Social enterprise hawker centres are neither an evil nor a magic solution

Social enterprise hawker centres are neither an evil nor a magic solution: They were conceived as a test-bed to try out new models of managing hawker centres and need to be refined

There is a need to recognise the role hawkers play, says the writer, adding that they do not need pampering but fair appreciation, due protection and prompt hearing when they face problems or have justified complaints.
There is a need to recognise the role hawkers play, says the writer, adding that they do not need pampering but fair appreciation, due protection and prompt hearing when they face problems or have justified complaints.ST FILE PHOTO

When something is important to many people, there are going to be differing views - not only compliments but also criticisms. This seems to be happening today with Singapore's hawker centres.

Many applauded when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at this year's National Day Rally that the Government would seek to have Singapore's hawker culture listed as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2018, with the headline 'The evolving journey of hawker centres and hawker culture'. Subscribe