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Geylang Serai Bazaar to cap rent for 3x3m stalls at S$15,000 in 2024

Addressing public concerns over high stall rents, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim announced a rent cap for a 3x3m stall for the 2024 Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar, setting it at a maximum of S$15,000.



In what seems to be a move set to address public concerns over high stall rents, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, has announced a rent cap for stalls at the 2024 Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar.

A maximum rent of S$15,000 has been declared, a decision that Associate Professor Faishal, who is also the lead adviser for Wisma Geylang Serai, believes will make the bazaar more affordable for both sellers and consumers.

The rent cap represents a significant departure from the 2023 bazaar, where stallholders faced base rentals ranging from S$2,000 to S$19,000, with additional premiums for certain food items like Ramly burgers.

Some food vendors, such as those selling kebabs, were charged up to S$25,000. The 2023 bazaar, which had a run of 36 days from March 17 to April 21, aligned with the Hari Raya light-up and hosted over 700 stalls, was jointly organized by S-Lite Event Support, TLK Trade Fair and Events, and Enniche Global Trading.

Stallholders at the previous bazaar were also subject to incidental costs that could reach up to S$3,100, covering utilities and other necessities such as fans, coolers, and furniture. Although the organizers maintained that these rates were within market norms, the upcoming cap indicates a shift towards a more regulated and transparent pricing model.

Wisma Geylang Serai (WGS), part of the People’s Association (PA), and a hub for social and cultural heritage in the region, is credited with organizing the annual event.

The Geylang Serai bazaar is an established tradition, but the new tender document introduces more stringent regulations, including the fixed rent cap, detailed upfront disclosures of ancillary costs, and a requirement for transparency in all rental agreements.

In the 2023 tender, there was no regulation on stall pricing, but there were limits on the number of food stalls, and requirements for a majority to offer traditional Hari Raya/Ramadan foods.

For 2024, the bazaar’s duration has been shortened to operate from 8 March to 9 April, with the number of food stalls capped at 150.

The inclusion of the rent cap clause in the 2024 bazaar tender is a notable change aimed at ensuring affordability and preventing any hidden costs, thereby potentially lowering the barriers to entry for smaller vendors.

The clause reads: “Base rental of each stall (3m x 3m) shall not exceed $15,000.00 (before prevailing GST). This amount is inclusive of any “exclusivity costs”, if applicable. Should there be any additional ancillary costs, this amount is separate from the base rental, and should be made known to the vendors upfront prior to commencement of the stall’s operations. All rental costs per stall shall be transparent and final. The Contractor shall comply with this arrangement and provide the Authority with the Tiers and matrix of Stall Rentals for the bazaar.”

While WGS is the organizing authority, the actual running of the event is the responsibility of the winning tenderer. For the 2023 bazaar, the tender was won for S$2.26 million, paid to WGS, which essentially facilitated the event without further involvement.

One netizen commented on Assoc Prof Faishal’s Facebook post, “Why cap rents instead of setting a standard, marginal rate for food and merchandise stalls? High rents only lead to higher costs for consumers or reduced profits for stall owners. What is the bazaar’s true aim? To foster community celebration or to profit from rentals?”

Another pointed out, “This excludes the cost of a single power supply point, a basin, and the display case. Ultimately, we’re paying about $18,000 plus additional expenses.”

Another potential workaround for the restriction could involve situating 4m x 3m stalls at prime locations, which are not bound by the $15,000 price cap.

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Wondering where all those millions dollars earned from such annual events like Hari Raya and CNY bazaars in Chinatown goes to who’s pockets eventually?

Even the very common HDB road side or town centres pasar malam where all those money earned from operators goes to other than the few regular contractors who are making pile of money from these fairs

Strange and arbitrary – how is the $15,000 justified and arrived at. How come not plucking a figure at $9,800 or $4,900 if the organisers do have a sincere heart in not profitibg and racketeering when the objective is for celebration and festive mood creation.

Of course they can give 1001 reasons like sustainability, costs recovery all F nonsenses per their dictionary of excuses.

$15,000 per month rentals? Where is this money going? Can the “People’s Association” release a breakdown of costs of the previous bazaar to the people?

Only in Singapore is a “Pasar Malam” more expensive than a hawker centre. Singaporeans should consider hopping across the border to enjoy real “Pasar Malams” in Johor. Some are seasonal while others take place every single night.

Last edited 8 months ago by Blankslate

Isn’t it why I say OVERLORDS dun make life better for the ppl. They are ONLY interested in getting a CUT off the earning of the PPL! Like paying a Mafia their due. 15K is a large sum of money, not small!!!

The PA should run all bazaars themselves instead of tendering it. This is the first step to cap rentals. The $15,000/- rental cap may not be affordable if prices keep going upwards.