Weekend business booming at dorms

Weekend business booming at dorms
Foreign workers checking out products for sale at a stall in Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 1.

SINGAPORE - Mr Jamal Abdul Wahab, who runs a beer garden in Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 1, has been enjoying his best business in years over the past two weekends.

Workers are flocking to his cafe to drink beer instead of going to Little India in the wake of the riot a fortnight ago.

Last Sunday, Mr Jamal sold 25 cartons of beer - each containing 24 cans.

That was up from around 16 cartons on previous weekends. He stocked up on 50 cartons yesterday, sold 40 and is offering special discounts on selected brews to draw even more customers.

"Workers don't want to go to Little India because they are afraid of getting into trouble," he said."But better for me - my business is so good."

Minimarts, food stalls and retail shops in dormitories and recreation centres told The Straits Times yesterday that business has spiked by up to 50 per cent for the past two Sundays, fuelled by workers staying in on their rest days.

There were snaking queues at the ATMs at Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 1 and the supermarket in the Singapore Contractors Association Limited's (Scal) recreation centre in Jurong West.

Mr Zhang Kui, a supervisor at Scal's supermarket, said he had about 2,000 customers on each of the past two Sundays, up from the usual number of about 1,500.

"I asked five more part-time staff to work for the past two Sundays because the crowd is so big," he said.

"We don't want the workers to queue for too long to pay."

Other business owners such as Mr Ye Huaqing, who runs a cellphone shop in Scal's recreation centre, expect crowds to continue swelling in the coming months.

Mr Ye had about 1,000 customers yesterday, about 400 more than usual.

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