This Week in Parliament: Columbarium, IP rights, Medishield Life, Alcohol Ban

It’s not often that we see two separate Parliament sittings within a space of 10 days but this week in Parliament is poised to be short yet potent. Two bills that will affect almost everyone of us, the Liquor Control Bill and the Medishield Life Scheme Bill will be having their second readings during this sitting.

Also, among the 19 questions filed for oral answer, there are some good questions on topics fresh in our minds like the columbarium saga and intellectual property (IP) rights.

The first three questions of the sitting hope to shed light on some doubts that arising from the controversy over the Fernvale Chinese Temple site. All three questions, including one from a member of the opposition, are directed at Minister Khaw Boon Hwan, Minister for National Development.


Member of Parliament for Sengkang West SMC, Lam Min Pin, also expressed hope on his Facebook Page that the answers to these questions would be able to “allay the concerns of the residents.”


NCMP Gerald Giam filed a question directed at the Minister for Law on IP rights. This issue has been the subject of discussions after the case between MobileStats and MINDEF.


Other notable questions touched on topics like zakat collected by MUIS and the Sports Hub.


NCMP Gerald Giam fully utilized the 5 questions that a Member is allowed to filed. He was the only Member of the House for this sitting to do so.

After the questions have been answered, Parliament will then move on to debate on the two bills which have been on everyone’s lips.


TOC understands that there will be more than 20 speakers for the Medishield Life Scheme Bill and more than 10 speakers for the Liquor Control Bill. To accommodate the large number of speakers, the Parliament Sitting will commence at 12 noon tomorrow instead of the usual 1.30pm start time.

Parliament sittings are also open to members of the public too.