The Singapore Parliament in session / photo istana.gov.sg

Parliamentary questions for 9 January 2017

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 1.30pm on Monday, 9 January 2017 for the 30th session of the 13th Parliament.

68 oral questions and 29 written questions have been scheduled to be asked.

4 bills will be introduced in this Parliament session.

  1. International Enterprise Singapore Board (Amendment) Bill – Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry)
  2. Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill – Minister, Prime Minister’s Office:
  3. Planning (Amendment) Bill – Minister for National Development
  4. Parks and Trees (Amendment) Bill – Minister for National Development

6 bills to be read the second time and would likely be passed on the same day of reading because the Peoples’ Action Party holds majority seats in Parliament.

  1. Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 35/2016] – (Prime Minister)
  2. Retirement and Re-employment (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 36/2016] – (Minister for Manpower)
  3. Mediation Bill [Bill No. 37/2016] – (Minister for Law)
  4. Civil Law (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 38/2016] – (Minister for Law)
  5. The Kwong-Wai-Shiu Free Hospital (Transfer of Undertaking and Dissolution) – Bill [Bill No. 39/2016] – (Minister for Health)
  6. Active Mobility Bill [Bill No. 40/2016] – (Minister for Transport)

There will also be a motion for the Adjournment (Standing Order No. 2(8)(b)) by Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Non-Constituency Member on civil claims for negligence arising from safety breaches during SAF Training.

A bulk of questions filed by the MPs centre around the status of the transportation system in Singapore to the Ministry of Transport.

There are also questions filed by threes MPs and one NCMP on the seized Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in Hong Kong.

Mr Pritam Singh is asking the Minister for Defence whether any confidential or secret equipment and information was compromised or potentially disclosed to foreign powers in the course of the Hong Kong Customs’ seizure of nine SAF Terrex ACVs and their associated equipment in November 2016. Also what new steps are in place to prevent a repeat incident of SAF material being inadvertently exposed and/or withheld overseas; and whether the Ministry can provide an update on the discussions with the Hong Kong authorities to return the vehicles and associated equipment.

While Mr Dennis Tan would be asking whether any of Singapore controlled military equipment has previously been shipped onboard container vessels on commercial routes which passed through ports in China like Xiamen. He also asks whether the Ministry deems the routing of controlled military items through ports like Xiamen to be of acceptable risk; and whether the Ministry intends to review the current contractual arrangements for the commercial sea carriage of our military equipment between Singapore and foreign ports.

Appointment of new Attorney-General

Ms Sylvia Lim from Workers’ Party would be asking if the appointment of the new Attorney-General, to take effect on 14 January 2017, accords with Article 35 of the Constitution. The Prime Minister Office (PMO) has earlier announced that Attorney-General, Mr V K Rajah S.C will be succeded by Mr Lucien Wong for a 3-year term with effect from 14 January 2017.

Under Article 35, the Attorney-General may be appointed for a specific period and, if he was so appointed, shall, subject to clause (6), vacate his office (without prejudice to his eligibility for reappointment) at the expiration of that period, but, subject as aforesaid, shall otherwise hold office until he attains the age of 60 years

However, Mr Wong is currently 63-years-old and going 64 this year.

According to Allen & Gledhill LLP’s website, Mr Wong listed as its Chairman and Senior Partner, but local media reports that he is no longer chairing the firm. Member of Parliament, Edwin Tong currently is a partner of the firm, and Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam, who was formerly a senior partner of the firm, had been colleagues with Mr Wong at a point of time.

Outside of his legal practice, Mr Wong also chairs the Maritime and Port Authority and the Board of Directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Singapore Business Federation and Boards of Directors for Temasek Holdings, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Press Holdings.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

[accordions]
[accordion title=”Prime Minister” load=”hide”]

Mr Azmoon Ahmad: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is the current status of the Singapore Conversation exercise since its initiation; (b) what are the key highlighted issues that have been have been addressed; and (c) whether there are any key issues that are still pending action.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Prime Minister whether the appointment of the new Attorney-General, to take effect on 14 January 2017, accords with Article 35 of the Constitution.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Foreign Affairs” load=”hide”]

Mr Zaqy Mohamad: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what is Singapore’s state of relations with China in view of the recent seizure of SAF’s Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in Hong Kong; (b) how can Singapore continue to balance its existing trade and foreign relations interests with strong expectations from China to align with its One China policy and claims over the South China Sea; and (c) what are the Ministry’s plans to normalize relations and minimise the impact of China putting more focus on competing economies in the region.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) whether he can provide updates on Singapore’s role with regard to ASEAN’s humanitarian response to support Rohingya refugees in Rakhine state; and (b) whether Singapore will be taking any further measures to help the refugees in light of the unfolding crisis.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the Ministry has any form of communication with the Myanmar Government that expresses concerns on the humanitarian crisis that is plaguing the people of Rohingya ethnicity in the Rakhine state.

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the recent low water levels in Johore River dams, in particular that of Linggui Reservoir, will affect the ability of both parties in the water agreements from meeting their respective obligations.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he can provide an update on the ASEAN meeting on 19 December 2016 on recent developments in the Rakhine State, in particular (a) what was discussed at the meeting; (b) whether concerns about the treatment of the Rohingya people are valid; and (c) if valid, what will be done to encourage Myanmar to avert discrimination against the Rohingya people.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Transport” load=”hide”]

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what will be the impact of the construction of Malacca’s Kuala Linggi International Port on our status as a regional shipping hub; (b) how will this impact our economy; and (c) how can our port services be kept competitive.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the estimated amount of road charges (RM20 per vehicle) that Singapore vehicles have been paying to the Malaysia since 1 November 2016 based on the number of Singapore vehicles leaving Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints; and (b) whether LTA intends to impose similar charges on foreign vehicles entering Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints in the near future.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Transport following the upgrade of the signalling system at the North-South and East-West MRT lines (a) what improvements have been observed; (b) what is the average interval between train arrivals during peak hours; and (c) what maintenance protocols are in place to ensure that the signalling system on the newer lines are always in optimal working condition.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Transport given that bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) will share the use of footpaths together with pedestrians (a) what are the criteria used to determine whether an existing footpath will be widened; (b) what is the recommended minimum width for footpaths to ensure safe shared usage between cyclists and pedestrians; and (c) whether Ministry will conduct an islandwide review to ensure that existing footpaths which are often used by cyclists and PMD users are widened in accordance with this minimum width.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Transport whether the Ministry will consider having a minimum age of 27 years for drivers of private hire vehicles based on accident-age risk assessment of drivers.

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Transport whether he can provide the latest update and details pertaining to driverless vehicles for use in our public transportation system.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether he can provide an update on the implementation of the bus contracting model; and (b) what is the estimated amount of operating subsidy that LTA is prepared to provide for the bus industry in 2017 and of which, how much is attributed to the lower bus fare with effect from 30 December 2016.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Transport in situations of train breakdowns and the potential necessity for passengers to evacuate via the rail tracks, what measures are in place to ensure the safety of persons who are dependent on mobility aids such as wheelchairs during evacuations.

Mr Png Eng Huat: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what are the positive and negative experience and feedback gathered on the implementation of the “Courtesy Crossing” under the Silver Zone initiative; and (b) what is the number of Silver Zones with public bus stops but with no bus lay-by.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Transport whether he will consider allowing motorists to make payments for failed ERP deductions electronically within a reasonable period of time after the failed deduction without incurring the administrative fee or incurring a less punitive fee.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Transport how many enforcement officers will be engaged to conduct enforcement action against errant cyclists or users of personal mobility devices who breach the rules on speeding on footpaths.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Transport whether LTA can take steps to prevent transport leasing and related businesses from indiscriminately parking their commercial vehicles in non-charging parking spaces in the vicinity of landed properties in private residential estates which is causing inconvenience to residents in these estates.

Mr Thomas Chua Kee Seng: To ask the Minister for Transport that in view of the completion of the Trade Association Hub at Jurong Town Hall in 2017 and the subsequent increase in trade association activities and programmes at the Hub, whether the Ministry can review and redesign the traffic flow around the area, particularly the traffic junction outside the Trade Association Hub so as to facilitate entry and exit out of the Hub.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Transport what are the conditions for re-application or re-qualification for a Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL) where the TDVL has been revoked due to the conviction of a criminal offence that is unrelated to road traffic and/or driving matters.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Transport whether LTA will consider including the Potong Pasir area (in addition to Lorong 8 Toa Payoh) in the Silver Zone programme as it is a mature estate with a high number of elderly residents.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what are the findings of the ongoing pilot project to allow foldable bikes and e-scooters on MRT trains and buses; (b) whether the Ministry will consider disallowing this during peak hours when the trains are very crowded; and (c) what action can be taken if a passenger fails to fold the bike or e-scooter on the trains.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether the Ministry can provide an update on site investigation works on the two alignment options as part of Phase 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Cross Island MRT Line; and (b) how is the Ministry engaging volunteers from the nature community to monitor and manage the impact on the ground as the rainy season increases the risk of spills into forest streams caused by boring works.

Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Transport what are the parameters to determine when a LRT service can operate bi-directionally as the LRT service in the west loop of the Punggol LRT service travels in one direction before 3pm and in the other direction after 3pm.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether he can provide an update on the construction of lifts at pedestrian overhead bridges; and (b) whether LTA can consider expediting the construction of lifts at the pedestrian overhead bridge that links to the Chinese Garden MRT station.

Mr Low Thia Khiang: To ask the Minister for Transport what measures are being taken to maintain and develop a Singaporean core in the commercial aviation pilot sector.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for National Development” load=”hide”]

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for National Development whether more resources can be allocated to expedite the construction of HDB flats for young couples and what are the challenges, if any, HDB faces in ramping up new flats’ supply.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether the Ministry will consider requiring all building owners to erect vertical barriers along the handrails of escalators as a safety measure; and (b) if not, what other safety measures are in place to protect people especially children from injuries or fatal accidents as a result of falling over the handrails.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for National Development in the past three years, what is the number of cases that HDB has received seeking repair assistance for spalling concrete, ceiling and sewage pipe leaks in a period of a year beyond the defects liability period under the Home Improvement Programme.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what plans are there to encourage more building owners and property developers to adopt solar energy technology; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider introducing incentives for private landed home owners to install solar panels at their properties to save on energy consumption.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are the upcoming plans for HDB’s Home Improvement Programme in Nee Soon GRC; and (b) whether the programme will include the sealing-off of air conditioner ducts as the plywood rots after some years.

Mr Png Eng Huat: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the number of feedback and complaints which the Ministry has received from residents of newly-built executive condominiums (ECs) on defects and design flaws in the past five years; and (b) what is the role of HDB in helping to resolve such matters since ECs are part of the stable of public flats offered by HDB.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) how many Government buildings have set aside dedicated rest areas for outsourced workers; and (b) and how many of these are inspected regularly to ensure that they are not allocated for other purposes.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider raising the current income cap of $1,500 for public rental housing in view of the rising cost of living and the higher income caps of Governmentsubsidies such as the child care/infant care subsidy and ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the total number of HDB blocks that qualify for the Home Improvement Program (HIP); (b) how many blocks have been selected for HIP by December 2016; and (c) whether HDB can consider announcing the precincts selected for HIP in 2017 and 2018 by the first quarter of 2017.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Manpower” load=”hide”]

Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the Ministry’s projection on unemployment for the first quarter of 2017; (b) what is the average waiting time for local and foreign university graduates to get into the workforce under current circumstances; and (c) how is the softer job market impacting on the older people who are in the workforce.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Manpower how many workers have successfully found jobs through Government-supported job fairs each year over the past ten years.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the number of workers affected by environment-related injuries over the last two years; (b) what is the number of workplace accidents caused by the lack of protective equipment being used during harsh weather conditions; and (c) what are some of the safety measures put in place when harsh environmental conditions set in especially for workers exposed to the weather elements.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the retention rate of rank-and-file workers who have completed the ‘Adapt and Grow’ programme; and (b) what is the number of rank-and-file workers who have embarked on this programme so far.

Mr Kok Heng Leun: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how many complaints about salary non-payment or short-payment were lodged by employees in each year from 2015-2016; (b) how many cases were referred to the Labour Court; (c) how many Labour Court Orders were issued in favour of claimants; (d) how many Orders remained unpaid by the 14th day after their issuance; and (e) how many employers were prosecuted for non-payment or short-payment of salary in these two years respectively.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Health” load=”hide”]

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Health for patients with mobility needs who are physically unable to visit the nearest polyclinic, what measures are available to arrange a subsidised medical assessment at home so that the patient can qualify for assistance from the Agency for Integrated Care, SG Enable and related agencies.

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Health what are the outcomes of the pilot public-private partnership between SCDF and Raffles Hospital whereby emergency cases transported by SCDF ambulances are sent to the emergency department at Raffles Hospital on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the reasons for setting the criteria disallowing women below the age of 35 to take part in the three-year clinical trial for Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS); (b) whether the Ministry will consider lowering this age limit for women; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider allowing women below the age of 35 to take part on a case-by-case basis.

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will explore ways to up-skill and enhance the capabilities of enrolled nurses and nursing aides including those serving in nursing homes through measures such as training and certification.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether he can provide an update on the spread of the Zika virus in Singapore; (b) how many new Zika cases have been reported in November and December 2016; (c) how many of these cases are of pregnant women; and (d) what is the total number of pregnant women infected by the Zika virus in Singapore and of these, how many have given birth and whether any of these babies have birth defects.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many foreign domestic workers (FDWs) have undergone the Agency for Integrated Care’s Basic Eldercare Course; (b) what percentage of FDWs subsidised by the FDW grant and who are caring for elderly Singaporeans have undergone the course; and (c) how many FDWs have been trained under the eldercarer training scheme and have been deployed.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) in the last year, how much subsidies for dental services has each CHAS cardholder and each CHAS cardholder aged 60 years and above received on average; (b) whether a review has been conducted to determine that the subsidies are adequate for seniors; and (c) whether the subsidies should be increased for seniors to match their needs.

Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Health of the additional 30,000 healthcare workers required by 2020 (a) how many will be from the Singaporean core; (b) how many are expected to come through the professional conversion programme; (c) how many are expected to be retired healthcare workers; (d) how many will be allocated to the eldercare sector; (e) what will be the allocation of these workers broken down by roles; and (f) what will be the expected increase in annual manpower expenditure.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether there is empirical data that reveals that managed care companies (MCCs) and third party administrator (TPA) companies are driving up healthcare costs significantly; and (b) what are the main factors that are driving up healthcare costs in the private and public healthcare sectors.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Communications and Information” load=”hide”]

Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the cause of Singtel’s broadband Internet service disruption on 3 December 2016; and (b) what can the Ministry do to strengthen and protect critical infrastructure such as the telecommunication network from major disruptions.

Mr Zaqy Mohamad: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the Ministry’s assessment of the resiliency of Singapore’s broadband networks given the service disruptions by our Internet service providers (ISPs) in recent months; (b) how does the network availability of Singapore’s ISPs compare internationally; and (c) whether there are measures that the Ministry is planning to improve the resiliency of our networks.

Mr Azmoon Ahmad: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) what is the current status of the Suara Musyawarah exercise since its initiation; (b) what are the key issues highlighted by the Malay community that have been addressed; and (c) whether there are any key issues pending action.

Mr Low Thia Khiang: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the rationale for collecting the NRIC number, phone number, address, and occupation of every participant at REACH’s public forums; (b) how is this information used; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider doing away with this onerous registration process to encourage participation at its events.

Mr Chen Show Mao: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how many public opinion polls did the Ministry commission in 2016; (b) what were the topics for each of these polls; (c) what was the cost of commissioning each of these polls; (d) what were the summary findings of each of these polls; and (e) whether and when will the Ministry publish the results of these polls.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs for 2015 (a) what is the total amount of zakat collected by MUIS; (b) what is the total amount disbursed; and (c) whether there is any undisbursed amount and, if so, how much is the undisbursed amount and what is the reason for not disbursing the monies.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) whether Mendaki offers educational loans for post-graduate programmes; (b) if no, what is the reason for not providing so; and (c) how many requests or appeals Mendaki has received for such educational loans in the past five years.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Finance” load=”hide”]

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether the Government has sought the President’s permission to draw down on past reserves in order to proceed with the High Speed Rail project with Malaysia; and (b) if so, how much of our past reserves has been set aside for this purpose.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) what is the estimated proportion of public procurement projects that factor in percentage increases in contract price targeted at wage increments for outsourced workers; and (b) what is the percentage and amount of liquidated damages enforced upon service providers by Government agencies in their service contracts for cleaning, security and landscaping.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Acting Minister for Education” load=”hide”]

Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what is the progress on the setting up of school-based Student Care Centres (SCCs) in all primary schools; (b) whether the Ministry is seeing increasing demand for more places; and (c) whether the Ministry has plans to increase the number of places in each school.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) whether the Ministry will be accepting and adopting all the suggestions made by the State Coroner to mitigate the risks of suicide and adverse psychological effects for young people under police investigation.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what are the steps taken to minimise the sale of beverages that are high in sugar and caffeine content in government school canteens; and (b) whether there are guidelines on the nutritional value and types of food and beverages allowed for sale in tertiary institutions.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the progress made by Singapore companies’ investment in skills training to support skills mastery and employees’ transition to new growth areas in their respective companies; and (b) how do the training efforts of Singapore companies compare with the best-in-class globally in terms of training hours, dollars spend as a percentage of payroll, and track record in supporting employees to gain new skills.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) whether the Government tracks the utilisation of SkillsFuture credits to prepare Singaporeans for alternative careers and how successful the scheme has been in preparing Singaporeans for new jobs especially amongst older workers.

Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what are the reasons for Singapore’s drop in ranking in the latest world-talent ranking in IMD’s World Talent Report 2016; (b) whether spending on home-grown talents has declined and whether this has adversely impacted the quality and size our talent pool; and (c) what is being done to further groom and boost the local talent pool.

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) whether skills training course materials are vetted for plain and simple language so as to keep courses as open as possible to older workers with limited language skills.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the breakdown in utilisation rate of SkillsFuture credits according to the different age groups; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider allowing elderly citizens to transfer their credits to their younger immediate family members for skills upgrading.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the current number of approved training organisations (ATO), public and inhouse ATOs, and inhouse ATOs respectively; (b) what is the number of WSQ trainees who have completed courses offered by each of the three types of ATO in 2016; and (c) how will the SkillsFuture movement expand to employer-led and employer-owned training.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Home Affairs” load=”hide”]

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if he can give an update on the reported radicalisation of some foreign domestic workers in Singapore and what is the Ministry’s approach on handling this issue as well as planned future interventions.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether Traffic Police (TP) intends to require licensed drivers to notify TP when they develop prescribed diseases or disabilities under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Driving Licences) Rules after being issued with driving licences so that TP may assess and determine whether their driving licences should be suspended or revoked.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether Traffic Police (TP) intends to require a medical professional to inform TP of licensed drivers whom he/she has examined and are reasonably believed to be suffering from prescribed diseases or disabilities under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Driving Licences) Rules so that TP may assess and determine whether the drivers’ driving licences should be suspended or revoked.

Ms Chia Yong Yong: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what action will the Government take against (i) illegal gambling dens, many of which operate openly in the back lanes of the lorongs in Geylang (ii) illegal medicine peddlars in Geylang (iii) illegal pasting of advertisements on lamp posts and other public properties in Geylang and (iv) illegal sale of cigarettes, most of which operate openly without fear or regard for the law.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the evidence available to the Government that suggests that section 309 of the Penal Code deters attempted suicides; and (b) what efforts will the Government be undertaking to ensure that this law does not deter those who entertain suicidal thoughts from seeking help.

Mr Kok Heng Leun: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether families of death row inmates can be provided with at least three weeks’ notice before the sentence is carried out to allow them sufficient time to come to terms with the sentence and make necessary arrangements; (b) what processes are in place to help such families deal with the trauma of the loss of their loved ones; and (c) whether family members of death row inmates can be allowed to have physical contact during the last few visits after the date of execution has been set.

Mr Low Thia Khiang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the number of convictions from the total number of crime cases reported from 2010-2015; and (b) what is the number of convictions broken down by the different types of crime reported from 2010-2015.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Social and Family Development” load=”hide”]

Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what options are available to new mothers whose companies close down while they are still on maternity leave in terms of being able to claim their full maternity leave benefits.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) whether he can provide details on the three-year “Break the Silence” public education campaign to encourage witnesses to safely intervene in family violence situations; (b) whether the Ministry will set up a dedicated hotline for victims and witnesses of family violence to report abuses; and (c) whether the Ministry will provide urgent advice to victims and witnesses and coordinate interventions by specialist centres and the police.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the number of people who have committed suicide or attempted suicide each year in the past five years; (b) how many were aged 60 and above; (c) how many of these seniors were living by themselves and how many were living with their families; and (d) what resources and programmes are currently in place to help to address the likely causes of such suicides and to prevent the suicide rates from increasing.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how is the number and capacity of senior activity and care centres determined in existing HDB towns; (b) whether the current planning parameters are sufficient; and (c) how many senior activity centres are there in the Bedok South area.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Trade and Industry” load=”hide”]

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) (a) when did the Competition Commission of Singapore first receive a complaint alleging that EM Services Pte Ltd was refusing to supply lift parts for the maintenance of lifts in HDB estates; and (b) which other companies were investigated by the Commission.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) whether he can provide an update on the state of the Singapore economy including progress on productivity growth and the country’s traction in its pivot towards innovation and technology as the next phase of development.

Mr Thomas Chua Kee Seng: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) (a) for trade associations who wish to be actively involved to drive the execution of the Industry Transformation Maps, how can they coordinate with the lead Government agencies and be empowered to do so; and (b) for trade associations who want to transform their sectors but do not have an Industry Transformation Map, what specific forms of support can they expect from the Government in the areas of productivity improvement, skills development, innovation and internationalisation

Mr Zaqy Mohamad: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) (a) what are the implications of recent significant partnerships, investments and aid which our ASEAN neighbours have been receiving from China especially in areas that will compete with Singapore’s strategic economic engines such as ports; and (b) what are the Ministry’s plans to ensure that our industries and companies stay ahead and continue to grow.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) in view of repeated incidents of parallel car importers who fail to deliver the car orders, what measures are there to enhance protection for consumers and tighten the criteria for companies which register themselves as parallel importers.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) since the signing of several agreements at the Africa-Singapore Business Forum in August 2016 (a) what are some of the specific projects that will be taking off; and (b) how can we further strengthen economic ties with African nations.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) (a) whether the “50 schools, 50 SMEs” initiative of SG50 has been completed; (b) whether the Ministry has achieved its target of pairing 50 schools with 50 different SMEs; and (c) whether the Ministry has evaluated each school-SME partnership to find out if the learning outcomes have been met.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Defence” load=”hide”]

Mr Vikram Nair: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether he can provide an update on the seizure of Singapore’s Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in Hong Kong; (b) whether Singapore is likely to get the vehicles back; and (c) if not, whether there are any remedies available to us

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether any confidential or secret equipment and information was compromised or potentially disclosed to foreign powers in the course of the Hong Kong Customs’ seizure of nine SAF Terrex ACVs and their associated equipment in November 2016; (b) what new steps are in place to prevent a repeat incident of SAF material being inadvertently exposed and/or withheld overseas; and (c) whether the Ministry can provide an update on the discussions with the Hong Kong authorities to return the vehicles and associated equipment.

Dr Teo Ho Pin: To ask the Minister for Defence with regard to the detention of the shipment of nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment by the HK Customs on 23 November 2016 (a) what steps has the Singapore Government taken to facilitate the return of the vehicles and equipment; and (b) what has been the outcome of the efforts thus far.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether any of our controlled military equipment has previously been shipped onboard container vessels on commercial routes which passed through ports in China like Xiamen; (b) whether the Ministry deems the routing of controlled military items through ports like Xiamen to be of acceptable risk; and (c) whether the Ministry intends to review the current contractual arrangements for the commercial sea carriage of our military equipment between Singapore and foreign ports.

Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether he can provide an update on the seizure of Singapore’s Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in Hong Kong; and (b) whether there is a roadmap and timeline for exchanges with the Hong Kong authorities to secure their release.

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Mr Kok Heng Leun: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) since its inception, what is the respective amount of funds that has been disbursed from the Cultural Matching Fund to (i) national companies and museums (ii) major grant and seed grant companies (iii) other cultural and arts organisations not covered in (i) and (ii); (b) what is the number of receiving entities within each of these categories; and (c) what is the amount that has been respectively disbursed to the (i) visual arts (ii) performing arts (iii) literary arts (iv) traditional arts and (v) heritage sectors.

Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) whether there are plans by the Ministry to keep up the interest among Singaporean youths to take up sports in the aftermath of our success in the Olympic Games; and (b) whether more sporting events will be organised to ride on the prevailing enthusiasm especially among school children.

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Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the running of hawker centres by social enterprises on a not-for-profit basis has achieved its desired outcomes; (b) whether it has reduced the overall operating costs for hawkers and food prices for consumers; and (c) whether it has helped attract new hawkers to the trade.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what plans are in place to reduce the amount of food waste generated in light of 785.5 million kilogrammes of food waste being generated in 2015; (b) what are the top contributing factors of food wastage; and (c) what are the targeted approaches to be undertaken by the Ministry to tackle each contributing factor effectively.

Mr Azmoon Ahmad: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what has been our energy usage in the last ten years and what is the forecast for the next ten years; (b) whether our future energy needs can be met and what is the plan to meet this demand; (c) whether our green environment initiative has bore results on energy usage and what more can be done; and (d) whether the Ministry will consider (i) turning off some street lamps on expressways and major roads after midnight till 5am to save energy and (ii) incentives for private residences to install solar panels.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) if he can provide an update on NEA’s rodent control efforts; (b) how successful is the Rat Attack Programme; and (c) whether the Ministry is looking into how this problem is tackled by other countries.

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