Inclusive chicken rice stall closes after just 4 months, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Inclusive chicken rice stall closes after just 4 months

Over at Block 305 of Ubi Avenue 1, four-month-old stall Traditional Rui Ji Chicken Rice And Curry Chicken Noodle has been forced to put up the shutters due to underwhelming business.

Although this may seem like just another business venture that has failed, the closure means one fewer inclusive workplace in Singapore.

The stall belongs to Mr Joseph Tan, 58, and his step-sister Jass Lee, who has a disability.

Ms Lee, who is a wheelchair-user, had her leg amputated following an accident in Malaysia over a decade ago. 

"I have also undergone five, six surgeries for my stomach cancer. I may be in a wheelchair but I can still work like everyone else, I just need more time."

Mr Tan told Shin Min Daily News that Ms Lee had dreamt of opening a chicken rice stall that employed people with disabilities, giving the disabled a job opportunity.

The stall has a dedicated queue for the disabled and elderly. "When we see customers who are elderly or have disabilities, our employees help take their food to the table," said Ms Lee.

When the stall was launched in December, there were four employees with disabilities. 

One of them, 50-year-old Loo Kah Hock, used to be an entrepreneur. He suffered a stroke about four years ago and it affected mobility on the right side of his body. 

He got a job as a warehouse assistant last year but was dismissed after going on a long medical leave to recover from a surgery to amputate two of his toes.

“It is good to work or I'd have nothing to do, just staying at home. I wouldn't even know what I’m capable of,” said Mr Loo, who was matched with Rui Ji by local charity SPD. 

The stall will close on April 16. Mr Tan is scouting for a spot to relocate the business. In the meantime, his employees will be redeployed to the branches at Lorong 4 Toa Payoh and Beach Road.

Mr Tan shared with AsiaOne that he invested about $55,000 in the stall and the $1,000 in daily earnings has been insufficient to cover the overhead.