Hawker argues with couple for ‘stealing’ disposable chopsticks , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Hawker argues with couple for ‘stealing’ disposable chopsticks

You don’t take things without asking first.

A pair of tourists did this, and got into an argument with a hawker who reacted angrily when they took disposable chopsticks from his stall.

The woman took to Xiaohongshu to post about the incident. She said she was at Maxwell Food Centre for lunch on Dec 25 with her boyfriend. They bought Hainanese chicken rice from a stall, but as she claimed they could not get utensils, they took two pairs of disposable chopsticks from a nearby stall, Fish Village.

She wrote: “We thought this place was like an airport, where disposable tableware is shared. Unexpectedly, the owner of this shop came over angrily and asked us to return the chopsticks to him.”

She claimed she offered to pay for the chopsticks as they had already used them, but the hawker refused and insisted that the chopsticks be returned.

She added that she offered to buy something else from the stall, but the hawker started pointing at them and threatened to call the police.

In her post, she asked if what she did was illegal.

Sharing his side of the story, the hawker named Mr Lim told 8world that he and his wife were busy at their stall when they saw a man hurriedly enter the area and leave.

“It turned out that he came over to take my chopsticks and left,” Mr Lim said. “I was angry because you came to take my things without asking me. This is called stealing!”

Mr Lim then approached the couple to get the chopsticks back. He said they didn’t apologise and just asked how much they should pay for the utensils.

“I said, this is not a question of money. It is very rude to take other people’s things without asking,” he said.

Mr Lim disputed the woman’s claim that she offered to buy food from his stall and said he never threatened to call the police.

The hawker and his wife also told AsiaOne that there were many instances where diners at the food centre would just take their utensils and the packaged chilli placed outside.

And it appears to be a common problem. 

Other hawkers also told AsiaOne that diners would take cutlery without asking.