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Family KTV owners petition to separate themselves from nightlife operators

The group sees a need to separate themselves from nightclubs and KTVs with hostesses

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Singapore – “We are not the same. We do not have hostess(es),” said a group of family karaoke businesses in their petition to be unclassified as nightlife operators and allow them to operate with safe management measures.

A petition through change.org was created by nine family KTV owners requesting authorities to give them a separate classification from the KTV lounges currently linked to the largest active Covid-19 cluster in Singapore.

The petition, titled “Separate Family Karaoke from Nightclubs & KTV with hostess and allow us to operate safely”, was started on Thursday (Jul 15) with a goal of 5,000 signatures.

It has 4,600 signatures to date.

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The petition noted that it’s been about a year and a half since karaokes were told to close beginning on Mar 26, 2020.

“We have been waiting very patiently all this while, even though we have been suffering huge losses every month with no end in sight. We understand the difficulties that our government is facing, and we too place the safety of our patrons as our top priorities,” said the business owners.

They saw a “glimmer of hope” when the government announced on Jun 24 that more restrictions would be lifted.

“But the latest news about the new cluster formed from a KTV lounge due to a social hostess have trashed our hopes.”

The group sees a need to separate themselves from nightclubs and KTVs with hostesses.

“We are not the same. We do not have hostess(es); we are not primarily night-time businesses or adult-only venues.”

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“Our clientele is mainly youth and families, and daytime hours form the bulk of our operating hours.”

They went on to say that their business layout is also different, as it consisted of mainly small rooms whose occupants never intermingle.

“This layout is highly compatible with safe distancing. Lumping us together in the overly broad nightlife category is not justifiable.”

The petition urged authorities for separation from the current “cabarets, night clubs, discotheques, dance clubs and karaoke lounges” category to a new “family karaoke” category.

The group also requested the reopening of family karaoke as a pilot trial, noting it was supposed to be held in Jan 2021 but placed on hold.

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They proposed this was possible with the proper safety measures in place, such as limiting customers to those who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination or taken pre-event testing.

They noted that customers would be restricted to private rooms only, with a limit the same as the F&B ruling and only made available to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term visit pass holders that have been in Singapore for the past 14 or 21 days.

The petition added that rooms and microphones would be sanitised before and after each group, and masks would be worn at all times except when singing.

“We, the family karaoke, have tried all ways to keep our business afloat.”

Small family karaokes like us are often started with an investment of a significant portion of our hard-earned life savings, with most of the capital tied down as fixtures such as renovations that can’t be moved or sold, said the group.

They asked for a chance to prove that they can operate safely as they are “merely trying to preserve their business and save jobs.”

“Let the family karaoke take the lead in the karaoke pilot trial to prove that we can still have karaoke if we run it the right way.”

The group consists of the following businesses: 7th Heaven KTV & Café, Sing My Song Family Karaoke, K Voice Family Karaoke, Teo Heng KTV Pte Ltd, 8 Degree Lounge, Major 99 – Family Karaoke & Entertainment Center, HaveFun KTV, K Star and Cash Studio./TISG

Read related: MTF considering additional measures after ‘disappointing and frustrating’ KTV Covid-19 cluster: Lawrence Wong

MTF considering additional measures after ‘disappointing and frustrating’ KTV Covid-19 cluster: Lawrence Wong

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