Monday, 15 April 2019

Forum: Real hawkers should be missed

I feel compelled to respond to Ms Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon's sentiments regarding the hawker food and practices of yesteryear (Nothing to miss of yesteryears' hawker food, which was unhygienically prepared, April 5).

I still vividly remember my first memory of being taken by my mother to a street stall in Chinatown.

We sat on rickety stools and the dishes were washed in buckets of water that ran into the open drain.

Their practices might have looked unhygienic.

Yet I do not remember ever suffering any gastroenteritis symptoms after eating.

Compare that with the recent mass food poisoning incidents perpetrated by ostensibly hygienic catering companies.

Like any small business owners, these hawkers knew more than anyone else that it was critical their customers did not come down with food poisoning.

My family also used to buy nasi lemak and goreng pisang from neighbourhood vendors - primary school-aged children who carried heavy baskets of food up and down stairs and along corridors.

I would later realise that we were, in fact, supporting our neighbours by buying their food, which could have meant the difference between those children going to school with ill-fitting shoes, uniforms and textbooks, or not.

The people now serving food at the foodcourts are not hawkers.

They are workers being paid the lowest wages, who often do not take much pride in what they cook or how they serve.

Real hawkers and their families who run their own businesses are an endangered species in Singapore.

Contrary to what Ms Poh thinks, I miss those old-fashioned hawkers very much.

Lee Siew Peng (Dr)


You may want to read Yesteryear's hawker fare as good as today's

Warning: WhatsApp message on recruitment for 'general election project' is fake

The Elections Department (ELD) on Friday (Apr 12) warned of a fake message circulating on WhatsApp that offers people temporary work for an "upcoming general election project".

Several members of the public have called the police to ask about the authenticity of the message, said the ELD.

“The Elections Department would like to clarify that a WhatsApp message asking applicants to sign up for a general election project is not an official notice put up by ELD," it said.

"The public is advised to exercise caution and not to provide their personal data without verification."

Read more @

Fisher-Price recalls sleepers after more than 30 babies died

Undated photo provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Fisher-Price recalled nearly 5 million infant sleepers on Friday after more than 30 babies died in them over a 10-year period.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said anyone who bought a Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper should stop using it right away and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher. The sleepers, which are used to put babies to sleep, are soft padded cradles that vibrate.

Fisher-Price and the CPSC said the deaths occurred after infants rolled over from their backs to their stomachs or sides while unrestrained, but did not specify how they died. In an article this week, Consumer Reports found that some of the infants died from suffocation.


Could spicy food offer hope in tackling cancer?

They are known for being spicy and giving your meal a little kick.

But now scientists say chili peppers may have more use than just adding some fire to a curry - and could even tackle cancer.

Tests have suggested capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, may slow the disease from spreading.

A team of scientists discovered the compound stopped the first step of cancer spreading, had smaller areas of aggressive cancer cells in those with cancer and suppressed lung cancer spreading.