The return of the ban era in Singapore? | Singapore Informer

© Provided by The Malay Mail Online Surekha A. Yadav

JUNE 14 — Far from the image of scantily-clad, buxom vixens from exotic countries, most of the beer girls I’ve seen might be more accurately described as beer aunties. Older Singaporean women earning extra money, usually around S$7 (RM19.52) an hour plus commission on every bottle/can sold.

For the regular beer-swilling punters, the girls provided some welcome companionship and were part of a familiar routine. Even for light drinkers it was handy to have the ladies around — it meant you didn’t have to wander off to the drinks counter for a beer.

In my experience at least, there was nothing particularly harmful about the promoters. But this characteristic little quirk of our hawker centres has just been snuffed out.

The National Environment Authority (NEA), which runs the nation’s hawker centres, announced they would be enforcing laws which would outlaw beer promoters. According to the NEA, the girls fall foul of long-standing laws that prohibit touting, infringe on the family-friendly nature of hawker centres and flout the prohibition on foreign workers taking jobs in these centres.

Now the government has some legitimate points here. There are established laws that prevent foreigners from working in hawker centres and these are family spaces. Women cavorting with men, urging them to chug pitchers of beer isn’t typically something you want your kids to see.

But that wasn’t the reality of the beer girls. In the vast majority of cases, they offered a very staid sort of promotion — a giggle and a…

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