More needed to police black sheep

More needed to police black sheep

The management council of Sim Lim Square would like to appeal for help from all relevant government authorities and the media in Singapore regarding the issue of errant retailers in the shopping centre.

The issue of errant retailers in Sim Lim Square is regularly featured in both the local and international media.

As a result, Sim Lim Square has been cast in a negative light in the eyes of the public in Singapore and overseas.

The management council has always been greatly concerned over the problem caused by a few recalcitrant retailers in Sim Lim Square.

Instances of unethical business practices, such as cheating, over-charging and taunting customers are almost a daily sight, affecting the shoppers, especially tourists, at Sim Lim Square.

Over the years, the management council has put in its utmost efforts to try to curb such unethical business practices and to reverse the negative impact of the bad publicity on the business of the honest retailers in Sim Lim Square.

In this regard, we have also sought assistance from the police, the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

We have also created a "STARetailers" initiative, whereby retailers who give honest and satisfactory services would be identified by a "STARetailer" sticker on the floor at the shop-front and a poster displayed in the shop. Currently, there are about 300 "STARetailers" at Sim Lim Square.

Further, we have spent millions of dollars in advertising and promotional activities, and in the upgrading of infrastructure.


Despite our best efforts, the problem persists. Business is still as usual for the "black sheep" in Sim Lim Square, and the use of scams and other dishonest practices is still common.

The relevant authorities are aware of this problem and the identities of the perpetrators. Law enforcement officers can be seen in Sim Lim Square almost every day.

However, the errant retailers are completely undeterred. Frequently, it is the retailer who calls the police and accuses the aggrieved customer of causing a scene at the shop.

We have such pride and faith in our country's law enforcement and justice system, but are disappointed with the apparent lack of measures which the authorities are able to take against these incorrigible retailers.

We plead with the authorities to look into this issue seriously and urgently, and to take a tough stand against the recalcitrant retailers. In this respect, the management council will do its utmost to cooperate with the authorities.

Lastly, we wish to appeal to the media to assist us by disseminating the message that the majority of retailers in Sim Lim Square are operating an honest business and only a few recalcitrant retailers have tarnished the reputation of Sim Lim Square and of Singapore on and beyond our shores.



This article was first published on Nov 4, 2014.
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