fbpx

Parliamentary questions for 15 January 2019

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 12:00 on Tuesday, 15 January 2019, for the 88th session of the 13th Parliament.

*33 oral questions and 15 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

There will be a Ministrial Statement from Minister for Communications and Information and Minister for Health:

Government’s Response to the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Cyber Attack on SingHealth’s IT System.

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

Singapore Food Agency Bill (Minister for Environment and Water Resources).

National Parks Board (Amendment) Bill (Minister for National Development).

And 1 Government Bill will be read for the 2nd time:

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

There will also be a Memorandum, matter proposed to be raised on the Motion for the Adjournment (SO 2(8)(b)) from Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong (Non-Constituency Member):

Putting Commuters First in Public Transport

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.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) how much flexibility is there for bus captains to meet the requirements of the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) which aims to improve punctuality and reliability of bus services; and (b) what are the common complaints relating to BSRF by bus captains and commuters.

*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 Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Transport under what circumstances will a foreigner on a long term visit pass with a Letter of Consent issued by the Ministry of Manpower that allows him to be employed as a driver in a private company be permitted to apply for a Private Hire Car Vocational Licence despite the fact that he will not be able to fulfill LTA's requirement that he must have a work pass issued by the Ministry of Manpower with his vocation stated as "chauffeur".

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*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.

*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.

*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 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 Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for National Development what is the maximum wind speed and magnitude of earthquake tremors that buildings in Singapore can withstand.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for National Development in the past four years, how many BTO flats have been sold to second-timer buyers and how many of these second-timer buyers will be collecting keys to their BTO flats in each of the next three years.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for National Development whether he can provide a breakdown of the number of singles who have successfully applied for 2-room flexi flats since they were launched, by (i) gender and (ii) income bracket, specifically those with a monthly income of $1,000 and less, and between $1,001 and $6,000 in multiples of $1,000.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

*Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Health in light of the recent case of MediShield Life disbursing only $4.50 as payout for an eye operation (a) whether he can reiterate the role of MediShield Life in our public healthcare financing system; (b) how does the Ministry determine the claim limits and ensure that MediShield Life provides adequate coverage for Singaporeans; and (c) whether the Ministry will review MediShield Life's claim limits to address the gaps.

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Health how does the Ministry ensure that the pegging of hospital charges for complex medical procedures for the purpose of assessing MediShield Life coverage is made current so that subsidised patients who undergo complex medical procedures will continue to be protected against large hospital bills.

*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.

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what measures are in place to promote the use of generic drugs in public healthcare institutions where they are assessed to be both cheaper and clinically equivalent to branded versions of the same drugs; (b) whether the Ministry tracks what proportion of the volume of all drugs prescribed are generics for those drugs where generic versions exist; and (c) if so what is that figure in each of the last five years.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the Ministry's stance on proceeds arising from the sale of drugs or related activities which are criminal offences in Singapore but not in other jurisdictions; and (b) whether existing laws are robust enough to deal with persons or entities in Singapore who have dealings with persons or entities in other jurisdictions who are involved in such activities and where these activities are not illegal.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs with regard to voyeurism and revenge porn (a) whether the Government conducts studies on how other countries deal with the issue; (b) what measures is the Government considering to deal with the issue and to protect victims; and (c) whether there will be specific measures to protect minors.

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider introducing a stricter prescribed limit of alcohol in a motorist's blood or breath whilst driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle if the motorist is under the age of 21 years or a probationary driver.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there are requirements for private security companies to adequately train, supervise and ensure that private security officers uphold the standards required in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities; (b) what are the penalties for private security companies who fail to adhere to these requirements; and (c) whether penalties should be imposed on private security companies whose private security officers are errant or delinquent in the discharge of their duties.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether there is a need to increase the number of white-collar and cybercrime investigators employed by the Singapore Police Force so that there is a deeper capacity to deal with the heavier workload.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether electronic game loot boxes are being reviewed as being a form of gambling, as seen in some other jurisdictions.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the status of the Postal Quality of Service framework review; (b) how many complaints has Singpost received about missing mails in the past year; and (c) how many of these missing mail cases have been resolved.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether the Ministry has studied technological solutions capable of identifying and automatically blocking (i) automated calls pretending to represent the authorities and other fraudulent automated calling schemes and (ii) text messages that solicit illegal lending, online gambling, or other illegal activities; and (b) whether the Ministry will direct telecommunications service providers to develop or deploy such protective technologies.

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether the Ministry has received objections to the performance of the RuPauls' Drag Race show in Singapore; (b) what are the criteria for approving such performances; (c) how does the Ministry deal with approval and censorship of performances dealing with LGBT issues; and (d) how is the age restriction for the audience determined for such shows.

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Government will consider raising the income tax rate of employment pass holders to provide additional tax revenue to meet the rising social cost.

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Ministry will study public preferences for Government expenditure by requesting income tax filers to hypothetically earmark 10% of their income taxes towards the expenditure of a particular Ministry and making public the results of such studies to strengthen Government accountability and responsiveness.

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Finance with regard to the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) for each of the last five years (a) what is the number of contributors, by marginal income tax rate of assessable income (i.e. pre-SRS contribution); (b) what are the amounts contributed, by marginal income tax rate of assessable income; and (c) whether the Ministry has studied the elasticity and determinants of SRS contribution behaviours and the results of such studies.

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*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.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Education over the past five years (a) what is the annual number of cases related to mental health issues reported to the Ministry involving (i) primary school students (ii) secondary school students and (iii) post-secondary students; (b) how many have been diagnosed through referrals made by mainstream schools or the Ministry; and (c) how many have made requests for special provisions for examinations or other assessment-related issues.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education for each cohort of students in each of the last five years respectively, what is the percentage of students from the Normal Technical stream who have transferred to the Express stream by the end of their secondary school education.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education (a) what are the current efforts to integrate environmental education into our education system; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider working with environmental groups to create a standardised environmental education package for Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) and Form Teacher Guidance Periods (FTGP).

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) in the past three years, what is the percentage of successful appeals for earlier withdrawal of payouts by CPF members who had to retire early; (b) what are the main reasons for disallowing the appeals; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider another option for CPF Life payments that start payouts at the minimum retirement age.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry will consider making public the data on complaints of unfair employment practices received by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) or the Ministry that identify the employer, specific complaint, and action taken; and (b) what considerations the Ministry has in publishing such data or keeping such data confidential.

*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.

*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 Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how our rates per 100,000 employed persons in Singapore for (i) minor workplace injury (ii) major workplace injury and (iii) death, compare with other countries who also base their reporting criteria on that of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA); and (b) what would be the possible factors for the difference if there is a significant discrepancy for those rates.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*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.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development over the past five years, how many cases have been reported of working adults who have faced short-term family support challenges such as taking care of young sick children or elderly sick parents who cannot be left in childcare centres or nursing homes respectively.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development in the last five years (a) how many cases of child abuse and elder abuse respectively have been reported annually; (b) what are the common types of abuse inflicted on these children and elderly victims; and (c) what are the common types of familial relationship the perpetrators have with the victims.

*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.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) to what extent the recent Causeway jams have impacted businesses in Singapore; and (b) what measures are in place to reduce the extent and impact of such jams in future.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) what is the progress of nominating Singapore's Hawker Culture for UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Culture Heritage of Humanity; (b) how many Singaporeans have pledged their support pertaining to the nomination; and (c) what more can Singaporeans do to lend support to the nomination.

Mr Terence Ho Wee San: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth whether the Ministry will consider issuing a "culture pass" vis-à-vis a mobile application which offers a credit similar to ActiveSG for students and senior citizens to spend on cultural events and encourage cultural discovery.

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

*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.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

*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 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.