Touts still a problem at Newton Food Centre

I am a regular patron of Newton Food Centre and am aware that the National Environment Agency (NEA) has imposed certain restrictions on hawkers, so as to reduce touting.

Yet, when I visited the food centre last Saturday, I noticed touts approaching customers at the entrance.

They even went so far as to look for seats for the customers, placing their menus on the table to make the diners feel obliged to patronise their stalls.

To ensure an adequate supply of seats for their customers, these touts would occupy the outdoor tables and prevent customers who refuse their "help" from taking them.

The NEA has stipulated that hawkers have to wear a name tag stating their stall number, for easy identification of touts - but none of the hawkers I saw wore them.

I hope the NEA will look into these issues as soon as possible, and conduct more stringent checks on the hawkers.

With the Formula One weekend approaching, more tourists are expected to visit Newton Food Centre to sample our signature hawker fare.

I hope the problem can be rectified so that they can have a positive dining experience.

Philip Foong Soon Fatt

This article was first published on September 17, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.