This used to be his playground

EXPERIENCE: Mr Lim Choong (above) and Mr Lee Yo Tee have been selling their wares at Sungei Road for years.

Mr Lim Choong, 61, used to play at Sungei Road when he was a child as his father sold pineapple cordial drinks there.

From the age of nine, he was fascinated by electronic appliances and enjoyed taking them apart and figuring out how they worked.

He quit school at Primary Six because his family was poor.

His hobby of collecting electronic devices eventually became a livelihood.

When he was in his 20s, he started selling second-hand goods like television sets, washing machines and mattresses.

He transported his goods around in his trusty lorry, selling them to customers around the Rochor area.

Business was good, and he made around $4,000 monthly. But Mr Lim often found himself on the run from the authorities because he peddled his wares illegally.

Twenty-two years ago, Mr Lim decided to settle down at Sungei Road where he could set up stall legally. But he took a pay cut in doing so.

Today, he claims to make more than $2,000 monthly selling knick-knacks like mobile phone batteries, shoes and sunglasses.

Mr Lim, who lives in Hougang, spoke about his greatest challenge: "The opening hours from 1pm to 7pm are very tight. I need one hour to set up my stall and another to pack up. That leaves me with very little time to sell my goods."

When asked what he would do if the flea market closes, Mr Lim had a glint in his eye.

"I will just store some of my items in my bag and sell them on the go at coffee shops. It's okay, as long as you don't steal or rob," said the divorcé, father of three children aged 26, 28 and 30.

I will just store some of my items in my bag and sell them on the go at coffee shops.

- Mr Lim Choong