Tuesday, March 24, 2009

where selling ice cream is a crime

Singapore, that's where. After complaints from a local merchants association, Singapore is cracking down on ice cream hawkers on Orchard Road, The Straits Times reports.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has also stepped up warnings against roadside pedlars hawking sundries from tissue paper to cheap wallets, belts, toys and handbags. Their presence turns Singapore's premier shopping belt into a low-class 'pasar malam', or night bazaar, along with the buskers and ear-piercing road shows, the Orchard Road Business Association complained recently.

Tissue paper? Ice cream? Serious crimes, don't you think.

And how's this for a Catch 22: The government says these peddlers don't have licenses to operate on Orchard Road, but the truth is that it's impossible to get a new hawkers' license for that location. The only people who qualify to sell on Orchard Road got their licenses before 1974--and only 35 of those licenses still exist.

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