Man claims hawker acted 'gangster style' after asking for refund, owner denies accusations & makes police report

Both accused each other of embellishment.

Ilyda Chua | December 26, 2022, 10:41 PM

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After waiting an hour for their zichar order on Christmas night, a couple approached their hawker stall asking for a refund.

However, the stall owner allegedly acted in a "gangster-style" manner and swore at him.

The stall owner, who wishes only to be known as Mr Chew, has denied doing this. He has also made a police report for alleged libel.

Customer's account

According to a Facebook post by the customer, Raymond Tan, the alleged incident took place at Jiao Cai Seafood stall at the new Senja Hawker Centre. Here's his retelling of the events.

Tan placed his order at 7:19pm on Dec. 25, and the cashier initially told him the estimated waiting time would be 30 minutes.

Photo via Complaint Singapore/FB

But after waiting for almost two hours, at 8:50pm, nothing was served.

He then approached the stall and asked to cancel the order and get a refund if the food was not ready yet, as his children were hungry.

However, the stall owner allegedly pointed his finger at him and spoke in a "very fierce tone".

He allegedly acted in a "gangster style", saying: "Eh (Hokkien swear word), you talk to me properly, you understand?"

While carrying out the refund, he continued to murmur vulgarities, Tan wrote in his post. "Be aware of the gangsters running the store," he concluded.

He also included a photo of the stall owner in his post.

Stall owner's account

However, the stall owner maintained that he did not swear at him nor use vulgarities, nor did it take until 8:50pm for the customers to receive their refund.

Chew said he had been working at the back of the stall when he heard a commotion outside, as his cashier was explaining to Tan's wife that it would be their turn soon.

To avoid confusion, Chew joined his cashier, hoping to explain things in a civil manner.

"I said this sentence in Mandarin: '来来来,有什么东西,我们好好讲话 (come come come, what's happening, let's talk nicely)'," he told Mothership.

Unfortunately, Chew claimed the customer was angered by what he said, and supposedly acted in an "agitated" manner.

Chew also denied using vulgarities towards Tan. "I definitely did not say any vulgarities towards [Tan], that is 100 per cent sure. I can swear on my life."

Chew also denied the allegations that Tan had been waiting till 8:50pm, saying that the refund had been issued at 8:15pm instead — less than an hour after the order was made.

He added that he has been in the service sector for seven years and has never received any complaints about his service.

"Yes, there was a mini conflict yesterday. It's a fact that he waited for one hour," he said.

"But the thing is that we had eight staff, we're trying out best to rush everything. Yesterday was peak hour, and Christmas day as well...we're really trying to squeeze out as much as possible.

"My conscience is clear," he concluded. "I never do anything like what he claims I did."


In response to Tan's post, Chew (through the stall's Facebook account) commented, denying the allegations and said that he has filed a police report.

The police confirmed that a report has been made.

Tan then updated his post, declaring that he would "look for my lawyer once I receive the legal letter".

Chew told Mothership that in the aftermath of the online altercation, he received phone calls from members of the public, scolding him for the alleged bad service.

"An uncle told me that he's very, very disappointed in me, that he cannot believe I'm doing such a thing."

People have also been leaving one-star reviews on his stall's pages and declaring that they would boycott his business, he said.

"I feel that this thing is really causing harm to my business...I have a daughter to feed and all, you know," he shared. Chew alleged that out of that "small" issue, Tan went to the extent of making up stories.

Mothership has contacted Tan for comment.

Top image via Senja green community FB and Edward Chia FB video.