Elderly Woman Sold Chicken Illegally on the Street, Affecting Sellers from Nearby Wet Market


Being a merchant is challenging in this economy.

This charismatic eighty-year-old woman, however, begs to differ. In an hour alone, she could sell almost twenty bags of raw chicken on the streets of a Northern Singaporean neighbourhood- illegally.

Source: 8world.com

Her business was brought to attention when residents started noticing that it may be illegal and questioned the source of the chicken that she peddled. They reflected their opinions to news outlet 8world, which proceeded to investigate this mysterious ah ma.

Present & Selling Chickens Like Hot Cakes

When they arrived at the scene at 8am, the elderly woman was already hard at work. She even had a crowd of other ah mas surrounding her, clamouring for the prized goods in her basket.

Upon further inspection, the baskets contained two large bags. One large bag contained ten smaller ones with kampung chicken thighs, and the other had around the same number of bags containing regular chicken thighs.

When reporters asked around, it was found that a small bag contained four chicken thighs. The kampung chicken sold for S$13 to S$17, and the regular ones sold for S$12.

Obtained From A Factory?

The elderly woman was heard yelling a chant, wherein she insisted that her chicken was sourced from a factory. She even took an avian factory name card out of her purse to validate her claims.

“My chicken is sourced from this factory! It’s selling out quickly. Sometimes you even need to reserve the kampung chicken to get it!” She insisted in Chinese.

Her words seemingly inspired and attracted the other elderly women nearby, who immediately fished out the money to purchase the chicken.

Source: 8world.com

The seller apparently sold chickens on foot five days a week- she would typically only peddle them till around 9.30am before “closing shop”.

At 9.30am on the day the reporters visited, only three bags of chicken were left- and after the interview, the bags were promptly snatched up by three different ah mas.

She’s Afraid Of Getting Caught

A regular customer asked the elderly woman why she had changed the location of her “store” and lamented that they nearly could not locate her. She replied quietly, saying she had to “run away” for fear of getting caught.

Under the Environmental Public Health Act, you need a license issued by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to sell food or other types of goods.

This regular of hers had apparently purchased chicken from her two days in a row and bought a bag of kampung chicken today because she thought the goods were fresh.

Nearby Business Has Been Affected

Some of her other regulars would even recommend her “stall” to their friends. Their reasoning was that the chicken looked pretty good. Still, a few admitted to purchasing her chickens because they pitied her.


Due to the seller’s social skills and charisma, plenty of aunties and elderly women would stop by to greet her and purchase chicken in the process. She even had customers from Hougang and Ang Mo Kio visit to buy chicken.

Nearby poultry sellers were also affected by the elderly woman’s little venture. A 43-year-old stall owner, Wong, said that his business would definitely be affected.

Currently, the impact isn’t big so he did not plan to approach the elderly woman.

“She might be doing it to earn an allowance,” he expressed. However, if the impact grows unbearable, he might have to approach her then.

He revealed that he is currently paying S$4,000 to S$5,000 in stall rental per month.


However, a disgruntled passer-by opined that they would not purchase chickens from her because they did not know the source of it. Plus, she did not use a cooler to store them, possibly leading to bacteria forming.

They also added that she was not selling it for cheap.

The SFA is aware of the incident when approached by the media and said they are looking into the matter.

Provided Only $250 In Living Allowance

When asked why she had to work so hard, the ah ma provided a simple answer: she didn’t have enough money. According to her, she lived with her son and daughter, but only her son provided her with a living allowance of S$250, which she felt was not enough.

“I have many kids, but some don’t have jobs, so they can’t give me money,” she said.

Before this, she worked at an avian factory as a janitor. She familiarised herself with the factory’s sales and products because of that. She also revealed that the factory would send chickens directly to her house, and she would cycle to the neighbourhood to sell them.


“I don’t make much money, but no one will buy it if it’s expensive. I only earn one to two dollars per bag I sell,” the ah ma told reporters.

When the reporters revealed their identity, they asked her if she needed help. However, she rejected their offer, disclosing that people had previously offered her economic support, which she had similarly dismissed.

“It’s good enough to earn a bit of money. I don’t need help,” the ah ma insisted.

Top Image: 8 World