Singapore

Durians so cheap they are given away free

Amid falling prices caused by an oversupply from Malaysia, some in Singapore have been enjoying the king of fruits for free.

At least two durian stalls here have been giving away durians since Monday.

At Ah Lan Fresh Fruits Stall at Balestier Road yesterday, a small crowd comprising Singaporeans, tourists and foreign workers were seen taking away or eating the free durians when The Straits Times visited at 7.30pm. Stall owner Madam Lee Chiew Lan, who is in her 70s, said that she would be giving out 300kg worth of durians - the Red Prawn, D24 and Jing Fung varieties - every day until tomorrow, costing her $3,000.

"It's a way of thanking the customers for supporting us," said Madam Lee, who has run the stall for decades.

Another stall, Sam Fruit Trading in Tampines, gave out free durians on Monday.

Owner Chan Chee Ning said 1,300kg of durians were given out over two hours, with more than 500 people showing up.

Mr Chan, 52, said the durians were intended only for elderly people aged 60 and above to eat there, but some younger people also joined the queue.

"We didn't expect so many people to come," he said. "We asked the younger ones to let the older people eat, but some of them still took durians and we couldn't stop them."

He plans to distribute free durians to the elderly again next Monday.

Despite the giveaway at Balestier Road yesterday, many were still seen at the shop next door buying durians.

Mr Wee Liang, 46, a manager, said: "It would be interesting to find out about the free durians, but I'm a bit sceptical. Free may not be good."

The oversupply of durians - attributed to the hot weather in Malaysia - has seen prices dive in recent weeks.

Food & Drink