Sim Lim Square is getting all the negative headlines recently and the latest news really sums up the pathetic state of the IT mall.
Below is a summary of the key conversations online:
The Management is seeking help. Yes, the management.
"The management council of Sim Lim Square would like to appeal for help from all relevant government authorities and the media in Singapore regarding the issue of errant retailers in the shopping centre."
Not sure if it is Sim Lim Square or Sim Lim Square Police Complex.
"Law enforcement officers can be seen in Sim Lim Square almost every day."
You know there's a big 'but' coming up when the management said this.
"We have such pride and faith in our country's law enforcement and justice system..."
But they are missing a few teeth.
"However, the errant retailers are completely undeterred as the authorities appear to lack 'teeth' to take them to task."
It's not like they didn't do anything. They give stars stickers to model
"We have also created a "STARetailers" initiative, whereby retailers who give honest and satisfactory services would be identified by a "STARetailer" sticker on the floor at the shop-front and a poster displayed in the shop. Currently, there are about 300 "STARetailers"."
Are the Ah Bengs above the law?
"Instances of unethical business practices, such as cheating, over-charging and taunting customers are almost a daily sight, affecting the shoppers, especially tourists."
A recent example.
When a shop was ordered by the Small Claims Tribunal to refund the victim $1,010, they decided to return the amount in coins. The owner was unrepentant, saying "how can we just give her the money like that?"
Are they really above the law? Not really.
According to TODAY, the "High Court has granted a permanent injunction against electronics wholesale company Cyber Maestro, in response to numerous complaints to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) against the company’s trade practices."
Some tourists reacted by becoming Ah Lians.
"From The New Paper interview, one of the owners said that "a woman wanted to take a chair and smash my counter in front of the police". The shop was ordered to refund the victim by the Small Claims Tribunal and he decided to give the $1,000 refund in coins.
It is giving Singapore a bad name on Tripadvisor.
Some tourists are in tears.
Why can't the Ah Bengs be thrown out?
"Sim Lim Square is a strata title building, we are not the landlord; we are only the managing agent, so we are not able to kick tenants out."
To put it in layman's term, the shop owners own the shop space. You can buy if you have the money.
Are there more white sheep than black?
"...the majority of retailers in Sim Lim Square are operating an honest business and only a few recalcitrant retailers have tarnished the reputation of Sim Lim Square and of Singapore on and beyond our shores."
Someone compared Sim Lim Square to a pilgrimage.
Mr Michael Tan, director of Convergent Systems which distributes IT products to shops there, told The Straits Times:
"The problem comes from an isolated segment in the mall. Its IT sector has a very good reputation. People from all over the world come here to buy stuff. Computer enthusiasts treat Sim Lim Square like a pilgrimage, a mecca."
The Bros from hardwarezone disagree.
But some are giving Sim Lim the finger.
Others are calling for calm.
What about you?
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Sim Lim Square shop employee claims high prices not a scam, uses chicken rice as example
Coin-giving Sim Lim shop has tourist begging on his knees for a refund
Top photo from here
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