Diner uses CDC voucher, Chinatown chicken rice hawker allegedly tells him 'don't eat if no money'


Belmont Lay | January 16, 2023, 07:01 PM

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A diner was left fuming after he tried to pay for his chicken rice meal from a stall in the Chinatown hawker centre only to be told not to eat if he cannot fork out cash for the payment.

The incident allegedly took place at the People's Park Food Centre on Jan. 11 at about 7pm.

The diner, a man in his 50s, tipped off Shin Min Daily News.

Didn't accept CDC vouchers

According to the diner, he wanted to pay his S$5.50 meal using the Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers but the staff apparently refused.

The stall the diner wanted to patronise was Dong Dong Hainanese Chicken Rice.

In response, the diner questioned the assistant about the sticker displayed at the stall, and the assistant allegedly changed his tune.

According to the diner, the assistant said the vouchers were not accepted as the scanning machine was broken.

The diner said: "The government distributed the CDC vouchers to the citizens to use. There are so many elderly people in Chinatown. If the vendors don't accept the vouchers, they should clearly indicate or tear off the stickers, so people don't waste time queuing up."

"What if we don't have enough cash?"

The diner added: "I don't know if it was because they were busy and they didn't want to accept vouchers."

"There were people queuing behind me, so I ended up paying with cash and leaving."

Stall assistant explained situation

When the Shin Min reporter visited the chicken rice stall on Jan. 15, a personnel at the stall explained that the device used to scan the QR code of the voucher had been out of order for a week and was undergoing repairs.

To accept the vouchers, the personnel said he could only use his personal mobile phone to scan the code as payment.

The personnel added: "When I was not at the stall, it was impossible to leave my mobile phone with my colleagues. When the incident happened, I was not at the booth at that time, and no one could help scan the code to collect the money."

As for the customer's complaint about the bad attitude of the staff, the personnel said he would provide feedback to his employer.

"Maybe my colleagues were too busy at the time. But we always welcome customers to pay with CDC vouchers."

Other hawkers interviewed said they welcome CDC vouchers as payment as customers had a propensity to spend more with them.

They also said it made no difference if the vouchers were used as they hold monetary value and served its function as a form of money.

Top photo via Shin Min Daily News & Google Maps