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

Parliamentary questions for 28 February 2017

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 12pm on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 for the 35th session of the 13th Parliament.

19 oral questions and 6 written questions have been scheduled to be asked.

5 bills will be introduced in this Parliament session.

  1. Supply Bill – Minister for Finance (President’s recommendation to be signified).
  2. Supplementary Supply (FY 2016) Bill – Minister for Finance (President’s recommendation to be signified).
  3. Trustees (Amendment) Bil – Minister for Law.
  4. Companies (Amendment) Bill – Second Minister for Finance.
  5. Limited Liability Partnerships (Amendment) Bil – Second Minister for Finance.

4 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. Patents (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 6/2017] – Minister for Law.
  2. Architects (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 8/2017] – Minister for National Development.
  3. Early Childhood Development Centres Bill [Bill No. 7/2017] – Minister for Social and Family Development.
  4. BUDGET STATEMENT: Resumption of Debate on Question (20 February 2017) (Allotted Day), “That Parliament approves the financial policy of the Government for the financial year 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018.”. – Minister for Finance.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

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

Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Transport what are the planning parameters to decide on where and when to build pedestrian overhead bridges and what are the cost-benefit considerations to decide between building a pedestrian crossing versus a pedestrian overhead bridge.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether bus regularity has improved following the implementation of the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF); (b) how much incentives have been paid and how much penalties have been received; (c) what are the feedback received and whether commuters’ travel experience have improved; and (d) whether there is a need to fine-tune the framework three years into its implementation.

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

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what impact did algae blooms and the recent oil spill have on AVA’s target for locally farmed fish to comprise 15% of local fish consumption; (b) what measures are taken to help coastal fish farmers cope with the aftermath of these events; and (c) what measures are taken to help fish farmers change their production methods so that they are more efficient and less susceptible to algae blooms and oil spills.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) for each year in the past three years, how much does the Ministry spend on culling dogs, cats and monkeys respectively; (b) whether the Ministry expects an increase in culling expenditure in the next three years; (c) whether the Ministry has conducted scientific research on the effectiveness of culling on population control; and (d) whether the Ministry is conducting scientific research into measures other than culling to address the human-animal conflicts.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether the regular inspections of trees are done by NParks staff or outsourced to a landscape company; and (b) whether the public liability insurance by NParks covers damages due to natural causes.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether the Ministry will review the eligibility criteria for rental housing so that the income criterion is either a total household income or a per capita income; and (b) whether the per capita can be set at $650, similar to the ComCare Shortto-Medium Term Assistance criterion.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether the Ministry will implement a ban on the domestic trade in ivory; (b) if so, what is the time frame for implementing the ban; and (c) if not, what factors does the Ministry take into account in not banning the domestic trade.

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

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Health (a) in the past five years, how many reports of excessive charging by doctors in private practice have been received by the Ministry; (b) whether there is a trend of doctors abusing their patients’ medical insurance coverage by overcharging them; and (c) what measures can be taken to regulate such a practice.

Ms K Thanaletchimi: To ask the Minister for Health in respect of the elderly in nursing homes and step-down care institutions (a) whether the Ministry can consider providing awareness, education and counselling services on the need for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to them; and (b) whether the Ministry and the Agency for Integrated Care can work with the legal fraternity and assist to extend greater accessibility to pro-bono legal services to those requiring LPAs.

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

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider introducing an offence for commercial organisations that fail to prevent the commission of economic crimes such as bribery, fraud and money laundering by persons who act on their behalf such as employees and contractors.

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how are the Home Team and public transport operators prepared to handle arson attacks in the MRT trains; (b) how can the public be involved to support Home Team’s efforts; and (c) how can Singapore’s readiness to respond to attacks in our public transport system be enhanced.

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) which are the groups most vulnerable to online peddling of drugs; (b) what is the rate of recidivism for drug abusers between the ages of 20 to 29 over the last three years; and (c) how is the Ministry working to reduce drug abuse in the age group of 20 to 29.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs for each year from 2012 to 2014 what are the recidivism rates for the release cohorts from (i) the Drug Rehabilitation Centres (ii) the Long Term Imprisonment 1 regime and (iii) Long Term Imprisonment 2 regime, respectively.

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

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what criteria are used to determine the selection of falsehoods corrected on the Gov Factually website.

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the Government’s plan to deepen our younger Singaporeans’ ICT capabilities so that they are equipped to seize opportunities of tomorrow; and (b) how can the Ministry ensure that ICT and digital training classes such as coding classes are accessible to less privileged Singaporeans.

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

Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) whether the merger of the SkillsFuture and Jobs Bank portals will incorporate a review function for training providers to ensure outcome-based training provisions; (b) whether the merged portal can include internship opportunities for young Singaporeans; (c) whether the merged portal can include personality assessments that gauge the fit of the user to jobs as opposed to just skills; and (d) whether jobs listed in the Jobs Bank are regularly updated to ensure relevance.

Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) whether he can provide an update on the feedback received on Earn and Learn Programmes (ELP) in 2016; (b) whether the Ministry has been able to place 400 polytechnic and ITE graduates across all the ELPs in 2016; and (c) which are the most sought after ELPs and whether they match existing manpower projections of the Industry Transformation Maps.

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

Ms K Thanaletchimi: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether all companies recognise medical chits from Singapore-registered doctors when an employee seeks medical care from clinics outside the companies’ panel of doctors; (b) in the last three years, how many cases have been reported where an employer has deducted the salary of an employee when the medical chit is from a registered doctor who is not from the company’s panel of doctors; and (c) how does the Ministry handle such cases.

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

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how is the Ministry enhancing the capabilities of caregivers and parents to care for children with autism; (b) how are pre-school teachers provided with the requisite training to teach children with mild autism; and (c) how can the community play a role in helping autistic children to learn.

Ms K Thanaletchimi: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) whether a simple guide in various languages has been produced to assist Singaporeans who are in need of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to sign up for it; (b) whether a comparative study has been done on the extensiveness of Singaporeans seeking LPAs compared to other developed nations; and (c) what measures are there to safeguard the public from errant lawyers who facilitate LPAs.

Asst Prof Mahdev Mohan: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development to date, how many Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) or similar instruments have been revoked due to fraud or undue pressure being used to induce the donor to enter into them and due to the donee behaving in a way that contravenes his authority or in a manner not in the donor’s best interests.

Asst Prof Mahdev Mohan: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development since the last amendments to the Mental Capacity Act came into effect in 2016 (a) how many orders of suspension have been made where there is a risk of dissipation of the donor’s property; and (b) how many errant donees, deputies or prescribed certificate issuers have been dealt with by the courts or the Office of the Public Guardian.

Asst Prof Mahdev Mohan: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what are the safeguards to ensure that a certificate issuer verifies that the donor understands the purpose of the Lasting Power of Attorney or a similar instrument and the scope of the authority conferred under it; (b) whether the Ministry will add further safeguards against abuse by donees or deputies; and (c) whether pro bono legal advice will be afforded to donors in the absence of a professional donee or deputy.

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

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) in light of the opinion issued by the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU that the EU does not have exclusive competence to conclude the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), whether he can provide an update on how the relevant parties are working towards a swift ratification of the EUSFTA.

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

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether the Ministry has determined (i) how the used SAF uniforms came into the possession of the smugglers who were caught unloading them near Batam in November 2016 and (ii) the motive for smuggling the uniforms to Batam; and (b) how does the Ministry intend to prevent such incidents from happening again.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for Culture, Community and Youth” load=”hide”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
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Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources whether the Ministry will consider conducting a study to quantify the savings in healthcare costs that can be obtained from various possible levels of incremental improvements in air quality in the short, mid and long term.

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