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Media Centre
Media Centre

FMAS, HECS and SPH Media Trust’s CMG broaden efforts to help heartland enterprises innovate and digitalise

SINGAPORE, 8 April 2022 - The Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS), Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS) and SPH Media Trust’s (SMT) Chinese Media Group (CMG) renewed their tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to strengthen initiatives to showcase the unique appeals of the Singapore heartlands, as well as help neighbourhood enterprises and hawkers grow their businesses through digitalisation and innovation.

Under the renewed MOU, which takes effect today, the three parties reaffirmed their commitments to collaborate on a series of projects until 31 April 2023.

CMG will continue to promote awareness of FMAS and HECS’ various initiatives through news reports and customised content on its media platforms, to encourage heartland shop owners and hawkers to digitalise and innovate, so they can better navigate the challenges in the post-pandemic climate.

Furthermore, CMG will also continue to co-organise and promote seminars and awards that  highlight stories of enterprises and hawkers who have successfully transformed their businesses including the Hawkers Seminar, Singapore Hawker Awards, Singapore Heartland Seminar and Singapore Heartland Enterprise Star Awards.

The inaugural Singapore Hawker Awards in 2021 saw 15 hawkers recognised for their exemplary hawker brands and efforts in shaping the local hawker scene in their pursuit of excellence.

To support heartland merchants and hawkers, SMT has extended a group advertising discount to members of FMAS and HECS. They will receive a 10% discount when they place their advertisements directly through FMAS and HECS on any SPH Media platform.

Mr Yeo Hiang Meng, President of FMAS explained: “Our heartland shops and hawkers play an important role in the lives of many Singaporeans, providing affordable goods, services and food in our neighbourhoods. Today, they are facing challenges with changing consumer behaviour and needs, increasing competition and the pressing need to engage younger consumers. Under this partnership, the series of heartland rejuvenation initiatives by FMAS, HECS and SMT’s CMG will continue to drive innovation, productivity and digital transformation among heartland merchants and hawkers as well as showcase newly-revitalised neighbourhoods and businesses that have successfully reinvented themselves. These initiatives and efforts aim to continue to  help our neighbourhood enterprises and our hawkers transform, revitalise and sustain their businesses.”

Building on the success of the first series of Rediscover Heartlands Tours, Lianhe Zaobao will continue to partner HECS and FMAS to co-organise a second series, which includes the curation of tour itineraries for 10 heartland destinations and creation of  content  to promote the heartlands. SMT’s Chinese radio stations UFM100.3 and 96.3 Hao FM will also provide live reports to increase publicity for the tours. Some of the heartlands that will be showcased in this second series include Clementi Town, Bras Basah Complex and People’s Park Food Centre. Registration for the first tour to Clementi Town and the adjacent Food Centre on 8 May 2022 will commence in mid-April.

HECS will also collaborate with Shin Min Daily News to feature 12 heartlands in a fortnightly series starting from May. The series will feature the history and unique attractions of each featured heartland, and serve as a navigation guide for the public to learn more about these places and encourage them to explore other Singaporean heartlands.

Mr Kwek Theng Swee, Chairman of HECS said: “When Covid-19 struck, and with the loss of tourists, the heartland enterprises and hawkers were also badly affected. With the support from Enterprise Singapore, HECS organised the Rediscover SG Heartland Tours to encourage local residents to step out of their own neighourhood and visit other heartlands in Singapore, which managed to help draw significant footfall and businesses to these featured heartlands through publicity in Lianhe Zaobao. For the second series of the tours, we are hoping to draw more younger visitors to these neighbourhoods, and also to attract tourists to visit our heartlands. Each heartland encapsulates the essence of our HDB way of life, and it will be a unique experience for tourists who are interested in understanding Singapore on a deeper level.”

Ms Lee Huay Leng, Editor-in-Chief of SMT’s CMG commented: “The collaboration with FMAS and HECS has enabled us to better connect our readers with the heartland enterprises through our newspapers, digital platforms and radio stations, and this has allowed us to contribute to the heartland revitalisation efforts. Our joint efforts in the past year have achieved substantial results, and we hope that the upcoming collaboration will yield even greater results.”

Attached are the media release in Chinese and some images for your use.

Photo 1 Caption: Visitors on the Boon Lay heartland tour in January 2021 took pictures with Minister for National Development, Desmond Lee who is also the Member of Parliament representing the Boon Lay ward of West Coast GRC.

Photo 2 Caption: A total of 80 people visited the first HDB new town, Toa Payoh as part of the heartland tour of Toa Payoh and Bishan in December 2020.

Photo 3 Caption: (From left):  Lai Cheng Yi, Centre Director, Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS); Kwek Theng Swee, Chairman of HECS; Yeo Hiang Meng, President of  Federation of Merchants' Associations, Singapore (FMAS); Lee Huay Leng, Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Media Group (CMG), SPH Media Trust; Choo Chee Wee, Editor of Shin Min Daily News; and Loh Woon Yen, Managing Editor of CMG, SPH Media Trust.

Photo Credit: Lianhe Zaobao

Issued by SPH Media Trust (UEN: 202125108M)

For media queries, please contact:

Andrew Lum
Corporate Communications & CSR
SPH Media Trust
Contact: 6319 1982

About SPH Media Trust 

SPH Media Trust is incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee. The mission of SPH Media Trust is to be the trusted source of news on Singapore and Asia, to represent the communities that make up Singapore, and to connect them to the world. It has several business segments in the media industry, including the publishing of newspapers, magazines, and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns and operates other businesses including radio stations and outdoor media. For more information on SPH Media Trust, please visit and our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About Federation of Merchants Association (FMAS) 

Registered as an association in 1989, FMAS is a non-profit organisation formed to represent interest of merchants operating in the Housing and Development Board (HDB) neighbourhood and town centres, as well as stallholders selling in the National Environmental Agency (NEA) hawker centres and markets.

About Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS)

Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS) is a subsidiary of The Federation of Merchants’ Association Singapore and was set up with the support from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) as a dedicated resource center to champion the rejuvenation of neighbourhood town centres and to grow heartland businesses.