I read with interest about the new scheme that will allow retiring hawkers to hand over their stalls to non-relatives (New scheme to help retiring hawkers hand over their businesses, Nov 25).
It is naive to believe that retiring hawkers would be willing to teach their secret recipes and pass their experience on to new entrants.
This new scheme will benefit only popular stall owners who know their market value, and will hand their stalls over to people who are willing to pay them large sums to learn the trade and take over their ready-made customer base. Over time, the price of hawker food will go up because these new entrants have to recover their capital outlay.
The right move is for the National Environment Agency to take back the stalls and compensate the retiring owners with a sum of money. The stalls can then be leased out to new entrants at a controlled rent so that they can price their food reasonably.
Harry Ong Heng Poh