Have you been to a pasar malam, or night market, recently?
With the pandemic winding down, pasar malams have reopened with higher price tags attached.
Pasar Malams Back in Full Swing
Every Singaporean loves pasar malams, either for the games, the food, or both.
After two pasar malam-less years, everyone is understandably thrilled that they’re back. In fact, there’s about 12 pasar malams happening either currently or soon islandwide.
According to Shin Min Daily News, the crowds at pasar malams have actually increased compared to before the pandemic started. In fact, they estimate the crowds to be about 20% higher than before.
A Shin Min reporter visited the pasar malam next to Woodlands MRT station, and found there to be about 70 or 80 stalls. More than 30 tables and chairs are set out for the diners too.
Needless to say, the pasar malams are back in full swing. But along with the high demand, comes higher prices.
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Higher Rental Price Spills Into Higher Price of Items Too
According to the reporter, the prices of most food and commodities have increased between $0.50 to $2 compared to pre-pandemic.
According to Shin Min, the cost of running a pasar malam has increased. In turn, the rent of stalls have increased by about 25%.
Despite this, there is still high demand. For instance, before the pandemic,it took about two weeks for the event organisers to rent out all the stalls. However, all stalls are fully rented out within less than 10 days.
As for the stall owners, despite the higher rental fees, they do not dare to raise the prices too much. This is because pasar malams usually have a reputation of offering cheap items, so the owners are afraid that customers might think their prices are too high.
However, with the increase in costs of rent, utilities, and transportation, they have no choice but to increase the prices and hope customers understand. (FYI, fuel prices are also rising.)
Many residents interviewed said that they missed the food and atmosphere of the pasar malams. Most residents also said that the price increase was acceptable and understandable.
Instead of price, the main concern seems to be hygiene, especially since COVID-19 did not magically disappear overnight.
If you’re planning to visit the pasar malam, here is a list of them that are happening from now till August.
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