Food court
Picture for representation Reuters

If you're a fan of the Punggol Nasi Lemak and wanted to start your weekend with one, Friday was probably an unlucky day for you.

The popular Kovan food court at Upper Serangoon Road was handed a one-day suspension notice for Friday, October 6, as it failed to provide soap in its toilet. The establishment lost a lot of customers as it often sees long queues at meal hours, comprised of people craving its specialty: the nasi lemak.

The National Environment Agency issued a notice on its website, stating that the Mee Sek Food Court was given six demerit points on two separate occasions, the reason being the same: unavailability of soap in its restroom. The food court also incurred a fine of S$800, based on these charges.

Suspension Notice
Suspension notice by NEA Screengrab from NEA website

The suspension notice also warns that food establishments that get 12 or more demerit points within one year stand the possibility of getting their licenses suspended for one to three days.

Due to the suspension, all the food stalls in the building, including a Hokkien prawn stall and fishball noodles stall, had to cease operations on Friday, which was expected to be a peak selling day as it kickstarts the weekend.

Such an incident also happened last week when the Abundance Eating House at Bukit Batok was suspended for a similar offence.

Another Kovan Market and Food Centre, located at Hougang Street, came into the news in July as a fire broke out there at dawn. However, no one was injured.

Singapore, also known as 'food paradise', is very strict about food establishments' standards. The National Environment Agency (NEA) scrutinises hygiene guidelines for food stalls, failure to adhere to which attracts strict disciplinary action.

Points demerit system
Points demerit system Screengrab from NEA website