Come, let’s give you a few seconds to guess which hawker centres they would be.
Here you go.
It’s Our Tampines Hub and Tiong Bahru Market, both which are relatively new (Tiong Babru Market underwent a revamp and reopened in May this year).
They have recently introduced a set of “house rules”, which include “Don’t Chope Seats” and “Share the Table”.
These house rules are in fact visually featured in the centres as a reminder to patrons, to urge them to be considerate while dining at the hawker centres.
The public seems to be having mixed reactions when it comes to ‘choping’ seats.
Ms Inderjit Kaur even wrote to The Straits Times, asking her fellow Singaporeans not to put up with ‘choping’.
She said, those “who do not condone this practice to ignore the umbrellas, tissue packets and other items used for choping, and to go ahead and sit at the table that they find available.”
Hold on, there’s more to her advice.
“When the owners of the items return and demand their “reserved” table, politely ask them if they would like the matter to be reported to the authorities”, she adds.
To be honest, I won’t take Ms. Kaur’s advice. ‘Choping’ is a widely practiced culture in Singapore. To “ignore” this culture and “go ahead” with what you think is right is not going to solve the issue.
Do you think the owners whom have ‘choped’ their seats would considerately give up their seats if you “politely” ask them?
Threatening to bring up to the authorities is a huge no-no. As feedback by Dr. Michael Loh, this could be seen as a “provocative act” and escalate more issues between diners.
“Ignoring or removing items placed by others to reserve their seats does not foster the kind of gracious society we try so hard to build.”
I agree with Dr. Loh.
So what now?
Now, this issue of “choping tables” has been a hot debate this year after the infamous TPY couple issue.
I believe it takes time to right the wrong. Especially since the ‘choping’ culture has been around for centuries.
However, since the NEA has implemented these “house rules”, then there should be subsequent follow-ups with other hawker centres as we move forward.
With proper education to the public and visual reminders, I’m sure we can move towards a more gracious Singapore.
Or maybe…hawker centres will be made redundant too with more food delivery services #justsaying
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com