Two hawker centres set 'house rules' against choping

We thank the writers for their letters (Don't put up with choping, by Ms Inderjit Kaur, Aug 26; Encourage table sharing, not confrontation, by Dr Michael Loh Toon Seng, Aug 28; Time for the authorities to step in, by Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan, Aug 28; Let's put stop to 'chope' mentality, by Mr Jeff Tan Hong Liak, Forum Online, Aug 29; Govt shouldn't intervene in everything, by Mr Francis Cheng, Aug 31; and Good to be able to 'chope' seats in a crowded food court, by Mr Tan Kia Yong, Aug 31).

We agree with the writers who raised the point that graciousness and civic-mindedness can help address the practice of seat reservation and encourage the sharing of tables at food outlets.

For hawker centres, the National Environment Agency (NEA) does not have any restrictions against patrons who reserve seats.

However, patrons should always exercise consideration for others when dining at hawker centres and sharing the facilities.

For example, one could politely ask if it is possible to share a table, and not reserve seats beforehand or unnecessarily.

If one is at a table with more seats than needed, the extra seats should be offered to others and the table should be shared.

In this way, all of us would be able to enjoy our meals in a pleasant environment.

Our hawker centres at Our Tampines Hub and Tiong Bahru Market have introduced a set of "house rules", which include "Don't Chope Seats" and "Share the Table".

These house rules are prominently featured in the centres as a constant visual reminder to patrons, and to motivate patrons to be considerate while dining at the hawker centres.

We will continue to encourage patrons at these hawker centres to observe these house rules, and extend the same messages to our other hawker centres where possible.

Ivy Ong (Ms)

Director, Hawker Centres Division

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2017, with the headline 'Two hawker centres set 'house rules' against choping'. Print Edition | Subscribe