Forum: Consider allowing family KTV centres to operate

It was announced that the nightlife industry is not expected to resume its activities even after Singapore enters Phase 3 of its reopening (Task force spells out steps to get to phase 3 by year end, Oct 21).

One particular business type that seems to have been categorised under "nightlife" is very different from the others, which makes me wonder why it was classified as such. I am referring to family karaoke centres, or small-room KTVs.

As a regular patron of such centres with no professional or financial ties to any of them, I find that the reasons that make nightlife "high-risk" largely do not apply to them. First, family KTVs like Teo Heng and Manekineko are not primarily night-time businesses or adult venues. Their clientele includes youth, and daytime hours form the bulk of their operating hours.

Second, the physical layout of family KTVs is entirely different from KTV lounges and is highly compatible with safe distancing. They do not have large open floors like lounges do; instead, they are made up of small rooms. Hopping between rooms can be banned and strictly enforced. If an infected person visits a family KTV, the walls of the room would contain the virus inside, limiting exposure to five or fewer persons, and mandatory disinfection after every session would eliminate risks before the next group.

I feel that lumping all businesses under this overly-broad nightlife category is unwarranted, and a more nuanced approach should be taken in order to save businesses and jobs. I urge the Government to impose as many safe management measures as necessary to ensure public safety, and allow family KTVs - a leisure option beloved by many - to reopen.

Daniel Chiang