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Parliamentary questions for 27 February 2018

The Singapore Parliament sat at 11:00am on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 for the 61st session of the 13th Parliament.

*16 oral questions and 6 written questions had been scheduled to be asked.

At the commencement of Public Business, 5 Government Bills will be introduced:

  1. Competition (Amendment) Bill – (Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade)),
  2. Regulation of Imports and Exports (Amendment) Bill – (Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade)),
  3. Films (Amendment) – (Minister for Communications and Information),
  4. Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Bill – (Minister for Home Affairs),
  5. Common Services Tunnels Bill – (Minister for National Development).

There will be a Resumption of Debate on Question (19 February 2018) (Allotted Day), “That Parliament approves the financial policy of the Government for the financial year 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.” (Minister for Finance).

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

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Prime Minister

Prime Minister

*Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Prime Minister with regard to the interruption to NETS services on 2 February 2018 due to "inadvertent human error" during system maintenance (a) whether MAS has identified root causes which predispose the system to human error; and (b) what measures MAS is taking to ensure reliability of cashless transaction providers with significant market share where interruptions can significantly impact businesses and end users.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what has been the number of international passengers for Changi Airport in 2017; and (b) what are the growth rates for international passengers for the past five years for Changi Airport compared to the same data for competing regional air hubs including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what measures are in place at our border checkpoints to deter wildlife trafficking; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider establishing a wildlife sniffer dog programme to detect cases of wildlife trafficking at our border checkpoints.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development with regard to Dakota Crescent (a) what criteria were used in deciding to retain the central cluster over other buildings in the estate; (b) how have stakeholder consultations with residents and Save Dakota Crescent factored into redevelopment and conservation decisions; and (c) how does the Ministry intend to work with stakeholders in deciding the future uses of the central cluster of buildings.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in each of the last five years, how many cases of trespass and unauthorised access to private properties and restricted areas, such as rooftops and military areas, have been reported to the police; (b) how many cases involved (i) death (ii) injuries and (iii) damage to properties; (c) what are the main reasons for such trespass; (d) how many of these cases involved minors; and (e) what are the measures put in place to enhance the security of these sites.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in the last five years (a) how many police reports have been made involving sexual harassment or insults of modesty (i) through the use of technology and (ii) which occurred at the workplace respectively; and (b) how many of such reports have been made by women and men respectively.

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the outcome of SCDF investigations into why escalators catch fire; (b) how can this be prevented; (c) what measures are taken to address the underlying problems; and (d) how many escalators have caught fire in the past five years.

*Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs with regard to prison inmates who are approaching release and who have multiple medical conditions and follow-up medical appointments, what measures are in place to facilitate the handover and streamlining of medical care to a restructured hospital, family medicine centre or polyclinic near to their homes upon their release.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether IMDA places a limit on the number of mailboxes a postman has to cover each day; (b) whether there are regulations in place to safeguard the working conditions of postmen; and (c) how does IMDA plan to support SingPost in adopting technology or redesigning jobs to improve accuracy and efficiency of mail sorting and delivery to ease existing workloads.

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) what has been the average cost of security expenditure per Singaporean compared to other major cities; and (b) whether the rise in security spending will have a direct impact on the cost of living in Singapore.

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) in the past five years, how many parents have provided false information to secure a place for their child in a school; (b) how are such cases handled by the authorities; and (c) whether the child in question is allowed to remain in the school that he or she has been enrolled in when the parents have been found guilty of providing false information.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

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*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the findings on the safety of delivery riders/drivers from the Ministry's inspection of 50 food delivery and courier services companies between July and September 2017; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider introducing legislation to ensure that food delivery and courier service companies be accountable for work-related traffic accidents involving their deliverymen, including part-timers and contract personnel on bicycles and personal mobility devices.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Manpower of the number of university graduates aged 40 years and above in 2016 who had left their jobs or were retrenched in that year, how many have managed to secure employment thereafter in (i) the same industry they were in or (ii) a different industry respectively as a result of the SkillsFuture movement.

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether there are plans to cover domestic workers under the Employment Act.

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Manpower for workers who have not been paid by their employers and have had their cases heard, what is the compliance rate of these employers paying them appropriately.

Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether there are checks and balances to ensure that jobs advertised on Internet-based job portals are authentic and accurately described.

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Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) (a) whether there has been a significant rise in the average cost of living for Singaporeans since 2010 in term of basic necessities/staple food, transportation, housing and medical care relative to other major cities with and without the same standard of living and full accessibility of goods and services respectively; and (b) how will the Government continue to provide Singaporeans with a higher standard of living and maintaining a lower cost of living.

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) how do the absolute and relative costs (as a percentage of total expenses) of owning or renting property borne by SMEs and start-ups in Singapore compare to countries with a strong start-up and SME sector, including Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Japan and the USA.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) what is Singapore's trend of young people joining startups and the success rate of our startups as compared to that of other countries including US and Israel.

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth whether the Ministry will consider allowing students studying a particular mother tongue at school to obtain tuition assistance from the ethnic self-help group associated with that mother tongue even if the student does not belong to that ethnic group.

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in each of the past three years (a) how much has been spent on the National Recycling Programme; and (b) how many tonnes of recyclables has the programme contributed to the total amount collected from Singapore's domestic recycling sector.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether he can provide an update on the Ministry's plans to enhance the mandatory waste reporting requirements by supermarkets; and (b) whether the Ministry plans to extend waste reporting to other premises that generate large amounts of waste including food waste.

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