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Sungei Road: Too early to decide

ALTERNATIVES: The three sites suggested by the Association for the recycling of Second Hand Goods were next to Rochor River, a roadside near Jalan Kubor Malay Cemetery and behind Berseh Food Centre.

Sungei Road flea market, which has been around for about eight decades, may see its last days when it closes in 2017 to make way for the Sungei Road MRT station.

The Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods that represents the 200 traders suggested to the National Environment Agency (NEA) a few alternative sites. The association initially suggested four, but narrowed it to three, said association president Koh Ah Koon yesterday.

They are next to Rochor River, behind Berseh Food Centre and a roadside near Jalan Kubor Malay Cemetery. But NEA told them to return later, said the 73-year-old Mr Koh.

He said: "NEA told us it was too early to accept any proposals, and to come back again closer to the date."

The Urban Redevelopment Authority said the sites have been zoned for parks and residential use under Master Plan 2014.

The association has not given up hope of relocating, but is aware that it might have to close for good in three years' time.

But for now, most peddlers are taking it day by day.

Mr Low Boon Chiang, 67, a daily trader, said: "Three years is still far away. We will take it as it comes, a day at a time."

Back in 2011 when the Sungei Road flea market space was halved, The New Paper reported that there were tiffs among traders when they fought for stall space. Traders set up shop on a first-come-first-served basis.

Today, traders are accustomed to their spots and Mr Koh says proudly that it is a big, cooperative family.