Parliamentary questions for 6 August 2019

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, 6 August 2019, for the 108th session of the 13th Parliament.

*28 oral questions and 11 written question had been scheduled to be asked.

At the commencement of Public Business, a Government Bill will be introduced:

  • CareShield Life and Long-Term Care Bill – (Minister for Health) – (President’s recommendation signified).

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

  1. Point-to-Point Passenger Transport Industry Bill [Bill No. 14/2019] – (Minister for Transport) – Second Reading.
  2. Home Team Science and Technology Agency Bill [Bill No. 15/2019] – (Minister for Home Affairs) – Second Reading.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

Prime Minister

Prime Minister

*Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Ministry will extend the Bicentennial Exhibition through to the end of 2020 or even consider making it a permanent exhibition that can be updated as Singapore celebrates future milestones of nation-building.

*Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Prime Minister in light of the Auditor- General’s observations with regard to IT lapses in the Report of the Auditor- General for FY 2018/19 and similar observations in preceding years (a) what are the systemic reasons that explain these repetitive findings; and (b) what are the findings of the major audit on public sector IT systems carried out from 2009-2011.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs

*Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs in light of the volatile situation in Hong Kong (a) what is the Ministry’s advice to Singaporeans who are working on the island; and (b) how many Singaporeans in Hong Kong are currently registered with the Ministry.

Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) in accidents involving PMDs, what recourse do victims have if the rider speeds off before the victim is able to obtain a picture for submission to the MyTransport.SG app; and (b) whether physical barriers can be added to deter PMDs from hightraffic places where they are disallowed.

Minister for National Development

Minister for National Development

*Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether Singapore is on track to achieve the goal of 80% Green Mark buildings by 2030; (b) what is being done to improve the uptake rate among private sector buildings; (c) whether there are plans to make the BCA Green Mark Scheme compulsory; and (d) whether the Ministry will consider mandating the use of renewable energy in buildings that are eligible.

*Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for National Development in respect of paths on the Park Connector Network where one side of the path is marked “PCN” and the adjacent side has a sign of a person walking (a) whether cyclists or PMD riders are required to keep to the part marked “PCN”; (b) whether those who are on foot are required to keep to the side with the sign of a person walking; and (c) what are the measures taken to monitor and ensure safe usage of such paths by all users.

*Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for National Development whether all HDB rental flats are installed with fire-rated doors in light of the latest fire incident in Boon Lay.

Minister for Health

Minister for Health

*Ms Irene Quay Siew Ching: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how are clinical privileges for medical professionals granted based on their education/training to ensure clinical competence for high-risk, specialised procedures in private practice settings; and (b) what is the oversight process undertaken by the Ministry for the verification of these credentials.

*Ms Irene Quay Siew Ching: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the Ministry’s position with regard to healthcare institutions seeking external accreditations for continuous improvement; and (b) whether the Ministry is looking into coming up with more comprehensive and progressive audit standards like the Joint Commission International (JCI) to sustain Singapore’s reputation of a world-class healthcare system.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) in the past five years, whether the number of cases of patients suffering from bedsores or pressure injury have increased in community hospitals and nursing homes; and (b) whether the Ministry has an action plan to improve preventive care for bedsores.

*Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many persons have been prosecuted in the past three years for the sale of illegal weight loss products; (b) whether there are plans to regulate the import and sale of weight loss products; and (c) what steps are taken by the Ministry to ensure that such products are safe for consumption.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the figures and trends of persons of minority sexual orientations or gender identities who are seeking mental healthcare; and (b) whether there are plans to provide resources to targeted counselling and social services, as well as LGBTQ-sensitivity training to service providers, to address their specific mental health and psychological well-being needs.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Health for each year in the past five years among children (i) below 7 years old and (ii) between 7 and 12 years old (inclusive), what is the absolute number and the percentage of children who contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) (i) once (ii) twice or (iii) three or more times respectively.

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Health in respect of subsidised hospitalisation for each year from 2015 to 2017, how much did Singaporeans and permanent residents respectively pay in cash at the 10th to 40th deciles after taking into account subsidies, MediShield Life and MediSave deductions.

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Communications and Information

Minister for Finance

Minister for Finance

*Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether the valuation of unlisted assets in the portfolios of GIC and Temasek is taken into account when the Government reviews the overall risks of its whole portfolio of assets; and (b) if so, what approaches are taken by the Government to ensure that unlisted assets are valued realistically by GIC and Temasek at the time of injection and in each subsequent year.

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether the Government Financial Statements can be made available online for public perusal; and (b) what are the reasons for not making them available online.

Minister for Education

Minister for Education

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Education whether the Ministry will develop a media strategy for improving educational and psychosocial developmental outcomes in young children through subsidising or supporting the broadcast of research-based educational programming on free-to-air television channels or online provision.

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the average per-undergraduate student annual expenditure on teaching and educational services broken down by faculty/school for each of the autonomous universities; and (b) what is the breakdown of the source of such expenditure by tuition revenue, government grant and endowment income.

Minister for Law

Minister for Law

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Law (a) whether an extension of the Protection from Harassment Act to cover entities will impose vicarious liability onto employers; and (b) if not, whether the Government plans to move away from the present individual criminal liability-based approach.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Law for each year in the past five years (a) what is the absolute number and the percentage of divorcees who failed to comply with court orders to sell their matrimonial flats within the stipulated time; and (b) what was the average and median time it took beyond the stipulated time to sell the flat.

Minister for Manpower

Minister for Manpower

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Manpower what is the progress in running professional conversion programmes for retiring mainstream teachers and other professionals keen to take up a new career as preschool educators.

*Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how effective have the previous downturn measures been in helping workers to stay in their jobs or find new opportunities; and (b) what are the plans that the Ministry has in place to support workers should the economy continue to slow down and jobs may be lost.

Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Manpower in each of the last three years (a) what are the average and median lengths of time between the lodgement of a claim at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management and the subsequent referral of the claim to the Employment Claims Tribunal through the issuance of a claim referral certificate; and (b) in how many of these cases have the process taken more than eight weeks.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the rationale for setting seven days as the minimum legal entitlement for annual leave; and (b) whether the Ministry has plans to increase the number so that Singapore can rank higher among developed nations for annual leave entitlement.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Minister for Social and Family Development

*Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will consider providing grants for fees for faith-based preschools run by non-profit organisations such as those by churches, mosques and voluntary welfare organisations.

*Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the Ministry doing to reach out to persons of minority sexual orientations or gender identities who are facing physical, psychological or sexual violence from family members or intimate partners; (b) whether state-run institutions are trained to be sensitive to their needs and particular experiences when they report incidents of domestic violence; and (c) whether there are plans to launch awareness-raising campaigns and programmes to work with NGOs to support LGBTQ victim-survivors and reach out to those suffering in silence.

*Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will consider additional measures to (i) alleviate the cost of putting a child in infant care or child care (ii) widen the “household income” and “per capital income” criteria for eligibility of additional subsidies (iii) increase the quantum of these subsidies and (iv) charge a flat nominal fee of $10 for parents to put their children in infant care or child care instead of using a system of means tested subsidies.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development for each year in the past five years, what percentage of child care centres utilise (i) the full six days of annual closure (ii) five days of annual closure and (iii) fewer than five days of annual closure respectively.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development for each year in the past five years, what percentage of fathers did not take any Government-Paid Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave respectively.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Minister for Trade and Industry

Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) does Singapore have as of today; (b) how many are in the pipeline to be signed/ratified and with whom; (c) whether the Ministry has conducted detailed studies of economic and social benefits of each or most of the bilateral and multiparty FTAs; and (d) if so, what are these benefits and how much change in trade has been seen after the FTA with each of the trade partners has been implemented.

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how many households, expressed as a percentage, have switched to purchasing electricity from suppliers other than SP since the launch of the Open Electricity Market; and (b) whether the Energy Market Authority is actively considering a simpler sign-up procedure for low-income households in particular.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) what is the reason for the low take-up rate of the Business and Institution of a Public Character Partnership Scheme whereby employees of businesses can undertake volunteering hours; (b) what will be done to address the issues; and (c) whether the Ministry will review the scheme to include assets, such as the space used by charities and for charitable purposes, and other forms of corporate-giving to further encourage tripartite partnerships.

Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

*Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Environment and Water Resources & Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) who is involved in the selection and appointment of the members of the recently announced Committee on Future Asatizah (COFA); and (b) what are the criteria used in the selection and appointment of these members to COFA.

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the Ministry will study the impact of the policy on banning single-use plastics in the UK and Ireland; and (b) what is the Ministry’s assessment of the likelihood of adopting a similar ban here.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in the last five years, how many companies have been prosecuted for illegal discharge of wastewater into our public sewage system and how many of these have been second-time offenders and multiple repeat offenders.

*Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what is being done to get the responsible parties to remove the 3,000-tonne heap of scrap rubber materials left at the Sarimbun Recycling Park; (b) whether the Ministry will issue an order for them to remove the materials; (c) how has the heap of materials affected park operations and the surrounding vegetation; and (d) whether such materials pose any health or environmental hazard.

*Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the five-year project launched in 2014 to measure Singapore’s carbon footprint has been completed; (b) if completed, what are the findings of the project; (c) how much reduction in emissions will the carbon tax of $5 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions be expected to be achieved given that industry is projected to contribute 60.3% of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; and (d) what is the expected increased carbon footprint with the impending construction of Terminal 5.

*Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources how much of Singapore’s recyclable waste is exported to overseas processors and which countries are the largest receivers of our recyclable waste.

*Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether he can provide an update on the number of dengue cases observed nationally and in Woodgrove constituency in the 2nd quarter of this year; (b) what are the reasons for the high number of cases; and (c) what are the latest efforts to contain the spread of dengue.