Singapore

Hawkers lauded by STB and City Gas amid uncertain future

Mr Richard Ng and three of his 10 siblings took over their father's famed ngoh hiang stall and have kept it going for two decades, but it looks like the business will end with them.

Mr Ng, 62, said: "We are hoping for someone from the third-generation of the family to express an interest, but none of our children, nephews and nieces - nine of them - are keen."

The stall, China Street Fritters, was among the seven hawkers featured in the Hawker Spotlight yesterday at Maxwell Food Centre.

The event was organised by gas supplier City Gas and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as part of this year's Singapore Food Festival (SFF).

Famous hawker food operators are bracing themselves for a tough future - manpower constraints and a lack of successors are their among biggest challenges.

Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, director of attractions, dining and retail at STB, said: "Hawkers are an integral and unmistakable part of Singapore's multi-faceted food landscape, so it is fitting to shine the spotlight on them at the SFF, the only event here dedicated to showcasing local cuisine and culinary talent."

The event also featured Mr Chan Tuck Kwai, 52, who runs Hock Soon Roasted Duck Rice, a business he took over from his father-in-law.

He said he has no intention of putting pressure on his son to take over the business. But he wants to pass on his skills to the boy, who is in Secondary 3.

He said: "I tell my son... just try and learn the craft." 
- SAMANTHA BOH, THE STRAITS TIMES

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