Sungei Road Market vendors who were set to return to hawking as a collective community at the sixth floor of Golden Mile Tower’s car park are instead potentially facing trespass charges.
At the old Thieves’ Market’s permanent closure on Monday, 10 July, chairman of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods, Mr Koh Eng Khoon announced that the group has secured the sixth floor of Golden Mile Tower’s car park as the new site for the “Sungei Market,” pending approval by authorities.
90 out of 200 vendors apparently expressed interest to move to the car park and Mr Koh said that he is “very happy and satisfied that the stallholders now have somewhere to go.”
The Sungei Market at Golden Mile was expected to reopen at noon this Saturday, 15 July.
In a turn of events, the owner of the car park, LHN Group, has said that no such deal has been struck. It has also said that it will be making a police complaint against contractors employed by the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods to divide the lots in anticipation of the move.
LHN spokesperson Jeremy Ong said:
“We wish to clarify that to-date, there has been no commercial agreement reached that we have allowed Sungei Road Market to operate on the 6th level of Golden Mile Tower’s catrpark, nor has any money been exchanged.
“Any infringement will be considered as illegal trespassing, including the painting of lots which was done without our permission. We consider this as an act of vandalism and will be lodging a police report.”
Mr Koh, on the other hand, claims that the deal with the car park was made last week and that the group has paid S$10,000 for renting the premises for the first month. He, however, added that “no official contract” was signed as they were waiting on the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to advise them “how the submission process should go” as they need assistance to understand the terms and conditions of the application.
The URA, on its side, has maintained that planning approval is required to relocate the market to the new premises and that it has not received an application for approval as of yet.
In speaking with TODAY, Mr Koh admitted that LHN was not informed that contractors would be demarcating the lots in preparation of the move. On LHN’s plans to lodge a police report on the matter, he said that there is “nothing we can do.”
“We wanted to prepare things so that vendors can move in eventually, but we did not inform the management on our part… We can restore the space to its original state if necessary.”
He added that the vendors of the market have been infromed that the move may be delayed due to the pending URA approval and new developments.
LHN group has put up signs in the rooftop car park, prohibiting trespass, the sale of goods and illegal painting of car lots.