Parliamentary questions for 12 February 2019

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 1:00pm on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, for the 90th session of the 13th Parliament.

*37 oral questions and 9 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

There will be a Ministrial Statement from Minister for Health:

Unauthorised Possession and Disclosure of Information from HIV Registry.

At the commencement of Public Business, 2 Government Bills will be read for the 2nd time:

National Parks Board (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 4/2019] – (Minister for National Development) – Second Reading.

Singapore Food Agency Bill [Bill No. 5/2019] – (Minister for the Environment and Water Resources) – Second Reading.

There will be Notices of Motions:

AGEING WITH PURPOSE: That this House calls for a whole of Singapore effort to ensure that Singaporeans are able to age with purpose and dignity, stay healthy and connected, and be financially stable to look forward to their years ahead.

Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry (Nee Soon)

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling (Fengshan)

Miss Cheng Li Hui (Tampines)

Dr Lily Neo (Jalan Besar)

Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar)

Ms Rahayu Mahzam (Jurong)

SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS: That this House recognises, given our rapidly ageing population, the important role that caregivers play in helping our Singaporeans age with dignity, and calls on the Government and the community to continue strengthening support for caregivers.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu (Tanjong Pagar)

Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah)

Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok)

Dr Lily Neo (Jalan Besar)

Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson)

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

Prime Minister

Prime Minister

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what standards apply for the timely public disclosure of Government information incidents involving personal data, given that in the case of the unauthorised disclosure of HIV registry data announced on 28 January 2019, the Ministry of Health lodged police reports in May 2016 and May 2018; (b) what are the reasons why this breach was not publicly disclosed when the first police report was made; and (c) whether public disclosure standards will be reviewed in light of this incident.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what can Singapore learn from the various incidences of foreign interferences in the elections and politics of countries such as the US, Australia, France and Germany; and (b) whether there is a need to introduce new laws or further strengthen existing laws to deal with foreign interference and Singaporeans who work with foreign actors to influence Singapore’s elections and politics.

*Prof Lim Sun Sun: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Singapore Bicentennial celebration will make a greater effort to reflect the contributions that women have made to Singapore’s nation-building.

*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.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the Smart Nation narrative includes a Smart Giving Nation narrative as part of our aspiration to be a caring, inclusive and resilient society; and (b) if so, how has the Smart Nation blueprint and architecture been planned to support the vulnerable groups as well as to integrate with social sector agencies and giving platforms.

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 many users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and their accident victims have gone for mediation in the past 24 months; (b) what compensation has been paid out in the mediation; (c) what is the cost of mediation that each party must bear; (d) how long is the whole process of mediation; and (e) what is the process should one party refuses to attend.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what actions have been taken against the use of PMDs on minor roads in private landed estates; (b) how many PMD users have been caught for riding on such roads in the past year; and (c) what actions have been taken to ensure that roadside footpaths in such estates are kept clear of obstacles to allow unblocked access for use by PMDs, personal mobility aids and pedestrians.

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether there has been further improvement to the spreading out of MRT commuters during morning peak hours after the Differential Fares Scheme is implemented; and (b) whether he will consider granting further incentives to the elderly to travel during off-peak hours to spread out MRT commuters.

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Transport since Singapore’s independence, how much money has been spent in safekeeping the security, and ensuring the safety of users, of the waters at Tuas South that are within our jurisdiction and port limits, including environmental control, and navigation and maritime management.

*Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Transport in respect of the latest Terrorism Threat Assessment Report (a) what is the threat level for public transport facilities in Singapore; and (b) whether LTA will consider increasing public education efforts to better prepare both public transport workers and commuters on what to do in a security incident at a public transport facility.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what is the currently projected share or range of operating costs for the Thomson- East Coast MRT Line that is expected to be covered by fare revenues versus by Government grants and subsidies; and (b) in light of the financial difficulties faced by operators of the existing MRT Lines, what share or range of operating costs for these lines are expected to be covered by existing operators versus by Government grants and subsidies.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the approval rate for non-concessionary HDB housing loans; and (b) whether HDB will consider increasing such loans to help residents who are unable to obtain bank loans to purchase their HDB flats.

*Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider extending HDB’s deferred downpayment scheme to 4-room and 5-room BTO flats and to applicants with low income.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will introduce a licensing requirement for pet boarding businesses in addition to the standards and best practices listed in the Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Industry).

*Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for National Development from 2015 to 2018, what is the average sale price for land sold to (i) private housing developers and (ii) HDB for development of public housing in mature housing estates, respectively.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what percentage of shark’s fin shipments undergo sampling and DNA analysis to ensure that the species declarations are accurate; (b) for each year in the past five years, how many cases of false declarations were detected; and (c) whether there are plans to introduce a mandatory labelling scheme for all shark products specifying the species of shark.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for National Development in the past year, what actions have been taken to promote the safe use of park connectors by users who are on foot, cyclists, and PMD users including safe and orderly adherence to the respective lane markings for users on foot and for “PCN” (Park Connector Network) users.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Health with the data leak involving 14,200 people with HIV, what specific measures will be taken to (i) reduce the spread of, and access to, the personal data and HIV status of the affected persons (ii) ensure that the psychosocial welfare of these persons are protected in view of the stigmatisation and discrimination that exists at the workplace and in society and (iii) ensure that this incident does not negate years of painstaking efforts in providing a safe climate for people to come forward for HIV testing.

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what designations of staff have access to the individualised data in the HIV registry; (b) whether staff who have legitimate reasons to analyse the data for policy purposes have access to the aggregated rather than the individualised data and, if not, why not; and (c) whether actions to extract or export such data are tracked and subjected to regular scrutiny to ensure that the purpose of the data extraction is legitimate.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what action was taken to ensure that Mikhy Farrera-Brochez no longer possessed or had any access to confidential information of HIV patients which was taken from the Ministry’s HIV registry, prior to his deportation from Singapore after his imprisonment; (b) when was he deported; and (c) whether affected patients were alerted when it was known that their data had been compromised in May 2016 and, if not, why not.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health what can and will be done to take down the online leak of confidential information of the 14,200 people living with HIV.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health what can and will be done to protect the people living with HIV whose personal information have been leaked online from harassment and intimidation.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Health in light of the unauthorised disclosure of HIV registry data announced on 28 January 2019, what steps will be taken to (i) safeguard the affected persons against unwarranted discrimination that affects their ability to participate in society such as in employment and housing (ii) educate the public to destigmatise HIV and related health conditions and (iii) assure the public that HIV testing remains confidential, safe, and important for public and personal health.

*Mr Png Eng Huat: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what was the outcome of the investigation into the May 2016 police report which the Ministry lodged against Mikhy Farrera-Brochez on the possession of confidential information obtained from Singapore’s HIV registry; (b) whether the Ministry made its own investigation after being tipped off in 2016 before making the police report and, if so, what did the internal investigation reveal about the extent and amount of data stolen; and (c) whether there was any audit done on the integrity and unauthorised access of the HIV registry before May 2016.

*Prof Lim Sun Sun: To ask the Minister for Health what efforts are being made in collaboration with international law enforcement agencies to ensure that Mikhy Farrera-Brochez does not create further mischief with the information he illegally obtained from Singapore’s HIV registry.

*Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Health given the recent unauthorised disclosure of HIV registry data, what additional measures have been undertaken to ensure that all confidential information collected by the Ministry remain secure.

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Health for the past five years (a) what are the top three causes of death among elderly persons aged 65 years and above; and (b) what is the number of elderly persons who die annually because of pneumonia or pneumonia-related complications.

Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many persons have been trained and certified on the Project E-learning Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programme since its launch in May 2017; (b) what is the profile of these participants; (c) how many of these certified participants on the central registry have been mobilised in 2017 and 2018 respectively; and (d) what type of cases have they been mobilised for.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Health in each of the past two years (a) how many Singaporeans of 65 years old and above have exhausted their annual Medisave withdrawal limit for (i) outpatient treatments (ii) outpatient MRI/CT scans and diagnostics and (iii) flexible Medisave use, respectively; (b) how many appeals have been received from this group of seniors to use their Medisave beyond the annual withdrawal limits; and (c) what was the rate of successful appeals and the basis for these approvals.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) for each year in the past five years, what is the average number of open visits which an inmate has with their children; and (b) whether there are plans to increase the number of open visits which an inmate can have with their children.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what are the types of entities that are allowed to conduct firework displays in public spaces; and (b) what are the governing regulations and frameworks involved in such firework displays in ensuring public safety and avoiding any environmental risk.

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

*Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information given the gravity of data protection breaches in the public sector, whether the Personal Data Protection Act should be amended to remove the exemptions for public agencies.

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Education (a) in the past three years, how many special needs students have been admitted into institutes of higher learning (IHL); (b) how many IHLs are equipped to accommodate special needs students; (c) what is the Ministry doing to help special needs students further their education in IHLs; and (d) whether there are plans to work with ITE to take in more special needs students who may benefit from a vocational education.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the total number of deaf students in schools last year; (b) what inclusion programmes are in place for both the hearing and deaf students; and (c) with the plan to mainstream deaf students, whether the Ministry will consider SgSL (Singapore Sign Language) as an elective “third language” for all schools.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education (a) how does the Ministry decide what percentage of students are streamed into the Normal (Technical), Normal (Academic), and Express streams each year; and (b) whether the streaming system allows for the possibility that no students enter the Normal (Technical) or Normal (Academic) stream in a given year.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education with the removal of the EM3 stream in primary schools, what have been the effects on students, teachers and parents respectively.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Manpower what was the value of unpaid salaries in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively, according to the orders made by the Employment Claims Tribunal on employers to pay owed salaries.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what are the specific steps that the Government is taking to recruit 3,000 pre-school teachers by 2020; and (b) considering that less than 1% of pre-school educators are men, whether there are plans put in place to recruit more men into this sector.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what is the extent of the power failure on the afternoon of 26 January 2019; (b) what are the reasons for the failure; (c) what has been the trend in occurrences of such power failures in the past five years; and (d) what steps are being taken to minimise such failures going forward.

*Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there is any study conducted to ensure that the liberalisation of the retail electricity market will benefit household consumers.

*Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Ministry can provide an update on the roadmap laid out for Singapore’s energy and chemicals sector and its Industry Transformation Map, including employment demand and supply outlook in the short to medium term; (b) what is the Ministry’s long-term strategy to develop the growing energy and petrochemical sector in Singapore; and (c) which foreign country is the largest investor in this sector.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

*Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what are the considerations that led to the identification of the industrial area along Bukit Batok Street 23 as one of the four funeral parlour sites to be developed in the next 10 years; and (b) what are the mitigation measures that will be put in place to minimise the impact on residents living nearby.

*Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what is the number of feedback received from residents about the ashes/smoke produced by the burning of paper offerings in large metal cages since the regulation took effect; and (b) whether the Ministry will work with religious organisations and vendors of large incense burners to use latest technology in the design of such burners so that the emission of ashes/smoke can be minimised.

*Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for Environment and Water Resources & Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) what safeguards are in place ensure that the religious teachers who are accredited under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) do not hold radical views; (b) whether there are mechanisms to periodically review and renew the ARS accreditation; and (c) whether there is an independent oversight body to review the ARS accreditation.

*Mr Mohamed Irshad: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what efforts are being undertaken to cool our island in light of rapidly rising temperatures; (b) whether the Ministry has considered using latest technologies such as thermal insulation coating to paint our buildings to reduce temperatures and keep the buildings cool; and (c) what measures are in place to reduce overall energy consumption in Singapore in the face of such rising temperatures.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the Ministry can provide an update on plans to build a new hawker centre in Bukit Batok Town, in particular where will it be built; and (b) what is the expected date of its completion.