They were meant to help hawkers negotiate lower rates for services like cleaning, lower ingredient costs by bulk-buying, and even introduce innovation such as wireless Internet services - along with offering healthy, affordable food.
Operating surplus is supposed to be shared to improve the centres, and to help keep traditions alive by making sure hawker entrepreneurs get a leg up. But six years since not-for-profit hawker centres were proposed, the operating model is caught in the crosshairs.
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