Poser for NEA: Trade fair or festive event?

Poser for NEA: Trade fair or festive event?

SINGAPORE - The issue of a licence for a year-end fair in Kovan City in opposition-held Aljunied GRC has taken a new turn.

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council has written to the National Environment Agency (NEA) posing the question: Is a year-end festivity the same as a trade fair, which needs approval from neighbourhood merchants? The letter was sent this week, according to sources.

AHPETC did not respond to questions from The Straits Times at press time on Tuesday.

The new development follows a reminder from the NEA to the town council and the fair's organiser that the Kovan City event, which has been going on since Nov 22, is doing so without a licence.

As a trade fair, organiser Events Business Management (EBM) needs an NEA licence, for which it has to submit, among other documents, a letter of consensus from the Kovan Merchants' Association (KMA).

Last night, an NEA spokesman reiterated that the Kovan City trade fair organiser must apply for a licence, under Section 35 of the Environmental Public Health Act. He said EBM has yet to submit the document of consensus from neighbourhood shopkeepers "to complete the application".

The spokesman added: "Appropriate legal action will be taken."

Meanwhile, KMA chairman Ng Cher Po told The Straits Times in Mandarin: "We have asked (EBM) for the town council letter and for details about the mini-fair and why it needs to be held for 70 days. We still haven't received the documents, so we can't give approval."

But EBM general manager Dennis Chew said earlier Tuesday he is holding "an event and not a trade fair" and hence does not see the need to get KMA's approval.

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