Thursday, October 23, 2014

KSL Pasar Malam - Why Tourists Shun Singapore's Spam Biz

Last month i blogged that Spamming Shopping Malls with Spam Shops is Bad for Tourism citing the examples of President Obama & Vice President Joe Biden. My previous blogpost also pointed out the rot & decay in Orchard Road prime shopping enclave.

Now this week came report that japanese department store Isetan is warning of Q3 loss:

Massive flooding into SG of 3rd world economic refugees: 
" Poor performance of its main store at junction of Orchard Road despite completion of renovations at Shaw House & adjoining Shaw Centre".
Locals replaced by cheaper foreign workers. Where got $$$ to spend? Cheaper foreign workers remit $$$ home, where got spend unnecessarily here?

Spam & spam overdose: 
"Singapore retail sales excluding automobiles have fallen in 6 of the first 8 months of this year, due in part to falling tourist arrivals."
The spam is taking a toll.

  • Why would tourists come here to experience Starbucks, McDonalds & other spam chains?
  • Why would tourists come here to be served by immigrants from their country? Being served by locals is part of the experience. For example how would PRC tourists think/feel when served by immigrants (employed as cheap workers by the hybrid regime) from their own country?

The people & culture are hard to 'spam'. It is what makes it unique & attractive to tourists.

I went over to Tesco supermarket at KSL mall in Johor, Malaysia on monday to stockpile chocolates as it is deeply discounted. A pasar malam(night market) took place outside the mall from the evening.(4:30pm - 5pm). Much of the road(Jalan Seladang) was closed & it stretches to Grand Paragon hotel.

It serves as a good example of its uniqueness that with the hybrid regime in power, it is impossible for such local flavor uniqueness to take place here.

Rojakman arrives on his motorcycle with license plate from the state of Penang.

Rojak is a fruit & vegetable salad dish. This hawker from Penang now makes his living in Johor. In developing countries, it is common to see this type of mom & pop entrepreneurship thriving.

  • Look at Msia flag. Is around 2mths since their national day is over & he still flies it. In SG, the flag is becoming non-existent in the days leading to national day in recent years such that the Americans know the hybrid regime's days are numbered (blogpost: Record Low Flags Display in 2014 Before 50th Anniversary).
  • Look how creative he outfit his simple motorcycle into a hawker stall. He is prepared for rainy days with his huge umbrella sticking out the rear of his motorcycle.

No rule that motorbikes cannot be used to sell rojak = can sell!

SG Hybrid Regime: How Can I Possibly Waste Police Resources to Close Road for Peasants?

Pasar malam (night market) occurs at this place every monday. Hence the residents can't drive in or out of their homes during the late evening to night. Inconvenience it may be, the easy access of the night market is brought to the front of their homes.

This pasar malam is made up of at least 75% malaysian chinese hawkers thus the crowd is overwhelmingly chinese. My feeling being there is like being time warped back to S'pore Golden Age before the hybrid regime mutates to its present greedy monstrosity. I also feel more human there as i don't see 'zombies' glued to their mobile phones while walking.

Fishmongers are never seen at SG's pasar malams.

The hybrid regime has not been building wet markets & hawker centres for the peasants as there is little profit to be made. When there is a wet market cum hawker centre like the one in Sengkang being built, it is sold to a private company which bid a high price for it. In the end the sengkang peasants pay a high price & hence many stalls have closed shop.

A reason why Singapore is called Sillypore is there is too many rules/regulations. A mindset started by the hybrid regime is when there is 'no rule = cannot do' which has infected many sinkies.

In other countries, no rule means can do. Is no wonder that the hawker on wheels concept failed dismally as the businessmen are only allowed at certain locations to ply their business. Now with every carpark being 'hydroelectric dam' to collect $$$, how can the hybrid regime afford to close a road & allow all these mom & pop hawkers to do business without collecting $$$?

Ornamental fishes & Eggs & Joss Papers for the dead.

Setup stall & cook right outside people's homes! - Hahaha

This type of localized & authentic experience is something one won't experienced in those overly commercialized shopping malls with their spam shops. Being a mom & pop entrepreneur, service levels are high compared to those low paid 'zombie' workers working in those spam chains.

Furthermore they are so individualistic with so many of them wearing their home clothes. Even the autobots in Transformers movies have their own unique personalities. Same goes for Ninja Turtles. Would you watch Ninja Turtles or Transformers if the robots & turtles are clones of each other?

Why Doing the Difficult Thing Makes Business Good
Only food hawker stall with tables & chairs in entire pasar malam.

When you are the only food stall with tables & chairs in the whole stretch of pasar malam, naturally the business is good if the food is decent.

Most food hawkers are for takeaways. Thus their food are mostly takeaway food to avoid hassle of cleaning tables & cutlery - easier job. As what i've seen at the pasar malam when this food hawker do the difficult thing, they end up 'easy' on profits.

Food sold at this food hawker is very well complemented to maximized their earnings. Penang Laksa as main food (watery dish; hard to takeaway), Ice Kachang (shaved ice dessert), Chendol (another dessert) & Rojak(salad).

  • Look at gigantic umbrella on top of their food van.

I had rojak here since i want to sit down & watch the crowd walk by. This is the competitive advantage this stall has compared to the Rojakman on motorcycle.

How Can SG's Hybrid Regime Allow Peasant Hawkers to Have this High Standard of Living?

Before my rojak, i had Chai Tao Kway(radish cake) which is one of my favorite food for dinner. This stall is located somewhere around the centre of the night market. It is popular as i had to wait 10-15mins for it.
  • Very tender.
  • Generous serving of egg compared to SG's.
The wife taking orders have a good memory as some customers would tell her their orders & walk away & later come back to collect & pay.

The couple has a multi-purpose vehicle. How can the hybrid regime in SG allow peasant hawkers to have this high standard of living?

SG's hybrid regime doesn't build hawker centres for peasants for many years. Regime wants slave workers at low wages working long hours in those spam & spam foodcourts wearing uniforms. How can wear home clothes & make such a good living?

Malay Sugarcane Juice Hawker - Decent Living

Came across 2 obvious sugarcane hawkers as their 'garbage pile' from squeezing the juice is so obvious.. They are located at opposite ends so as not to compete with each other. 1 is malay, the other is chinese.

At times i wonder how silly those customers ordering sugarcane juice at SG foodcourts are:
  • Gosh, who knows how long it is refrigerated - not fresh
  • Overpriced
  • Served by 'zombie worker' instead of tradesman/artisan.
  • $$$ benefits a big faceless corpseration instead of helping the family hawker.
How can the big faceless corpseration allow kids to help their parents at work at food court?

Vegetable sellers. Again the hybrid regime in SG didn't build wet markets for many years.
It wants peasants to buy especially from its fake workers union supermarkets so it can profit.

I like to eat street hawker food which is very value for $$$ in Msia. Haven't experience diarrhea. Personally i have more faith in mom & pop hawkers who are doing their own business than buying overpriced food prepared & served by low paid 'zombie' workers slaving for those faceless foodcourt corpserations.

How can those low paid workers at food court corpseration be proud of their food?

Look at the cockroaches this month at high class Marina Bay Sands foodcourt closed for 'thorough cleaning'.
High class indeed. Hahaha.

You see the kids helping daddy & mummy to cut the cake to sell!

1 sushi hawker in entire pasar malam - no similar competitors. Same goes for chinese medical herbs.

Pasar Malams across the border are much more interesting compared to the boring & stale ones in SG.

Why after a few times in those SG shopping malls it usually gets boring & stale?
  • spam shops with staff wearing the same uniforms.
  • speak scripted talk coupled with awkward smiles(company policy)

Hence i have not set foot in Orchard Road for at least 2 years until i went down for a 'sweep' earlier this month for a reconnaissance update. What for go there to feel like a local in a foreign land when it feels more at home with malaysian chinese across the border?

Not to mention to take a break & experience the 'slowness' there as well.


  1. Thanks for the photos -- really reminds me of the 1970's street-side stalls in Singapore's Chinatown and the wet-markets.

  2. What an awesome post! This is why I love coming back to your blog now and again to check on the updates in Singapore and Malaysia. Thank you for this!

  3. So which is better, to live in Johor, especially in those landed homes with weekly pasar malam outside, or in Sinkie HDB pigeon-holes?

    1. The best are those people who live & work remotely in Johor or some days(commute to sg workplace 1,2 or 3x per week) earning S$ from their sg employment.