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kacang puteh war



Toa Payoh Kacang Puteh Seller’s Sister Opens Similar Stall In Boon Lay, Paying $10K A Month In Rent​

The move to open the kiosk has apparently caused a family dispute, and she’s winding up her stall at the end of this month due to the steep rent.

Toa Payoh Kacang Puteh Seller’s Sister Opens Similar Stall In Boon Lay, Paying $10K A Month In Rent

It’s by now well-known that Peace Centre’s beloved kacang puteh seller Amirthaalangaram Moorthy has moved to a new spot at Toa Payoh bus interchange, and is doing very well there.

A new, similar kacang puteh kiosk recently opened at Boon Lay bus interchange, and it’s run by a woman who claims to be Moorthy’s sister.

Paying $10K a month in rent

Compared to the Toa Payoh OG kiosk, the Boon Lay stall has a smaller selection of nuts and tidbits — about 18 types — and is priced at a flat $1.50 per paper cone portion. This includes the classics like fried kacang puteh, peas, sugared peanuts, steamed chickpeas and murukku.

The stallowner, who gives her name as Revthi, doesn’t appear to be very fluent in English. But she tells 8days.sg in her halting English that she’s Moorthy’s “sister”.

And compared to Moorthy’s stall, which is rent-free due to an arrangement with SBS Transit, Revthi says she is paying “$10,000 a month in rent.”

This is confirmed by Revthi’s daughter Malar, 29, who says her parents are winding up their stall at the end of this month as their middling sales could not justify the high rent.

“The location is busy, but it’s not very good for a stall. A lot of people can’t see our stall,” she shares. “My parents have to take care of the business till the end of the month. We cannot continue in this location because the rent is too high.”

Revthi at her kacang puteh stall at Boon Lay interchange

What’s going on?

According to Malar, the decision to take up the stall was initiated by her sister.
She explains: “She did all the paperwork. I only just found out about this, so I’m not sure who the landlord is ’cos I wasn’t there when [the rental agreement was signed]. My parents wanted to open a stall, but they didn’t know the rent was so high. My sister didn’t show them any of the paperwork. Now they are not on talking terms.”

Amirthaalangaram Moorthy and his wife Vasantha at their Toa Payoh kiosk

The matter gets more complicated

When 8days.sg called Moorthy to ask about the Boon Lay stall, he passed his phone to a well-spoken man who introduces himself as Moorthy’s son M. Magesvaran, 39.

According to Magesvaran, Revthi is “not my father’s sister, she was an assistant who was helping my father at his stall and went to open her own stall.” He also avers that “our products are not the same.”

Um, what?

When we contacted Malar to clarify the confusing relations, she sounded hurt to hear what Magesvaran said.

“Oh is it? Okay,” she replies softly after a pause, before conversing in hushed Tamil with her mum, who is beside her.

We hear snatches of her explanation which include “uncle”, before she updates us: “I’m not sure why [Magesvaran] said that. We are relatives.”

Malar also insists that Moorthy was the one who taught her mum how to fry nuts. She shares: “Moorthy uncle ordered all the things for us and brought my mum to his house to teach her how to make the kacang puteh. We are using the same vendors.”
She claims that she has never spoken to Moorthy’s son. Malar says: “We opened this with Moorthy uncle’s permission.”

Meanwhile, Magesvaran tells 8days.sg that he is considering taking over his father’s business. “I plan to expand it,” he says.

Photos: Yip Jieying