SINGAPORE - The Sungei Road market may make a comeback this weekend (July 15) at Golden Mile Tower if the market's association manages to secure the necessary permits from authorities.
Association chairman Koh Eng Khoon, 76, said the building management of Golden Mile Tower agreed to let them use of the sixth floor carpark to hold their flea market. About 100 of 200 vendors have expressed interest in moving there. Of the lot, about 10 or so will be newcomers.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has confirmed that "planning approval is required before the commencement of use" and has not received any applications from the association so far.
Speaking after the closing ceremony of Sungei Road Market on Monday (July10), Mr Koh said that he will work with the authorities to obtain the relevant permissions needed.
He added that vendor registration for a spot at the new open-air site, to be called Golden Mile Tower Sungei Market, will take place on Wednesday. Daily rent will cost $5 for association members and $10 for non-members. A security deposit of $100 is required, along with a one-year commitment.
According to materials distributed to vendors, the deposit will be confiscated if littering, the sale of illegal merchandise or fighting takes place.
Mr Koh said they will try this new location for a few months.
He added that the monthly rental for the carpark space costs $10,000. Each vendor will have 1m by 2m in space compared to the previous 1m by 1m arrangement. The new site also has the capacity to house more than 160 vendors.
Following news that the decades-old site is needed for future residential development, Mr Koh started hunting for a site last month, with the aid of 10 or so volunteers and the association's eight-member strong committee.
"I now have a place for everyone, and I'm so very happy that I can help them all," he said.
One vendor, Ms Tamil Malar, 51, said she is happy to have a new site "at least for the next year". She did not manage to secure a lock-up stall with the National Environment Agency - one of the options offered by the authorities following news of the market's closure.
The Government had offered affected vendors lock-up hawker stalls at centres such as Chinatown Market, North Bridge Road Market and Food Centre and Upper Cross Street Market. Other vendors were being supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG) in their search for other jobs, while some were granted ComCare assistance.
Despite the blistering heat on Monday (July 10), people have been trooping down to the Republic's last free hawking zone to bid it farewell and soak in the atmosphere on its final day.
Coffeeshop assistant Mary Wong, 63, who was snapping photos of the market on her mobile phone, said: "I'm here to take in the market and enjoy the lovely atmosphere."
Vendors and shoppers were still milling about Sungei Road after 9pm on Monday (July9), some with tears in their eyes.
The closing ceremony included a performance by a lion dance troupe and a sing-along to the song The Last Night by Tsai Chin.