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Parliamentary questions for 19 March 2018

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 10:00am on Monday, 19 March 2018 for the 69th session of the 13th Parliament.

*19 oral questions and 12 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

At the commencement of Public Business, 1 Government Bills will be introduced:

  1. National Library Board (Amendment) Bill – (Minister for Communications and Information),

and 11 Government Bills will be read for the 2nd and the 3rd time, given that the ruling party has super majority of the seats.

  1. Criminal Justice Reform Bill [Bill No. 14/2018] – (Minister for Law) – Second Reading.
  2. Evidence (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 15/2018] – (Minister for Law) – Second Reading.
  3. Cross-Border Railways Bill as reported from the Select Committee (Paper Parl. 13 of 2018) – (Second Minister for Transport) – Third Reading.
  4. Aviation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill [Bill No. 13/2018] – (Minister for Transport) – Second Reading.
  5. Common Services Tunnels Bill [Bill No. 12/2018] – (Minister for National Development) – Second Reading.
  6. Regulation of Imports and Exports (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 9/2018] – (Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade)) – Second Reading.
  7. Competition (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 8/2018] – (Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade)) – Second Reading.
  8. Carbon Pricing Bill [Bill No. 17/2018] – (Minister for the Environment and Water Resources) – Second Reading.
  9. Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 16/2018] – (Minister for Law) – Second Reading.
  10. Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Bill [Bill No. 11/2018] – (Minister for Home Affairs) – Second Reading. Notes and amendments on this Bill could be found in Supplement No. 11 dated 19 March 2018.
  11. Films (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 10/2018] – (Minister for Communications and Information) – Second Reading.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

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Prime Minister

Prime Minister

*Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is the progress of the third Government-to-Government project between Singapore and China, ie the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Project; and (b) whether the industries beyond the logistics sector are actively seeking opportunities for collaboration between both countries.

*Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is the outcome of investigations into the interruptions and service degradations in SingPass and CorpPass services on 8 and 9 February 2018; (b) what redundancy mechanisms and systems are in place to maintain uninterrupted SingPass and CorpPass service provision; and (c) what lessons have been learned from the recent interruptions.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is the Public Service Division's position on the hiring of workers above the re-employment age of 67 years across Ministries and statutory boards; and (b) whether Ministries and statutory boards are free to hire or extend employment beyond 67 years of age.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) how does LTA specify the methodology of traffic impact assessments especially for new housing developments in mature estates; (b) whether the planning assumptions for traffic impact assessments assume a "car-lite" future; and (c) whether a range of vehicle population scenarios is considered when making such assessments.

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what are the criteria to assess the need for traffic speed regulating measures in a housing estate; and (b) how often are these measures reviewed to assess their adequacy after the measures are installed.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the number of applicants for Private Hire Car Driver Vocational Licences (PDVL) who do not possess a GCE "O" or "N" Level pass in English; (b) what is the number of such applicants who then sat for the Workplace Literacy Computer Adaptive Test for Conversational English; and (c) whether there are plans for PDVL tests to be conducted in the major mother tongues.

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Transport when will LTA be rolling out the active mobility paths within Boon Lay constituency (Boon Lay and Jurong West) and when will the path connection to the adjacent Jurong Lake District Development be carried out.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Transport whether LTA will be able to roll out a bus service to directly connect Boon Lay Place to the Jurong West part of Boon Lay constituency as efforts to secure private transport companies to run a service have not been successful.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Transport what is the latest figure for the public transport mode share for Bukit Panjang Town and what is the figure before the opening of Downtown Line 2.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for National Development whether official translations are made of new place names.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether he can provide an update on the timeline of the Ministry's plans to implement a ban on domestic trade in ivory.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the current number of Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) flats; (b) what is the number of households currently enrolled in the scheme; and (c) whether the reduction in monthly rental in 2017 for PPHS flats has resulted in higher demand for such flats.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will consider allowing an applicant to apply for a second mobility device under the Seniors' Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) when the first device falls into an irreparable state.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many babies sought paediatric care at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) from 6pm to 6am in the past five years; (b) what is the average waiting time during these hours; and (c) whether the Government will build more 24-hour outpatient paediatric clinics to take the load off KKH.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there are any persons convicted under section 409 of the Penal Code who are currently serving imprisonment sentences based on the interpretation of the law as it existed before the decision of the Court of Appeal of 1 February 2018 limiting the use of the said provision to professional agents; and (b) if so, what steps will the Government take in respect of the sentences of these persons.

*Mr Yee Chia Hsing: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether extended operating hours beyond 10.30pm can be allowed for low vice risk exempt massage establishments at which massage or foot reflexology services are administered in full view of the public.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the number of fishing vessels caught trespassing the waters of Pulau Tekong over the last five years; (b) what measures are in place to prevent such trespassing and whether they are sufficient; and (c) how are trespassers being dealt with.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Finance how Singapore's Gini co-efficient after Government taxes and transfers in each of the last five years compares to the Gini co-efficient after taxes and transfers for other major developed economies such as Japan, South Korea, the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what is the number of students who suffer from depression and other mental conditions over the last five years; (b) what are the main causes for such cases; and (c) what resources are channelled towards identifying and watching out for the at-risk students.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) how many students have taken Higher Chinese, Higher Malay and Higher Tamil over the past 10 years; and (b) what reasons can be discerned that explain the trend.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Law what measures are in place to minimise the time between when land is acquired by the Government and when that land is developed for the purpose for which it was acquired.

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider introducing some policy enhancements to help employers cope with unexpected and huge medical bills when their domestic helpers are diagnosed with mental and critical illnesses that fall outside the coverage of the compulsory insurance.

*Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether insurers provide data to the Ministry regarding the claims made on the compulsory medical insurance policies of domestic helpers; (a) if so, what proportion of medical bills reached or exceeded the claims limit in the past three years; and (c) what measures are available to assist employers when domestic helpers are diagnosed with unexpected serious illnesses.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower what constitutes claims for "wrongful" or "unfair" dismissal which will be heard by the Employment Claims Tribunal.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) why are employers required to pay the salaries of S Pass holders electronically but not for work permit holders; and (b) how does the Ministry verify that the amount stated in salary vouchers tally with the cash amount paid to workers.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether employers are made to contribute CPF for the hiring of apprentices and interns from (i) ITEs/polytechnics (ii) autonomous universities (iii) private education providers/institutions and (iv) private universities.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) to date, how many companies have adopted the SnapSAFE app for reporting of workplace safety issues; (b) how many complaints have been filed through the app in 2015, 2016, 2017 respectively; (c) what is the breakdown of valid and invalid reports; (d) how many companies have been reported; (e) how many employers have been disciplined for unsafe work practices in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively; and (f) what actions have been taken against them.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the median and range of respite care fees; (b) what is the utilisation of current respite care services; and (c) whether the capacity of respite care services is sufficient for our projected five years' demand.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) (a) how many times were awarded Government incentives clawed back from companies in each of the last five years; and (b) what were the main reasons for the claw-backs.

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) since 1999, what has been the number of SAF personnel who have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychiatric ailment during or after deployment for overseas operations; (b) what support is available in terms of psychiatric or other treatments required for affected personnel; and (c) in cases where affected personnel have not recovered or have not been diagnosed before leaving service, what are the medical and welfare support available to affected veterans after they leave service.

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 (a) for each year in the past three years, what is the number of plastic bags used in Singapore; and (b) if such data is not available, whether the Ministry intends to collect such data so as to measure the effectiveness of the current retailer schemes.

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