told that they were. I said that it was not fair that the whole table was reserved when he and his companions were taking turns ordering food. After all, I did not have the luxury of having a companion to reserve a space for me.

He proceeded to say that "it is Singapore style" and argued with me, using a lot of expletives.

You do not see such selfish acts in other countries in the region. It is an embarrassment, as we consider ourselves to be First World.


It is time to rein in this unacceptable and embarrassing behaviour.

The relevant authorities and foodcourt managements should implement and enforce a code of conduct to eradicate this practice, which has no place in a First World country.


Just ignore the 'chope'. When I cannot find a seat, I just push aside whatever item that has been left there and take the seat. If the person returns while I am there, I just tell him or her that there is no reservation of seats in a hawker centre. If everybody does this, then this bad practice will go away.


Finally, he and his group vacated the table to sit elsewhere, where they continued arguing agitatedly.

I do not believe this kind of behaviour is any style at all, let alone "Singapore style".

There are no positives to this habit of reserving tables. It has gone on for long enough.

Davi Beschizza (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline ''Singapore style' to reserve tables? Certainly not'. Print Edition | Subscribe