Hawker Put a Curse of “All Family Members Die” on People Taking Away His Trays


Last Updated on 2023-03-06 , 10:56 am

If there’s one thing that Singaporeans take for granted when dining out at hawker centres, it’s the trays that we use to carry food.

This also results in our frustration when we realise that we need more trays to be available to carry our food back to the table.

Well, this inconvenience was too much for a hawker at the Taman Jurong Food Centre. He resorted to a sign warning people not to take the trays placed at his stall.

And while it doesn’t sound like a sign can do much damage, it wasn’t the case for this particular sign due to its… unkind remarks, to say the least.

Here’s what happened.

Hawker at Taman Jurong Put Up Sign Telling People to Not Take Trays at His Stall, “Cursed” Those Who Take Them

On 3 February 2023, a Facebook user named Tan Renee uploaded several photos to the COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook group to talk about the sight she had witnessed.

According to her, she saw the sign and stacked-up trays on the second level of the food centre.

The images uploaded by Tan also showed that someone had put up a sign that said “谁拿死全家”, which translates into a “curse” that says, “The family members of whoever [takes the trays] will all die”.

Image: Facebook (Tan Renee)

She also included an image of the stall that “owned” the trays, Kopi Kaki.

Image: Facebook (Tan Renee)

In her caption, Tan expressed her anger at the choice of words and called the person who wrote the sign out for their actions.

She also highlighted that the trays are owned by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and are “government property”.

Hawker’s Perspective: Did So After Trays Got “Stolen” by Someone Else

If you’re wondering what exactly drove the hawker to put up such a sign, here’s why he did it.

When speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the hawker explained that he put up the sign after the dozens of trays placed at his stall “disappeared”.

The hawker, an employee of the stall, has worked at the stall for a little over a year. He declined to be named when interviewed.

According to him, the trays at his stall were removed on three consecutive days from 31 January to 2 February this year.


Initially, he found it odd when he noticed the trays had been removed, but he got suspicious after the same thing happened three days in a row.

He then checked the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) footage and discovered another hawker had taken the trays away.

The hawker, who is in his 60s, said he only put up the sign as a reminder to prevent other hawkers from helping themselves to the trays in front of his stall.

Well, that reminder sounds like my mum’s “reminder” to get home after she realises I haven’t reached home after 10 pm.

He added that he is the only person manning the stall. He temporarily closes the stall at around 1 pm every day to collect the products sold at the stall before returning to reopen it.


Drinks Stall Hawker Washes His Stall’s Trays

Apart from the fact that someone took his stall’s trays without asking him, the hawker was upset about the disappearing trays since he has the habit of washing his stall’s trays.

He added that some stalls need more trays during peak hours. He will let other stallholders have his stall’s trays as long as they tell him face-to-face.

After that, he will rewash the trays out of hygiene concerns.

The hawker also said he wanted to avoid confronting the other party in person. Hence, he turned to put up the sign instead.

Other Stallholder’s Reaction: It’s a Misunderstanding

When contacted by Shin Min, the stallholder accused of taking the trays explained that he thought that no one was using the trays when he took them.

He only took the trays from Kopi Kaki when its shutters were rolled down as the stall looked closed.


The stallholder, who was also not named, claimed this was simply a misunderstanding. Since then, the stallholder has not taken the trays from Kopi Kaki.

Response from Taman Jurong Hawkers’ Association: More Than Enough Trays at the Food Centre

Regarding this incident, the Taman Jurong Hawkers’ Association chairman, Mr Zhang Weijun (Hanyu pinyin) clarified that the NEA distributes 60 trays to every stall in the food centre.

According to him, the food centre has “more than sufficient” trays.

Additionally, the trays are shared property and should be shared among the stalls.
It was also revealed that there are 122 stalls in the food centre.

Of the 122 stalls, patrons purchasing from more than 20 stalls do not use the trays.


This means the food centre has over 1,000 “extra” trays.

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On another note, he mentioned that the cleaners in the food centre wash the used trays and place them on racks for the hawkers to collect for their stalls.

Mr Zhang, who sells mutton soup at the same food centre, also shared that he offers the trays at his stall if the other hawkers do not have enough trays placed at their stalls.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Tan Renee)