To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) if he can give an overview of the extent of illegal hawking, if any, in Singapore; (b) what actions are taken against such offenders; and (c) what assistance is given to vulnerable Singaporeans who cannot afford hawker licensing costs but want to remain self-reliant.
Reply by Ms Grace Fu:
1 NEA has to take action against illegal hawking in order to ensure that food and goods sold do not pose a risk to public health or cause nuisance. Two thirds of the 655 illegal hawkers found in the first six months of this year were foreigners. Under the current regime, composition sums of $300, $400 and $500 will be offered for the first, second and third-time offenders respectively. Upon the fourth and subsequent offences, the illegal hawkers will be prosecuted in Court. Illegal foreign hawkers may also be banned from entering Singapore.
2 The financial circumstances of Singaporeans engaged in illegal hawking will be investigated. Where appropriate, they are referred to the Social Service Offices of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and Community Development Councils (CDCs) for job and financial assistance.
(Note: This is an interim transcript done by the Ministry. The transcript will be cross-checked with Parliament’s Hansard when it is ready and any necessary amendments will be updated then.)