Free Wi-Fi to go with hawker fare

SINGAPORE - A hawker centre that is set to start operations in October will be offering free Wi-Fi to patrons to go with their laksa and chicken rice.

The hawker centre, now located at Block 207, New Upper Changi Road, is believed to be the only one that will offer Wi-Fi to customers when it opens, Shin Min Daily News said.

It is one of four hawker centres whose leases under the Stall Ownership Scheme expired in May.

The Stall Ownership Scheme, implemented almost 20 years ago, lets stallholders rent hawker stalls for 20 years for an upfront amount.

Stall owners were offered a four-month transitional tenancy from June to September, and will be relocating to the new centre at Block 208B, New Upper Changi Road.

Singapore's first hawker centre run by a social enterprise, Kampung@Simpang Bedok, offered free Wi-Fi but it closed late last year.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is looking into outsourcing the management of the hawker centre in New Upper Changi Road to social enterprises.

But the failure of Kampung@Simpang Bedok has turned many hawkers against NEA's proposal, earlier reports said.

One hawker, known as Mr Tan, told Shin Min that he hopes business will improve after they move to the new premises.

Construction works near the current hawker centre has affected his business, and the lunch crowd has been visibly reduced, he said.

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