Monday, December 9, 2013

I Am A Trade Fair Regular

The humble Pasar Malam is a trade fair! Pasar Malam literally means "night market" in Malay and in Singapore, it is basically a tempory market that pop up in a residential neighbourhood for a few days. So for a few days, the neighbourhood will have a collection of stalls that sell goods such as toys, clothes, shoes etc, at low prices.

I never knew it is considered a trade fair!

Why do I say it? I say this because the National Environment Agency (NEA) just shut down an event in Aljunied for not having a license to operate a trade fair. In the opposition-run GRC, an operator started an event at a mall and 15 stalls open for business for the Christmas and New Year period. The event was promptly shut down by the NEA because the operator never applied for a license for a trade fair in the area. In the view of the NEA, the event is a trade fair which of course came as a shock to everyone including the event operator, the opposition MP...and me!

15 stalls at a local mall is a trade fair? My goodness, every pasar malam I've been to have more than 15 stalls. You mean all this time I was going to trade fairs and I didn't even know it? When I think of trade fairs, I had always thought of them as events held in big shopping centers like Takashiyama or Suntec.

I am wrong. I must have been to over 50 pasar malams in my life and at least to the NEA, every one of them was a visit to a trade fair. So yes, I am a trade fair regular!

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