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Parliamentary questions for 18 February 2019

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 1:30pm on Monday, 18 February 2019, for the 92nd session of the 13th Parliament.

*18 oral questions and 6 written question have been scheduled to be asked.

There will be a Ministerial Statement from Minister for Finance:

BUDGET STATEMENT: That Parliament approves the financial policy of the Government for the financial year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

Prime Minister

Prime Minister

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether the Government takes into account a shared bicycle operator’s ability to meet financial obligations to staff, vendors and the public when considering licensing status; (b) when a licence is cancelled, whether any monies from security deposits and licence fees are made available for claims by vendors, employees and the general public; and (c) if so, what order or process shall apply to determine claim entitlements.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) for each year in the past ten years, what is the number of cat-related nuisance feedback for common property areas that HDB has received involving (i) stray cats and (ii) owned cats living in someone else’s residence respectively; and (b) whether such feedback has decreased in the Chong Pang constituency over the past 10 years.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education (a) beyond just having subject banding as an option, whether the Ministry allows students from the Normal (Technical) stream who do well in their GCE “N(T)” Level examination to do their GCE “O” Level examination if they want to; (b) if so, how many of such students have there been to date; and (c) if not, whether the Ministry has plans to provide this pathway.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education whether the Ministry has studied the effects of streaming in secondary schools on the (i) self-esteem and (ii) confidence levels of students in each stream respectively.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the CPF Board will (i) amend its policy to allow automatic withdrawal of the CPF payout when a member reaches 65 years of age and (ii) allow members who wish to withdraw their CPF funds later than age 65 to then indicate their choice in an opt-out form.

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the CPF Board will be reviewing the opt-out scheme for payouts and allow automatic CPF payouts when a member reaches 65 years of age.

*Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo: To ask the Minister for Manpower given the feedback and concerns received regarding the CPF payout under the Retirement Sum Scheme, whether the CPF Board will consider revising the default option for CPF payout age to 65 years instead of the current 70 years.

*Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether sufficient public communication was done prior to the letters being sent to individuals with regard to the option on the timing of their CPF payout; (b) whether there are other approaches to notify the general public of this option before the official process kicks in; and (c) for those who have earlier failed to notify CPF that they wish to receive their payouts upon age 65, whether they are allowed to do so at any point of time before they turn 70.

*Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what can be done to ensure that the public understands that the CPF payout age remains at 65 years of age; and (b) how can engagement with CPF account holders be improved to facilitate easy access to CPF funds at payout age.

*Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the CPF payout starting at age 65 can be made as a default option; and (b) whether the CPF payout starting beyond age 65 can be made simpler and more appealing as an option.

*Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider making the age of 65 the default option for CPF monthly payouts while providing incentives for CPF members who opt for the payouts to be deferred.

*Mr Png Eng Huat: To ask the Minister for Manpower since the start of 2018 (a) what is the number and proportion of members on the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) who activated their CPF payouts upon reaching their Payout Eligibility Age (PEA); (b) what is the number of members who, having missed the activation deadline, appealed to start their payouts before age 70; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider setting the default automatic CPF payout age of RSS and CPF Life scheme to the PEA to further simplify the activation process.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) for each year of age between 65 and 70 what is the proportion of eligible CPF members who apply to start payouts; (b) for members of the 65 to 70 age group receiving payouts, what is known about their use of payout monies, in particular, the extent to which payouts are retained in low-interest deposit accounts instead of used for expenses; and (c) whether and to what extent there are cases of financial hardship due to eligible members not applying to receive payouts.

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the employment screening process for foreigners applying for a work permit; and (b) in the past three years, how many applicants have been rejected because of their unsatisfactory records.

*Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether overseas retailers of consumer goods are allowed to supply labour to install such goods in Singapore for Singapore customers if such labour do not have the requisite permits to work in Singapore; and (b) if not, whether the Ministry has any enforcement plans to keep the playing field level for local retailers.

*Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry monitors and keeps track of the number of jobs lost to new technologies and automation vis-a-vis the number of jobs created in Singapore.

*Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Manpower since the inception of the Silver Support Scheme in 2016 (a) how many Singaporeans who initially received payouts were assessed to be ineligible in subsequent years; (b) what support does the Scheme give to those between the bottom 20% to 30% of elderly Singaporeans; and (c) whether the Scheme’s criteria for household monthly income per capita of $1,100 will be reviewed to exclude the income of the applicant’s siblings living at the same address.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Manpower what steps is the Ministry taking to (i) leverage the investment and efforts by Workforce Singapore to include and integrate unemployed but employable persons with disabilities into the Singapore core and (ii) advise and collaborate with social sector agencies to ensure that persons with disabilities are prepared adequately for the future economy to prevent them from further marginalisation.

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the requirement for reporting work-related or workplace accidents can also include cases where an employee who meets with an accident is placed on light duty by the doctor for more than three days, whether consecutive or not.

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 for each year from 2014 to 2018 and by Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) eligibility age group (a) what is the number and percentage of self-employed persons who receive WIS payouts; and (b) what is the average WIS payout received among self-employed persons.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development in each of the past five years (a) how many ComCare Short-to- Medium Term Assistance recipients are first-time applicants; (b) what is the median monthly payout for first-time applicants; (c) what is the median number of months the first-time applicants have received the assistance; and (d) what percentage of first-time applicants have reapplied for assistance within 12 months of receiving ComCare.

*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.

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development for each of the last three years (a) what is the number of Singaporean children eligible for the Additional Subsidy for (i) full day childcare and (ii) full day infant care, by monthly household income and by per capita income eligibility bands, respectively; and (b) what is the number of Singaporean children actually receiving Additional Subsidy for each respective group.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

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