'Five cents not money?' Diner refused cup of kopi after using two 5-cent coins as payment, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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'Five cents not money?' Diner refused cup of kopi after using two 5-cent coins as payment

It seems a coffee shop in Yishun won’t sell you kopi if you’re paying with five-cent coins. 

Facebook user Sally Chan posted about her unpleasant encounter at a drinks stall at Blk 291 Yishun Street 22, where she was refused her beverage because she used two five-cent coins as payment.

The short post claimed the drinks stall assistant was given a $1 coin, a 10-cent coin and two five-cent coins as part of the $1.20 for a cup of coffee.

However, upon seeing the coins, the drinks stall assistant allegedly poured the coffee into a sink and said: "I do not accept five cents. Go away, I am not selling to you."

The caption of the post added: "Five cents not money? That's the problem with hawkers nowadays, not accepting five cents."

The stall, however, has a sign that says it does not accept five-cent coins as payment. It is understood the sign has been there for some time. 

Though five-cent coins are legal tender in Singapore, the issue of vendors rejecting them as payment is not a new one.

On its website, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) addressed the issue referencing a letter from a Straits Times reader in September 2020.

MAS said the official Currency Act provides for a customer to make payment in all currency notes and coins, up to a limit of 20 coins per denomination for each transaction.

"However, the Currency Act also allows vendors to set a lower limit, or choose not to accept any denomination of currency coins or notes, provided that the vendor gives written notice to customers prior to a transaction," MAS added.

MAS views the payment for goods and services as essentially a contractual agreement between a willing buyer and willing seller.

The drink stall assistant was well within her rights to refuse the sale… but did she really have to pour the already-made drink away instead of selling it?

Coffee shopYishun