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Parliamentary questions for 14 January 2019

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 12:00 on Monday, 14 January 2019, for the 87th session of the 13th Parliament.

*88 oral questions and 39 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

There will be a Ministrial Statement from Minister for Foreign Affairs about Singapore-Malaysia Relations

At the commencement of Public Business, there will be introduction of Government Bills:

Precious Stones and Precious Metals (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill (Minister for Law).

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (Amendment) Bill (Minister for Health).

Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Amendment) Bill (Minister for Health).

And 6 Government Bills will be read for the 2nd time:

Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 50/2018] – (Minister for Foreign Affairs) – Second Reading.

Payment Services Bill [Bill No. 48/2018] – (Prime Minister) – Second Reading.

Currency (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 53/2018] – (Prime Minister) – Second Reading.

Merchant Shipping (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill [Bill No. 49/2018] – (Minister for Transport) – Second Reading.

Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 52/2018/] – (Minister for Health) – Second Reading.

Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 51/2018] – (Minister for Home Affairs) – Second Reading.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

Prime Minister

Prime Minister

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Prime Minister what measures are being taken to ensure that (i) the minimisation of the risk that SGX-listed companies experience a sudden deterioration in financial viability and (ii) SGXRegCo is sufficiently resourced to discharge its obligations.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether sharks fin is still being served at events organised by or for the public service; and (b) whether sharks fin will be served at future events organised by or for the public service.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Prime Minister whether he can provide an update on the status of the investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in respect of the Singaporeans involved in the Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM) corruption case and the actions which have been taken against responsible individuals thus far.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs with regard to the airspace and maritime boundary delimitation issues facing Singapore and Malaysia (a) whether these issues were discussed during the Malaysian Prime Minister’s official visit to Singapore in November 2018; (b) whether bilateral relations are now affected; (c) whether the leaders and foreign ministries of Singapore and Malaysia are in communication to deal with the issues and to prevent escalation of tensions; and (d) what is Singapore’s position on territorial integrity and sovereignty.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs with regard to the intrusions into Singapore’s waters by Malaysian vessels (a) what measures can Singapore take if Malaysian vessels continue to intrude and remain in our waters; and (b) what is the way forward if the issue persists and cannot be resolved bilaterally.

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs as Singapore and Malaysia shares a common sea boundary which gives rise to various issues cropping up from time-to-time (a) whether there is a hotline between Singapore and Malaysian leaders for quick direct communication between the two countries; and (b) what is the current channel for top political leaders to contact each other to diffuse any escalation of conflicts.

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) whether Singapore will bring up its current sea boundary issue to the UN Law of the Sea Conference for a permanent settlement; and (b) for countries that share common sea boundaries, what is the international protocol when one country intends to extend its port limits.

*Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he can provide an update on the situation involving intrusions by Malaysian vessels into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas.

*Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken, following the intrusion of Malaysian vessels into Singapore waters, to ensure an outcome that respects Singapore’s sovereignty as well as rights under international law.

*Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what are the implications of Malaysia’s latest Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to establish a permanent restricted area in the airspace over Pasir Gudang with effect from 2 January 2019; and (b) what is the recourse that Singapore can consider pertaining to the latest NOTAM.

*Prof Lim Sun Sun: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs what are our preparatory safeguards with respect to food and water security as well as the supply of foreign labour from Malaysia.

*Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he can elaborate on why the Government had on 12 December 2018 filed a declaration under Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to ensure that maritime boundary delimitation disputes affecting Singapore cannot be unilaterally brought for adjudication by any state.

*Mr Vikram Nair: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he can provide an update on matters between Singapore and Malaysia following the meeting with the Malaysian Foreign Minister on 8 January 2018.

*Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he can (i) clarify the status of the maritime borders off Tuas West (ii) confirm whether the Malaysian Government communicated its intention to Singapore to deploy vessels in October 2018 into the waters off Tuas West and (iii) provide a timeline of Singapore’s actions and responses to the deployments to date.

*Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether there are contingency plans to address Malaysia’s decision to impose a permanent restricted area for military operations over Pasir Gudang so as to ensure the safety of civil aviation flying into and out of Seletar Airport and to preserve Seletar Airport’s position as an aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub.

*Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what is the impact of the establishment of a permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang on civil aviation in Singapore; and (b) whether the Instrument Landing System (ILS) for Seletar Airport has any impact on the height of the buildings being built in Pasir Gudang.

*Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he can provide an update on intrusions by Malaysian vessels into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what is the role of our Overseas Missions towards Singaporeans and their family members who face unfortunate and sudden circumstances such as a serious illness, accident or death in a foreign country; and (b) in such circumstances, to what extent will our Overseas Missions assist Singaporeans with logistical arrangements to receive medical care and/or repatriation to Singapore, if necessary.

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Transport whether Changi Airport is vulnerable to disruptions caused by drones similar to those at London’s Gatwick Airport and, if so, to what extent.

*Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Transport what measures does the Government have against drones or other unmanned aerial devices that may disrupt flight operations in and around airports in Singapore.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Transport what measures are in place to prevent or stop drones from operating in the vicinity of our airports and affecting flight operations and schedules.

*Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Transport what are the measures to ensure that flying drones do not disrupt the air traffic around Changi Airport.

*Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the number of accidents that have occurred over the past three years on West Coast Road (the section between Penjuru Road and Jurong Town Hall Road); and (b) how can such accidents be avoided with better road safety measures.

*Mr Yee Chia Hsing: To ask the Minister for Transport whether “reserved seats” on MRT trains can be better regulated and enforced as many able-bodied passengers who take up the seats are not giving up the seats to others who need the seats more.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Transport whether the Ministry plans to make it an offence under the Active Mobility Act for a user of a personal mobility device (PMD) or power-assisted bicycle (PAB) to use a mobile telecommunication device or while he is intoxicated when riding the PMD or PAB on public footpaths or roads.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether Singapore has been informed of Malaysia’s intention to build a third road link to Singapore; and (b) whether Singapore needs a third road link and, if so, what are the possible locations.

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the progress of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project linking Johor Bahru to Woodlands; and (b) what is the estimated project timeline of the RTS should both Governments proceed with the RTS.

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) how has the Ministry ensured that flights are not endangered by drones; and (b) whether there have been drone intrusion cases at our airports over the last three years.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the total number applications for HDB rental flats in the last two years; (b) what is the demographic and socio-economic profile of these applicants; (c) what is the percentage of rental flat applicants who have owned a HDB flat before; (d) what are the reasons why applications are not successful; (e) what are the usual circumstances that lead to the applicant needing rental housing; and (f) what housing options are available when family support is not forthcoming for the applicants in terms of alternative accommodation.

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider allowing grandparents and grandchildren to be considered as part of a family nucleus when renting a HDB flat under the Public Rental Scheme.

*Dr Lily Neo: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) how many incidents of fires in HDB flats have there been in each of the last three years; and (b) what are the main causes of these fires.

*Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for National Development given that the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) is an involuntary scheme, whether the Minister will consider waiving the resale levy for households affected by SERS when they select a replacement flat.

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider (i) mandating inspections of windows in all HDB flats above 30 years of age, by BCA certified staff and (ii) empowering BCAregistered contractors to install and replace windows in units of non-compliant HDB flat owners, to prevent and reduce incidents of falling windows.

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for National Development whether HDB can implement the Lift Upgrading Programme, Home Improvement Programme and Enhancement for Active Seniors Programme for all HDB rental blocks in Boon Lay including those designated as Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) units.

*Ms Irene Quay Siew Ching: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether BCA has plans to mandate child-proof pool fences in private swimming pools in view of the increasing number of near-drowning cases involving children and 10 deaths reported in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital from 2011 to 2015; and (b) what are the measures taken by BCA over the years to improve the safety of private swimming pools.

*Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for National Development whether AVA can provide a timeline for resolving the noise disturbance problem caused by birds in Potong Pasir since the matter was raised two years ago.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider making Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) mandatory for all construction works near national parks or nature reserves and making such EIA reports publicly available.

*Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the number of HDB flat owners who gave up their new BTO flats in 2018, broken down by flat type; (b) what are the reasons for owners giving up their new BTO flats; and (c) whether their deposits are forfeited.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the inspection frequency for mature trees located in our parks; and (b) whether there is a need for a review of the tree inspection regime in light of changing climatic conditions and recent incidents of tree failures causing injuries.

*Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) how has the Ministry sought to ensure Singapore’s food security for key agricultural products over the last decade; and (b) how does it ensure that prices remain affordable without compromising on our food security.

*Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for National Development what is the percentage of the land cost out of the actual cost price for a three-room, four-room, and five-room type Build-To-Order (BTO) flat constructed in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for National Development whether HDB will consider offering the Lift Upgrading Programme for the third time to those blocks that have been unsuccessful at the polls twice, given that new residents may have moved into the blocks.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are the BCA design and installation requirements for manhole covers of utility services in new HDB estates; and (b) whether noise reduction has been factored in for the design and installation of such covers on vehicular driveways with interlocking pavers.

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) by size of HDB flat, how many HDB lessees are currently servicing (i) HDB loans (ii) fixed-rate bank loans and (iii) floating-rate bank loans; (b) what are the average monthly instalments payable, by size of HDB flat and type of loan, in CPF and cash respectively; and (c) whether the Ministry has studied how sensitive monthly instalments are to the present sustained rise in market interest rates and the results of such studies.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for National Development with regard to the requirement to dispose private property within six months of the effective date of purchasing a non-subsidised or resale flat (a) how many cases of private residential property in Singapore and overseas have been so disposed since the inception of this policy; (b) how many appeals asking for retention of such property have the Ministry received; and (c) how many of such appeals are approved and what is the basis for the approval.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the reason why eight packs of dental instruments at Tan Tock Seng’s dental clinic were not being thoroughly sterilised; (b) what measures are currently in place to ensure the proper sterilisation of dental instruments and whether they are sufficient; (c) whether there is a need to strengthen staff compliance with the sterilisation process in licensed healthcare institutions that house central sterile supply departments; and (d) how often are audits conducted in such institutions.

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Health with regard to recent incidents of improperly sterilised equipment at dental clinics (a) what measures are currently in place to ensure the proper sterilisation of dental instruments in public and private clinics; (b) what training is being done to ensure staff compliance with the sterilisation process in licensed healthcare institutions; and (c) how often are audits or checks conducted in such institutions.

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Health (a) in each of the last five years, how many appeals have been received from patients asking for subsidised outpatient medical assistance at polyclinics and restructured hospitals though they have private insurance which covers only hospitalisation and not outpatient treatment; and (b) whether patients with private insurance coverage for hospitalisation but not outpatient treatment can still be allowed to receive subsidised medical treatment at both polyclinics and restructured hospitals.

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what regulatory guidelines or standards are applicable to the chiropractic industry; (b) whether customers of the industry will be able to find recourse from the Ministry when there are disputes; and (c) whether there is any ongoing process to bring the industry under further regulation such as to consider it as part of the Allied Health Professionals under the First Schedule of the Allied Health Professions Act.

*Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the rationale of polyclinics charging Singaporeans at private rates for follow-up outpatient treatment or investigations when the referrals are made by general practitioners (GPs) whom they have seen for consultations under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS); and (b) whether this policy can be reviewed to allow Singaporeans tapping on CHAS to get subsidised rates for such referrals from GPs participating in CHAS.

*Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether he can provide an update on the work of the Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE), in particular, how the appropriate care bundles and drug guidance have been implemented; and (b) how many issues have the agency reviewed since 2015.

*Ms Irene Quay Siew Ching: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the percentage of standard versus non-standard drugs prescribed for MediFund assistance patients in comparison to non-MediFund assistance patients in restructured hospitals; and (b) what is the governance in place to ensure appropriate prescribing of non-standard drugs for MediFund assistance patients.

*Ms Irene Quay Siew Ching: To ask the Minister for Health why the Gardasil vaccine is not replaced with the Gardasil-9 vaccine under the MediSave claimable list as the latter drug (launched since 2017) covers more strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and increases overall cervical cancer prevention from 70% to up to 90%.

*Dr Chia Shi-Lu: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how does our resident population blood donor rate compare with other developed countries, such as South Korea, Germany and the US; (b) what contingency measures are in place for blood shortages; and (c) how will the Ministry ensure that blood donations keep up with increasing blood usage due to our ageing population.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether there is an impending national caregiving plan to address the complex challenges in this area; (b) whether the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, Enabling Masterplan and Community Mental Health Masterplan address the psychosocial and mental health needs of caregivers and, if so, how; and (c) what is the current percentage of healthcare spending on caregiving.

*Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether he can provide an update on Health Promotion Board’s efforts to reduce the sugar intake of our population; (b) whether there are studies on the feasibility and effectiveness of a sugar tax based on the implementation in other countries; (c) what are the efforts to educate food and beverage establishments on appropriate sugar content in products and the effects of sugar on health; and (d) whether there are plans to incentivise food and beverage establishments to create products with less sugar and make such products affordable for the general population.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether studies have been conducted on the relative efficacy and impact of the four proposals to ban high-sugar drinks, tax the drinks, require labelling, and ban advertisement for the drinks; and (b) what weight will public views carry in the current solicitation of feedback.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether someone who offers a cigarette to a person below the age of 21 is committing an offence; (b) whether the receiver of the cigarette is also an offender; (c) how many of such offenders have been booked in the past three years; and (d) what has been the fine imposed on these offenders.

Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Health how does the Ministry intend to monitor the acceptance and compliance of the recently published fee benchmarks for surgical procedures at private hospitals.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether he can provide an update on the attempts to illegally access Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) HealthHub accounts in September and October 2018; (b) why are the hackers still able to attack the accounts despite remedial steps taken; and (c) how can users of the apps developed by HPB be assured that their identities are being kept safe.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the progress of the pilot Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening programme at the National University Hospital; (b) whether it is on track for completion in 2020; (c) what is the eligibility criteria for joining the programme; (d) whether private patients will be able to join the programme; and (e) what is the number of participants in the programme thus far.

Mr Yee Chia Hsing: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases discovered among foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore over the last five years; and (b) whether additional measures can be made to prevent the spread of TB among FDWs and from FDWs to their employers.

Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current number of informal and professional caregivers in Singapore; (b) what is the total value of the informal versus the professional caregiving sector; and (c) how many salaried working persons left employment to be primary caregivers in the last three years and what is the demographic profile of these persons.

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health in the last five years, what have been the median, average and range of balances left in CPF members’ Medisave accounts when they passed on.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Health in each of the past five years (a) what is the number of people using their Medisave to pay for their parents’ healthcare cost; and (b) what is the median withdrawal value.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what is the restraint policy for persons in custody, particularly those who may be vulnerable such as the elderly.

*Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the progress of efforts to uplift the private security industry, in terms of its capacity to complement law enforcement and the career prospects for private security personnel; (b) what are the main challenges in uplifting the private security industry; and (c) how does the Government intend to enforce the enhanced regime in the Private Security Industry (Conduct) Regulations effective January 2019, taking into account the diverse profile of security personnel currently in the industry.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what are the measures that will be put in place to assist Singaporeans with no access to or who are unable to make online applications for NRICs or passports; and (b) whether some of these measures will be retained beyond 2020 when ICA seeks to have all such applications to be made online.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the annual number of applications for NRIC and passport respectively in the past five years; (b) how many of these applications are online applications; and (c) what are the age profiles of those who have submitted non-online applications.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether the Quality of Service standards imposed by IMDA on its regulated telecommunications operators may be expanded to cover the management of these operators’ call centres which are contracted to deal with and resolve subscribers’ requests for assistance and complaints.

*Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information in view of the security breach in personal data of Facebook users in USA, whether there are any measures to protect the personal data of Facebook users in Singapore.

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether there are updated figures on local representation in academia in universities; (b) how successful have the Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent Scheme, the NUS President’s Assistant Professor Scheme and the NTU Nanyang Assistant Professorship Scheme been; (c) how much has been invested in these schemes; and (d) what have been the benefits and key impact of these schemes and the views of faculty about these schemes.

*Mr Terence Ho Wee San: To ask the Minister for Education (a) in view of the removal of all weighted assessments and exams for Primary 1 and 2 students in 2019, what is the Ministry’s plan for the students; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider implementing compulsory CCA and interest-based programmes for Primary 1 and 2 students, especially in the areas of sports and performing arts.

*Mr Terence Ho Wee San: To ask the Minister for Education whether there will be a review of the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation and what is the participation rate and performing standards of past Festivals.

*Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Education (a) how do schools decide on the engagement of school bus operators; (b) what are the main considerations for awarding a contract to school bus operators; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider issuing a fee guideline for school bus operators.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether the Ministry has studied whether the larger endowment funds held by older Autonomous Universities (AUs) result in differences in student educational resources, expenditure, and opportunities across AUs; (b) whether the Ministry will consider measures to help newer AUs build their endowments to provide their students and faculty with comparable resources; and (c) whether the Ministry has any measures to ensure that differences in endowments do not unduly affect the quality of education and research across AUs.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Education whether the Ministry will consider offering Tamil as a third language to students who have the ability and aptitude to learn a third language, in addition to Malay and Chinese that have already been offered to such students.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education for each year in the past five years, what are the percentages of students who receive assistance from the Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme who are from the (i) Normal (Technical) (ii) Normal (Academic) and (iii) Express streams respectively.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education for each year in the past five years, what are the percentages of students who live in HDB flats under the Public Rental Scheme who enter the (i) Normal (Technical) (ii) Normal (Academic) and (iii) Express streams respectively.

Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Education in the past five years (a) what is the total number of students taking a third language course and the breakdown for each year; (b) what is the percentage of students completing the third language courses and taking them in the GCE ‘O’ level examination; and (c) what is the number of passes for these examinations.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether there are plans to bring more Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counsellors specialised in different fields to each school; and (b) how are schools involving parents in the ECG curriculum.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Law since February 2017 (a) how many applications have been received by the Community Disputes Resolutions Tribunals; (b) how many case have been resolved successfully; and (c) whether any of the parties have failed to observe the resolution granted by the tribunal resulting in the tribunal bringing the party concerned to task.

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Manpower given the increase in income for the 20th and 30th percentiles of income earners since 2016 (a) when was the qualifying income ceiling for the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) last revised using these percentiles as benchmarks; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider raising the WIS income ceiling as well as increasing the WIS payouts from the next financial year to assist low-income workers deal with rising costs of living.

*Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the progress of the review on the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme; (b) whether there are studies being commissioned to find out what is considered a “living wage”; and (c) whether there are studies to consider extending coverage to those who are not in formal employment.

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) in the past five years, how many cases of dispute have arisen between Singaporean workers and their employers when adopting the flexi-wage system; (b) what have been the reasons for the disputes; and (c) how does the Ministry ensure fair employment and remuneration practices by the employers in the implementation of the flexi-wage system.

*Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the current percentage of recipients under the Silver Support Scheme who are women; and (b) what is the amount of the quarterly payout to women who benefit from the scheme as compared to men.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what steps are being taken to address and support the psychosocial needs of migrant and domestic workers in Singapore; (b) what are the main drivers of their psychological distress and mental illness; (c) which subgroups, in terms of nationality and sector, are at higher risk of mental illness; and (d) whether the current insurance schemes cover them in the event of a mental health condition.

*Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how many employment pass holders were not renewed in 2018 due to inability of employers to match the increased salary mandated by the Ministry; and (b) what are the criteria to establish the quantum of the increased salary when employment pass holders seek new renewal terms.

*Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the reasons of higher workplace fatalities in the construction industry in 2018 as compared to 2017; (b) what is the profile of the fatalities; and (c) what more can be done to reduce workplace fatalities in the construction industry.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the number and percentage of CPF members aged 65 and above receiving monthly payouts under the Retirement Sum Scheme and CPF LIFE Schemes, broken down by gender and size of HDB flat/private property type; (b) what are the average monthly payouts; (c) what percentage receive monthly payouts of less than $500; and (d) whether the Ministry will provide CPF microdata access to external researchers to facilitate research into retirement adequacy.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether computation of the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) interest rate, based on indicative Singapore bank fixed deposit and savings rates, reflects the actual market interest rate for deposit accounts, given banks’ widespread use of bonus interest rates linked to salary credits, etc; and (b) whether the Ministry will study alternative methods of CPF OA interest rate computation to reflect the actual average weighted interest rates earned on deposit accounts with Singapore banks and the implications thereof for retirement adequacy.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Manpower currently, what is the last full-time or part-time job held by persons who have passed on, broken down by age groups of (i) 85 to 90 years (ii) 80 to 84 years (iii) 75 to 79 years (iv) 70 to 74 years (v) 65 to 69 years (vi) 60 to 64 years (vii) 55 to 59 years and (viii) 50 to 54 years.

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Manpower to date, how many Singaporeans have not done their CPF nominations and how can this gap be closed.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether there are reviews or studies available to evaluate the impact of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) on the number of persons employed in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors and, if so, what do the studies suggest has been the impact on employment numbers of the PWM thus far.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*Prof Fatimah Lateef: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what is the Ministry’s position on the recent High Court ruling to award adoption to a single man in a same-sex relationship, of his biological child born through an overseas surrogacy.

*Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what implications there are with regard to other Government policies including education and housing that need to be reviewed given the recent High Court ruling to award adoption to a single man in a same-sex relationship, of his biological son conceived through a surrogacy done overseas.

*Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will (i) ban commercial surrogacy in Singapore (ii) prohibit agreements to pay for surrogacy in Singapore or overseas and (iii) disallow adoptions arising from commercial surrogacy whether such surrogacy occurs in Singapore or overseas.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) in the last three years, how many foreign brides in transnational marriages are employed in Singapore; (b) how are their children supported in terms of integration; (c) how successful have the Marriage Preparation, Marriage Support, and Friendship Programmes been since they were introduced; (d) what has been the divorce rate of transnational marriages in the last three years; and (e) what support is given to divorced foreign spouses, especially those with no income.

*Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what support is given to family units comprising a foreign spouse in terms of integrating and entrenching themselves in Singapore.

*Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what has been the extent of the problem of homelessness in Singapore in the last three years; (b) whether there has been an in-depth study or research done to look into this complex phenomenon; and (c) what are the short-term and long-term plans to minimise the problem of homelessness.

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) in the past five years, how many applications for adoption of children under the Adoption of Children Act have been granted in favour of singles who are not biological parents of the adoptees; and (b) what further steps have been or will be taken to promote the adoption of Singaporean children.

*Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development regarding youths residing in places of detention and juvenile rehabilitation centres established under the Children and Young Persons Act (a) how does the Government ensure that the conditions of detention or residence promote rehabilitation; (b) what oversight mechanism and grievance procedure exist to safeguard the welfare of the detained youths; and (c) whether past reviews of violent incidents in the Singapore Boys Home have identified any contributory factors for the occurrences.

*Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how can the Ministry work with social media companies to help residents who are in distress or have suicidal tendencies; and (b) whether there are plans to develop initiatives with companies such as Facebook on “suicide watch” type of intervention programmes.

Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what are the measures taken by the Ministry to strengthen the institution of marriage among young couples and to encourage them to get married.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development how can the Ministry work more closely with the Ministry of Education to teach students to spot signs and symptoms of depression and seek help for themselves or their family and friends.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what has caused the increase in the price of eggs in the past six months and whether profiteering has been a factor.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry to what extent the Government agrees with the communique issued at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires on 1 December 2018, in particular that the multilateral trading system is currently falling short of its objectives and that there is a need for reforms at the World Trade Organisation to improve its functioning.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what is the latest figure for the Average Household Expenditure on Basic Needs (AHEBN) for all available household sizes by number of persons.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

*Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) what is the prevalence of regular ActiveSG users, ie percentage of users who use their credits on a weekly basis; (b) what other metrics does the Ministry rely on apart from utilisation rates to measure ActiveSG’s success in encouraging Singaporeans to lead active lifestyles; and (c) what plans are being considered by the Ministry to boost participation in ActiveSG.

*Mr Terence Ho Wee San: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth what can the SG Arts Plan do to emphasise the importance of arts education not only for the purpose of grooming artists, but also for the creation of arts ambassadors, audiences, patrons, collectors, and future chairmen/board members of arts and cultural agencies.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) currently, what is the average lifespan of volunteers who were actively involved in charity work when they were alive; and (b) whether there is a corelation between a person’s lifespan and the age he starts volunteering or the years of volunteer service performed.

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Defence on the issue of Singapore’s defence (a) how does our armed services react to any violation of Singapore’s sovereignty; and (b) at what juncture will our services challenge any intruding ship or aircraft and be prepared for all consequences.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Defence whether steps have been taken or will be taken to prevent any further Malaysian Government vessels from entering the waters which Singapore has recently gazetted as part of her port limits on 6 December 2018 besides the existing Malaysian Government vessels which are currently within such waters.

Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) what is the current proportion of SAF officers who are offered re-employment at retirement age; and (b) what are the measures to retrain and redeploy older SAF officers.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

*Mr Yee Chia Hsing: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources whether there are additional measures which can be introduced to reduce the incidences of mass food poisoning or gastroenteritis.

*Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what are the causes of the spate of mass food poisoning incidents in November 2018; and (b) what will the Government do to heighten awareness of and compliance to safe food handling standards.

*Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what is the Ministry doing to step up enforcement on food and beverage outlets to ensure that they adhere strictly to hygiene practices; and (b) what guidance is the Ministry providing to these outlets to make improvements.

*Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether there is an assessment on whether the current measures and penalties in place have been efficient in improving food safety; (b) what is the total number of food establishments and caterers whose licences have been suspended for failing a hygiene inspection in the past five years and the breakdown of the number for each year; and (c) whether technology has been adopted to equip inspectors in carrying out their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in respect of the supply of 8,600 quartz (instead of marble) niches when the niches were relocated from Mount Vernon Columbarium (a) whether NEA had verified that all contractual requirements have been fulfilled by the contractors during delivery/installation; (b) what punitive action will be taken against the contractors; and (c) whether the contractors are required to provide refunds or compensation where affected families do not accept a marble replacement.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources whether the Ministry will consider conducting a pilot study using Sidepak and/or Dylo monitors and passive nicotine dosimeters to monitor the air quality in homes affected by prolonged secondhand smoke from their neighbours and where mediation between both parties has not been successful.

*Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources since the implementation of the smoking ban in the Orchard Road area (a) how many smokers have been warned; (b) what has been the response of foreign visitors; and (c) what has been the impact on shopping experience in the Orchard Road area.

*Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what are the median, lowest and highest rental fees for hawker stalls managed by NEA and social enterprises respectively; and (b) whether the Ministry can provide the breakdown, in percentage terms, of the operating expenses for hawker stalls operated under these two different management models.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether he can update the House on NEA’s implementation of a smoke-free zone in the Orchard Road area; and (b) what are the challenges faced in designating smoking areas in this part of the city with high human traffic.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) in the past 12 months, what is the average number of foreignregistered motor vehicles being driven in Singapore on a given day, broken down by vehicle type; and (b) whether further measures will be taken by LTA to ensure that these motor vehicles comply with Singapore’s regulations on the control of exhaust and noise emissions.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what is the current number of subsidised and non-subsidised food and beverage stalls in hawker centres; and (b) what is the average rent paid by these subsidised and non-subsidised food and beverage stalls in the past 12 months.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what are the causes of the mass food poisonings in October, November and December 2018 from food prepared at five different places; and (b) whether rules can be implemented requiring eateries or caterers to notify the public or potential customers as to the reasons for a suspension of their licence.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the Government monitors the ambient air quality of all civil and military airports and their vicinity and keep track of the pollution index for pollutants like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, sulphur oxides, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds; (b) if it does not keep track of any of such pollutants, whether it will consider doing so; and (c) whether such data can be made available to the public.