‘Backward’ and ‘shameful’: Ex-NMP Calvin Cheng's views on cash-only hawkers draw outrage , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

‘Backward’ and ‘shameful’: Ex-NMP Calvin Cheng's views on cash-only hawkers draw outrage 

This article is more than 12 months old

Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng’s criticism of hawkers who only accept cash payments has drawn the ire of many online. 

In a Facebook post on Friday (Feb 10), the Singaporean investor posted two photos of “cash only” payment signs he spotted at an unnamed food court. 

His caption read: “Another backward food court in the CBD that ONLY accepts cash. Name and shame.”

The following day, he corrected his caption, stating that there were “several stalls” which had cash-only payments, adding that it was “so shameful that the drinks shop discontinued Paynow”. 

Many commenters rebuked him for being too harsh on hawkers for rejecting digital payments, urging him to be more compassionate. 

One comment wrote: "To know that we have a [former] NMP who writes this is utterly disgraceful. You should be helping them, reaching out to them and not shaming them.”

Another said that hawkers “must have their reasons” for avoiding cashless payment. 


Cheng, however, was relentless. In his reply to comments, he argued that it was “shameful to accept only cash in 2023” and “embarrassing for an advanced nation”, adding that people should “boycott” such businesses.

Cheng continued to post and reply to comments on Sunday (Feb 12), even after witnessing the number of people who opposed his view. 

In one comment, he wrote: "It's unbelievable and embarrassing that there are people in the comments section here defending the use of cash ONLY. I hope this is the minority otherwise Singapore is finished. We will indeed be a village full of backward villagers."

At one point, he referred to those in disagreement with him as “luddites”. 


As recently as Monday (Feb 13), Cheng maintained his position: "You can disagree, you can be angry, you can abuse me, write articles on me but I will NOT BACK DOWN.”