Murali Pillai
2 min readMar 6, 2024

In my cut speech during the MND COS Debate, I sought an update on MND’s study of my proposal that owners of about 400 “sold” coffeeshops in mature HDB estates to provide budget meals and drinks as conditions to use outdoor refreshment areas. I noted from SMS Sim Ann’s response that HDB has decided to implement my suggestion as a condition on new owners of “sold” coffeeshops. It is still studying how best to implement this suggestion on existing owners. My cut speech is set out below.


In May 2023, HDB required all its rental coffee shops to compulsorily offer budget meal and drink options. These options are featured in HDB’s BudgetMealGoWhere website that provides residents with a convenient way to look for cheaper meal and drink options within a 2 km radius from their homes.

I have received positive feedback on this and would like to convey my appreciation to HDB.

In the older HDB estates, however, the budget meals and drinks options are still limited. This is because most of the coffeeshops there are sold in the open market, not rented from HDB.

In July 2023, I suggested that HDB impose the budget meal and drink requirement on such privately-owned coffeshops as a condition for the renewal of permission to use Outdoor Refreshment Areas.

The Minister mentioned that HDB is studying the matter. To address current food affordability concerns, I suggest that the study be completed sooner rather than later. I also seek an update on the status of the matter.



Murali Pillai

Member of Parliament, Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.