Parliamentary questions for 18 May 2018

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 11:00am on Friday, 18 May 2018 for the 77th session of the 13th Parliament.

*13 oral questions and 14 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

At the commencement of Public Business, there will be a President’s speech (address of thanks):

Resumption of Debate on Question (14 May 2018) (5th Allotted Day), 'That the following Address in reply to the Speech of the President be agreed to:

"We, the Parliament of the Republic of Singapore, express our thanks to the President for the Speech which she delivered on behalf of the Government at the Opening of the Second Session of this Parliament." – (Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling),

and 1 Government Bills will be read for the 2nd time:

  1. Vulnerable Adults Bill [Bill No. 20/2018] – (Minister for Social and Family Development) – Second Reading.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

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Prime Minister

Prime Minister

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the current number and percentage of Singaporeans who are on the various public transport concession schemes and how do the figures compare to those five years ago; (b) whether there are assessments done on the number of Singaporeans especially senior citizens who are likely to be on the concession scheme by 2020 and 2030 as a result of our aging population; and (c) whether the senior citizens concession scheme has resulted in more travels by senior citizens.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) to what extent is the Network Capacity Factor able to address the widening gap between transport cost and fares; (b) how will the revised fare formula affect low-income and elderly Singaporeans; and (c) whether existing transport subsidy schemes for needy Singaporeans, such as concession holders who are Workfare Income Supplement recipients or senior citizens, will be reviewed or enhanced.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Transport whether the Government will consider not allowing commercial shared personal mobility device (PMD) services until the riding culture for PMDs has improved and incidences of unsafe and inconsiderate usage have subsided.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether a feasibility study is conducted regarding the options to renew vis-a-vis to rebuild the Bukit Panjang LRT system; (b) whether causes of past breakdowns will be better resolved and future occurrences prevented as Bombardier has also been involved in the reliability work carried out since 2016; and (c) whether the renewal process could have commenced before the first half of this year since Bombardier is responsible for the renewal project.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) how many private-hire drivers are there as at 31 March 2018; (b) what is the gender/race/age profile of these drivers; (c) what is the number of full-time private-hire drivers; and (d) what is the number of drivers who are doing it on an ad-hoc basis.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Ganesh Rajaram: To ask the Minister for National Development given the record number of en bloc transactions in the property market and coupled with ongoing development and construction work surrounding new MRT stations and lines (a) whether the Ministry has conducted a study on the impact of the numerous heavy construction projects and redevelopment works on our tiny island; and (b) what measures has the Ministry taken to mitigate the impact on existing infrastructure as well as inconvenience to people.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the current number of subsidised and non-subsidised rental flats in Singapore; (b) what is the distribution in terms of one-room, two-room, three-room and four-room and above flats; (c) how many Singaporeans are currently living in subsidised rental flats; and (d) what is the gender/race/age profile of those living in subsidised rental flats.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry monitors health effects from exposure to phthalates and plasticizers that are linked to hormone disruption and reproductive harm, particularly in male infants; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider putting in place regulations for consumer goods that contain harmful plasticizers.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

*Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there are existing programmes which allow volunteer welfare organisations to provide life skills training to prison inmates during their period of incarceration; and (b) if so, how many have benefited from such training in the last five years.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Minister will consider reviewing the Criminal Procedure Code to (i) provide the courts with sentencing discretion for offences mandating imprisonment and caning where the offender is intellectually disabled and (ii) expand the sentencing options for intellectually disabled offenders such as mandatory treatment orders.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether current legislation regarding statutory rape and sexual misconduct involving minors, children or young persons will be enhanced in light of the recent cases involving persons known to the victims; and (b) whether current legislation has sufficiently accounted for the increasing use of online platforms for the sexual grooming and engaging of unsuspecting victims.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs with respect to the over 900 permits for public assemblies issued under the Public Order Act in 2017 (a) what proportion of permits related to events held at Speakers' Corner as opposed to events at other venues; (b) whether there have been any permits issued for outdoor assemblies at venues other than Speakers' Corner and, if so, what has been the nature of these assemblies; and (c) for the permits granted for events at Speakers' Corner, what are the reasons for requiring a permit for those events.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs for each of the past three years (a) how many inmates go through divorce proceedings while in the Drug Rehabilitation Centres, or while undergoing incarceration under the Long-Term Imprisonment 1 and Long-Term Imprisonment 2 regimes respectively; (b) how many go through divorce proceedings within two years of release respectively; and (c) what is the recidivism rate of inmates who have undergone divorce during incarceration and following release respectively.

Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether he can provide an update on the Appropriate Adult Scheme for young suspects below 16 years of age; (b) what is the current number of volunteers under the scheme; (c) whether the scheme is implemented at all police divisions; and (d) what is the number of times a volunteer has been called upon under this scheme since April 2017.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) what is the rationale behind allowing taxi drivers but not private-hire vehicle drivers to deduct expenses such as vehicle rental fees, fuel and ERP from their assessable income tax; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider allowing tax deductibility of these expenses for private-hire vehicle drivers based on the mileage clocked on private-hire driving.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Government has set any restrictions on Government entities knowingly investing in corporations whose main business activity is harmful to health or the environment, such as those in the tobacco products industry.

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Mr Azmoon Ahmad: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether the Edusave Account can be used to pay for school fees where the student's family income is below the poverty threshold; and (b) whether the unutilised amount in the Edusave Account can be transferred to the individual's SkillsFuture fund after finishing school.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether the current sex education curriculum adequately equips students with the knowledge to protect themselves against predatory sexual behaviours; (b) whether there are plans to engage and involve parents to introduce appropriate sex education content at home; (c) what is the number of cases involving statutory rape and predatory sexual behaviours that have been reported through schools over the last five years; (d) whether teachers are adequately trained to identify students who are victims of such sexual misconduct; and (e) how are such reported cases being dealt with.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the mandatory medical insurance purchased by an employer for a domestic worker continues when the worker is put on a special pass by the Ministry or the police; and (b) if not, who is responsible for the worker's medical bills such as cost of consultation, prescription and procedures in those situations.

Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how many companies have applied for WorkPro since its introduction in 2013; (b) whether there has been an increase in the number of applications after the introduction of the enhanced scheme in 2016; and (c) whether there are any reviews of the age management practices, redesigned work places and processes and/or flexible work arrangements implemented by the companies after the disbursement of the grant.

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Manpower for each year from 2012 to 2017, how many persons have been employed in the respective occupations of (i) accounting associate professional (ii) bookkeeper (iii) ledger and accounts clerk (iv) audit clerk (v) payroll/wages clerk (vi) billing clerk (vii) procurement/purchasing clerk and (viii) other accounting clerks.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the current total number of professionals (teachers/social workers) who are in the special needs sector; (b) what training and professional development programmes are available for the professionals in this sector; and (c) what are the support structures in place to ensure that these professionals do not suffer from burnout or are able to cope with the stresses of the job.

*Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what is the Government's overall approach to create a positive learning and personal development environment for children staying at the various children's homes, shelters and other welfare homes.

Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what is the current number of children and youth under 21 who are currently residing within various children's homes, shelters and other welfare homes and whether this number has increased or decreased over the years.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what is the impact of the current protectionist measures by the United States and China on Singapore's economy in relation to trade, investments, jobs and Singaporean workers who are working in companies which are or may be impacted by those measures.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there is a need to review our economic restructuring strategies in view of the rapid change in technology, increased risk of deglobalisation and protectionism so as to continue strengthening our competitiveness.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the tariffs imposed by the US on solar panels, washing machines, steel and aluminium have any impact on the Singapore economy; (b) what is the estimated impact on businesses; and (c) how will it affect our economic strategy.

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for the Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

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