Parliamentary questions for 4 January 2021

The Singapore Parliament will sit at 1:30 pm on Monday, 4 January 2021, for the 14th session of the 14th Parliament.

*99 oral questions and 52 written question have been scheduled to be asked.

There will be Ministerial Statements from Minister for Health and Minister for Education on the Third Update on Whole-of-Government Response to COVID-19.

At the commencement of Public Business, 1 Government Bill will be introduced:

  1. Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill – Minister for Communications and Information.

Six Government Bills will be read for the 2nd time:

  1. Payment Services (Amendment) Bill [Bill No. 41/2020] – (Prime Minister) – Second Reading.
  2. Guns, Explosives and Weapons Control Bill [Bill No. 44/2020] – (Minister for Home Affairs) – Second Reading.
  3. Multimodal Transport Bill [Bill No. 42/2020] – (Minister for Transport) – Second Reading.
  4. Statute Law Reform Bill [Bill No. 45/2020] – (Second Minister for Law) – Second Reading.
  5. GOVERNMENT SECURITIES: That this Parliament, in accordance withArticle 144(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and Section 11(1) of the Government Securities Act (Chapter 121A of the 2014 Revised Edition), resolves that the Minister for Finance be authorised to borrow, by the issue of Government Securities in Singapore under that Act, a further sum not exceeding Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand Million Singapore Dollars (S$270,000,000,000), thereby in total a sum not exceeding Nine Hundred and Sixty Thousand Million Singapore Dollars (S$960,000,000,000) – (Second Minister for Finance).
  6. TREASURY BILLS: That this Parliament, in accordance with Article 144(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and Section 3(1) of the Local Treasury Bills Act (Chapter 167 of the 2002 Revised Edition), resolves that the Minister for Finance be authorised to borrow, by the issue of Treasury Bills in Singapore under that Act, a further sum not exceeding Forty-five Thousand Million Singapore Dollars (S$45,000,000,000), thereby in total a sum not exceeding One Hundred and Five Thousand Million Singapore Dollars (S$105,000,000,000) – (Second Minister for Finance).

There will also be a Matter proposed to be raised on the Motion for the Adjournment (SO 2(8)(b)) from Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang (Nee Soon): Providing More Help for Those Undergoing In-vitro Fertilisation.

Below are the questions filed towards the various Ministers

Prime Minister

Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is the reason for the delay in supplying the TraceTogether tokens to all residents by 14 December 2020; and (b) what is the new timeline for all residents to collect the TraceTogether tokens.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Prime Minister (a) with the increasing need to use SingPass, what measures are in place to ensure privacy and security for users, especially senior and vulnerable citizens, when they depend on third parties who are tasked to assist them to navigate online services and enter their IDs and passwords; and (b) whether the Government will consider maintaining more alternative avenues, such as physical counters, for the elderly to avail of such services without the need for SingPass as they have difficulty keeping up with the pace of digitalisation.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Prime Minister with the discontinuation of the OneKey token from 1 April 2021, how will GovTech ensure that (a) all residents who do not own a mobile phone will be able to access government e-services using SingPass, given that a local mobile phone is required for the SingPass two-factor authentication (2FA) process; and (b) notwithstanding the introduction of Multi-User SMS 2FA, whether alternative 2FA methods can be provided to enable residents with no mobile phones to login with SingPass independently, without the assistance of a third party.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Prime Minister (a) in what way has the Ministry consulted with persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their representative organisations in developing guidelines for private insurers on prohibiting discrimination against PWDs when providing health and life insurance; (b) whether the Ministry has (i) collected statistics on the number of PWDs who have purchased health or life insurance from private insurers or (ii) conducted any study on the coverage and pricing of health and life insurance for PWDs and, if not, whether the Ministry intends to do so; and (c) whether psychosocial disabilities and mental health conditions will be included as prohibited grounds of discrimination under the proposed guidelines.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Prime Minister in light of the report by the Securities Investors Association Singapore and the Centre ofGovernance, Institution and Organisations at the National University ofSingapore Business School, that Singapore companies are less transparent on corporate governance issues as compared to Malaysia and Thailand, what steps will be taken to improve disclosure obligations and transparency in corporate governance for Singapore companies.

Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Prime Minister between 2010 and 2019, what is the total fertility rate (TFR) amongst Long Term Visit Pass holders who are married to Singaporeans as compared to the TFR amongst Singaporean women.

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Prime Minister given the long history of the operation of private educational institutions (PEIs) such as MDIS and SIM, why are qualifications directly issued by these PEIs not currently recognised by government agencies as valid qualifications for the purposes of employment.

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Prime Minister in each year of the past three years (a) how many PMET-level job vacancies in the public sector were filled; (b) how many of these are filled by mid-career hires from the private sector; and (c) of these mid-career external hires, what proportion has no prior public sector experience.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Prime Minister (a) over the past three years, what has been the percentage of life insurance policies that have been surrendered on a per year basis; and (b) whether the Government intends to regulate the secondary market involving the sale of life insurance policies so as to protect the policy holders’ long-term interests and to prevent them from prematurely surrendering their life policies for reasons other than the inability to make premium payments.

Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Prime Minister what specific measures will be implemented to target SME awareness and accessibility for the planned Green and Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Schemes which will be rolled out in 2021.

Minister for Transport

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Transport what has been the total amount of expenditure incurred to date by Singapore on the High Speed Rail project and what are the terms specified in the bilateral agreement in relation to compensation claims upon termination of the agreement by either party.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Transport whether LTA will make it mandatory for cyclists to dismount when using zebra crossings for the safety and well-being of both cyclists and motorists.

Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) what public education efforts has the Ministry undertaken to educate pedestrians and other users ofpublic paths on the pedestrian code of conduct which enforcement has started in August 2020; (b) whether footpath ambassadors will be deployed to increase public knowledge of the code of conduct in order to prevent rider-pedestrian accidents; and (c) whether there is a team that specialises in commuter behavioural change research and education to enhance plans towards the active mobility vision.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Transport whether there are any plans to implement the green link determining (GLIDE) traffic system for all roads and to align standalone pedestrian crossings to the same GLIDE traffic system.

Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Transport whether there are plans to mandate the provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the car parks of public and private residential properties.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether EZ-Link card payments at the Electronic Parking System (EPS) carparks or Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries can be integrated with the older In-vehicle Units; (b) whether the usage of the EZ-Link card can be expanded to all private and public car parks; and (c) whether the maximum stored value in EZ-Link cards be raised to allow wider usage.

Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) in the last three quarters of 2020, how many COEs have been renewed for five and 10 years respectively; and (b) whether LTA will consider allowing renewal of five-year COEs more than once, adhering to the price in the first round of renewal to prevent speculative activities.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) whether there are plans to re-evaluate the motorcycle COE regime to address the high COE prices in view of the fact that a significant number of motorcycle owners use their vehicles for purposes of their livelihoods; (b) what is the rationale for the low bid deposit for motorcycle COEs of S$200; and (c) whether this will lead to market speculation of motorcycle COEs.

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Transport why are Stay-Home Notices (SHNs) required of flight crews from non-Singapore airlines but not for Singapore-based airlines.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Transport (a) in the past year, whether there has been any new public education efforts for pedestrians, cyclists and PMD riders on safe riding/use of footpaths, cycling paths or park connectors; and (b) if so, what are these efforts and their effectiveness.

Minister for National Development

Mr Alex Yam Ziming: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are the Ministry’s plans to increase the number of community care apartments should the pilot be successful; and (b) whether the Ministry will incorporate some of the services offered by the community care apartments into the regular HDB housing estates.

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what environmental impact studies or assessments have been done on the Clementi Forest; (b) what will be the implications for the biodiversity in the event of this land being used for urban development; and (c) whether the Clementi Forest can be designated as a national park or nature reserve, given Singapore’s limited and dwindling green spaces

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for National Development whether there will be a review of the status of Clementi Forest and other forests earmarked for potential development.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether he can provide an update on the next phase of the Rail Corridor plan; (b) when will the northern stretch be completed; and (c) whether these new stretches will have seamless connections to nearby HDB towns like Bukit Panjang.

Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether the Ministry coordinates the schedules of multiple construction projects by different agencies affecting a specific residential area to minimise the duration of which they take place concurrently; (b) what are the criteria that will trigger the Ministry to review its approval process for these works; and (c) how do the different project leaders and relevant public agencies work together to address feedback from residents in a timely manner.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the progress on the Landscape Sector Transformation Plan (LSTP) since its launch in May 2019; (b) what is the status of LSTP initiatives for the landscape maintenance subsector; (c) what is the number and breakdown by Progressive Wage Model job levels of resident landscape maintenance employees from 2016 to 2020; and (d) what are the median basic and gross wages of these employees for the same period

Ms Hany Soh: To ask the Minister for National Development whether community gardens will be built as part of the standard communal facilities and features in BTO developments and Neighbourhood Renewal Programmes to foster community bonding and enhance food security resilience.

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for National Development whether there are plans to implement changes in designs and standards across the different statutory boards by standardising the design for common use parts especially for concrete panels in public housing.

Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) in the last five years, how many applications for HDB’s Public Rental Scheme (PRS) were rejected annually; and (b) how many ofthese rejected applications were subsequently successful on appeal.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are the outcomes of the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF); (b) what is the amount of funds disbursed to date; (c) what is the productivity growth of the construction sector from 2010 to date; (d) what are the examples of how the Fund has helped these firms to improve their workforce quality; and (e) what lessons are learnt from the 10 years ofimplementing this Fund.

Mr Vikram Nair: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) since the start of 2020, how many complaints have been received in relation to noise from neighbours in HDB estates; and (b) whether HDB will consider expressly setting out acceptable levels of household noise, educating the public on these levels and taking enforcement measures.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) in the past five years, how many appeals have been received for waiver of the minimum occupation period for HDB flats; (b) of these, how many have been successful; (c) what are the common reasons for the appeals; and (d) whether HDB will review the policy while balancing the social objective needs.

Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for National Development what criteria does the National Parks Board use to evaluate tender proposals for its landscape maintenance contracts to ensure that the focus is on service outcomes instead of lowest bidding price.

Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for National Development with respect to the Price Schedule of Rates (PSOR) that the National Parks Board releases for each procurement (a) when was it last updated; and (b) whether the hourly rate of $7 for the supply of labour for manual work will be revised to take into account factors such as the Progressive Work Model basic wage for landscape workers, employer’s CPF contribution, statutory benefits and transport costs for personnel and equipment.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for National Development what is being done to work with animal experts to educate the community on how to respond to a wildlife sighting and how to play their part to reduce or prevent the number of sightings in residential areas, especially in reducing unintentional access to food in residential properties.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for National Development what measures are in place to ensure that the physically challenged are not unduly inconvenienced by COVID-19-related entry and exit controls at facilities and buildings.

Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider liberalising the use of under-utilised upper levels ofmulti-storey carparks for childcare centres and activity centres for senior citizens.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for National Development whether HDB is minded to undertake or fund the rectification works of misaligned or damaged perimeter drains due to ground movement and settlement at mature HDB estates.

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for National Development in respect of private residential property purchase transactions and rental transactions entered into by Singaporeans, what is (i) the respective number and (ii) respective percentage share of these transactions for those aged between 35 and 39 years old, 30 to 34 years old, 25 to 29 years old and below 25 years old for each of the years over the last 10 years.

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for National Development in respect of HDB resale transactions in the last five years, what is the median and average discount or premium for flats transacted by minority ethnic groups versus the Chinese ethnic group, based on resale transactions within the same year and block.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are reviewed by independent, third-party organisations; and (b) whether an individual or organisation can contest an EIA on reasonable grounds.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for National Development for the elderly and vulnerable without SingPass or who are not IT savvy, what assistance does HDB give to help them apply for Build-To-Order and Sale of Balance Flats as these applications have to be done online.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what is the progress on HDB’s plans to install 5,500 solar panels in HDB blocks by end-2020; and (b) what is the Ministry’s target for HDB solar panel installation for 2021 and beyond.

Miss Rachel Ong: To ask the Minister for National Development whether there are plans for the retractable laundry rack in HDB flats to be included under the EASE (Direct Application) scheme in advance of scheduled Home Improvement Programme.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for National Development in respect of the Council for Estate Agencies’ Real Estate Salespersons Examinations, (a) whether the average annual passing rate of 30% for the years 2011-2019 was due to a deliberate passing mark imposed by the examining body or any other authority; (b) whether the Government will consider reviewing whether such a mark is appropriately set; (c) whether an upward adjustment may be necessary; and (d) what are the reasons for its conclusions.

Minister for Health

Mr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the number ofCOVID-19 vaccines that have been secured for Singapore; (b) how will the vaccination programme be rolled out; (c) what is the earliest projected date to commence the programme; and (d) whether the vaccination be made mandatory for both Singaporeans and foreign residents.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the measures taken by the Ministry to ensure that any vaccines for COVID-19 are appropriate and safe for Singaporeans; and (b) whether the Ministry has assessed all potential side effects of the vaccine.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the details ofthe rollout plans for COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore; (b) how does the Ministry determine the safety and effectiveness of the various vaccines coming into the market; and (c) whether individuals who have been vaccinated will be given a ‘vaccination card’ to facilitate identification that may be required from time to time.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what criteria are used by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to assess COVID-19 vaccinations before approval for public use; and (b) what benchmarks for efficacy are used.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Health regarding the COVID-19 vaccines (a) what are the potential side effects associated with the vaccines; (b) whether the extent and probability of side effects occurring are significantly different from existing flu vaccines; (c) what are the plans to deal with the severe side effects that can arise due to the administration of the vaccines; and (d) what recourse do Singaporeans have should they experience severe side effects.

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the number of COVID-19 vaccine submissions that are in each phase ofevaluation by HSA; (b) what is the number of doses of each type of COVID-19 vaccine that has been secured for Singapore; (c) what is the delivery timeline for these vaccines; and (d) whether individuals will be given autonomy to decide on the type of vaccine they will receive when more than one vaccine has been approved.

Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Health what are the measures to assuage ground concerns about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Mr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Health in view of certain COVID-19 infections having “high genetic similarity” of virus despite dissimilar countries of origin among persons who served Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, whether the Ministry will consider establishing capability for scaled-up rapid whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of virus from clinical samples including nose swabs, so as to complement existing WGS from cultured COVID-19 virus.

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Health considering that there is little change between Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the re-opening, what is the current strategy to progressively reopen Singapore until our borders are opened to foreign visitors.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Health what measures will be put in place in Singapore to deal with the new variant of the COVID-19 virus that is reported to be spreading rapidly in the UK and parts of Europe.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether there will be a need to separate blood collected from donors who have and have not received COVID-19 vaccinations; and (b) if so, whether all necessary measures will be put in place ahead of the vaccine being introduced for use in Singapore.

Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Health following the error in the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital laboratory test for cancer patients (a) how many patients suffered side effects arising from being given the wrong treatment; (b) how many were treated at private hospitals versus Government hospitals; and (c) what is the average cost of medication incurred by all these patients

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health with regard to the case ofbreast cancer patients at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital who may have received unnecessary treatment since 2012 due to inaccurate test results (a) what are the key revelations from the review of the process; (b) what measures have been implemented to prevent similar incidents; and (c) whether there have been cases of patients suffering from detrimental effects.

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Health with regard to cancers inaccurately classified HER2-positive by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital laboratory (a) how many patients (i) received unnecessary treatment and (ii) suffered significant or long-term side effects thereby; (b) what is the ensuing cost to affected patients; (c) what is being done to help these patients; and (d) what measures are taken to ensure fidelity of laboratory tests.

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Health with regard to the incident at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where breast cancer patients received unnecessary treatment since 2012 (a) why did subsequent follow-up checks on the patients over the years not pick up any misdiagnosis from the earlier test; and (b) whether there are regular audits of hospitals and medical clinics on laboratory protocols to identify lapses.

Ms Hazel Poa: To ask the Minister for Health what are the reasons for the wrong test results for cancer patients at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and what measures will be put in place to ensure that such errors do not occur again.

Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng: To ask the Minister for Health what are the outcomes of the pilot Care Close to Home service model for the elderly frail and home bound residents in HDB public rental estates.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health with regard to healthcare workers feeling unwell while using personal protective equipment (PPE), whether there are plans for the standard PPE to be made moisture permeable to prevent healthcare workers from suffering thermal strain.

Ms Ng Ling Ling: To ask the Minister for Health regarding the Caregiver Training Grant (a) whether there has been an increasing number ofcaregivers tapping on the caregiver training grant given our ageing population and increasing caregiving needs; (b) whether there is a need to increase the annual grant cap of $200; and (c) whether there are plans to increase touch points for training provision given that caregivers are usually very time challenged.

Ms Ng Ling Ling: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what percentage ofaverage household expenditure does the Home Caregiving Grant help to defray; and (b) whether there are plans to review the quantum given rising costs of living.

Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the framework currently in place at the national and localised levels to support seniors and their caregivers who face mental health challenges; and (b) whether plans are on track to expand the long-term care workforce.

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Health whether there is any evidence to show correlation between the quantum of medical/ hospitalisation bills and medical insurance coverage.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how does the Ministry ensure that healthcare providers (HCPs) are not unduly influenced by pharmaceutical companies’ marketing efforts or incentives when recommending or prescribing drugs to their patients; (b) whether the Ministry monitors compliance with the Singapore Association ofPharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) Code of Conduct; (c) whether there have been any violations of this Code of Conduct; and (d) whether the Ministry will consider introducing a centralised reporting system for pharmaceutical companies’ payments and transfers of value to HCPs.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will be revising the eligibility criteria for women aged 40 and above to receive Government co-funding for Assisted Reproduction Technology procedures.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Health what is being done to promote mental wellness among the elderly in isolation wards who have difficulty utilising technology especially when they get admitted to hospitals repeatedly due to aging issues.

Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will consider testing staff of Social Service Agencies (SSAs) on a regular basis before they obtain their COVID-19 vaccination since they interact with the elderly who visit the SSAs on a daily basis.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Health regarding the free and voluntary COVID-19 vaccination (a) how will the Government define long-term residents; (b) what is the estimated number of Singaporeans and long-term residents living in Singapore; and (c) what is the expected cost to provide free vaccines to all Singaporeans and long-term residents.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will impose closer scrutiny on travellers arriving from the UK and Europe, given the outbreak of the new COVID-19 strain there; and (b) whether there are any data to show that the current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against this new strain.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many travellers, including Singapore residents and children aged 6 and below, have entered Singapore since 1 July 2020 without a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their departure for Singapore; (b) how many eventually tested COVID-19 positive upon arrival in Singapore; and (c) how does the Government manage the risk of incoming arrivals aged 6 and below transmitting the virus locally since they are not tested.

Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the average waiting time for patients seeking to make outpatient appointments at specialist clinics at restructured hospitals in each month of 2020; and (b) what are the measures put in place to ensure any backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic are cleared as quickly as possible

Minister for Communications and Information

Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether he can provide an update on the plan for live-streaming ofParliament proceedings and how this can be implemented in a way that mitigates concerns about its potential impact on the quality and tone of debates.

Mr Alex Yam Ziming: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether any research is being done on public attitudes towards vaccination against COVID-19; and (b) how will the public communications strategy be formulated to engage residents across all demographics.

Mr Alex Yam Ziming: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how many hawkers have been affected by fraudulent transactions via cashless payments since the start of the Hawkers Go Digital Programme; (b) how can victims seek recourse without knowing the identities of the dilinquent customers; and (c) whether the Ministry will review the training for hawkers to better equip them with the knowledge about such scams.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how will the Ministry raise awareness among the elderly about the risks and threats which make them susceptible to frauds and scams on the internet; and (b) what measures are there to ensure that the elderly who are unable to pick up new IT skills despite undergoing courses are not alienated from our society.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information in view of the increasing number of phone apps launched by government and commercial organisations, including financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, healthcare institutions,telecommunications and transport providers, and retailers (a) what measures are in place to (i) ensure that these apps meet quality and cybersecurity standards to minimise the risk of hackers exploiting programming bugs (ii) protect the privacy of users and (iii) ensure that non-app users are not discriminated against through differentiated charges or deprivation ofbenefits; and (b) how can the right to receive written and printed communications from both public and private organisations be protected.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) when will the livestream of parliamentary proceedings for the public commence; and (b) how will the public be able to access the livestream ofparliamentary proceedings.

Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether a full archive of historical video feeds for previous Parliamentary sittings will be made publicly available online.

Minister for Home Affairs

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether TraceTogether data will be used for criminal investigations and, if so, what are the legal provisions and safeguards in using such data.

Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past three years, how many QR code scams have been reported; (b) how are the authorities stepping up on action against such crimes; and (c) what are the Ministry’s efforts to increase awareness of QR code scams, in particular among the seniors.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how does the police track its performance in investigating and solving crimes involving online scams; and (b) in cases where bank accounts of recipients of scam monies have been frozen by the authorities in Singapore, what are the impediments to expeditiously returning victims’ monies.

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether any research has been done on local youths’ perception on recreational drugs and the penalties for associated offences; and (b) what is the Ministry doing to address a potential disconnect between youths and the national attitude on use of recreational drugs.

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the investigation process for complaints lodged by prison inmates on mistreatment in prison; (b) how many of such complaints has the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) received in the past five years; (c) of these, how many are repeated complaints and how many have been found to be justified; (d) in the justified cases, what action has the SPS taken; (e) what independent avenues are there for prison inmates to lodge such complaints; and (f) whether the Government has considered setting up independent oversight mechanisms to investigate and redress complaints.

Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider more structured channels to place youth offenders in positive networks as part of aftercare so as to better support reintegration efforts and what steps are taken to guide parents to support their children upon their release from prison.

Ms Raeesah Khan: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the last three years what is the annual number of sexual assault cases that have been handled by the One-Stop Abuse Forensic Examination Centre (OneSafe Centre) as a percentage of the total number of sexual assault cases handled by the police; and (b) whether there are any plans to review the 72-hour time frame for sexual assault forensic examinations.

Ms Raeesah Khan: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the rationale for requiring a parent’s/guardian’s signature for sexual assault victims under the age of 21 years old to undergo the necessary forensic and medical examinations; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider (i) lowering the age threshold to 16, in line with the age of consent for sexual activity or (ii) permitting signatures from prescribed third parties to encourage the reporting of sexual assault offences.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
Minister for Education

Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Education in light of the recent study on children of divorced parents faring worse than their peers from intact families (a) what support is available to such children in the schools; (b) whether schools can offer deferments and temporary financial waivers with the goal of encouraging such children to complete their studies; and (c) whether teachers are made aware of the family situation of such children so that they can provide motivation and show more sensitivity during school lessons.

Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Education what additional resources and training will be given to teachers to ensure that the move to blended learning in the curriculum can be done with minimal disruption on education outcomes.

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Education whether there has been a discernible increase in the number of sexual misconduct cases in post-secondary and tertiary institutions in the last five years.

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Education from 2012 to 2020 (a) what has been the number of reported bullying cases in schools; and (b) how effective has a no-tolerance policy for bullying been in reducing the number of incidents in schools.

Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether all schools are able to cater for students with physical disabilities; and (b) if not, whether a child with physical disabilities will therefore be limited by the choice ofhis or her school based on whether or not a school can cater to their particular needs.

Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Education whether there are plans to move schools located in areas with low population densities to estates with higher densities.

Ms Mariam Jaafar: To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the current number of households with both Singapore citizen and non-resident children (ie at least one child who is on a Long-Term Visit Pass or student pass); and (b) how does the Government ensure that the higher cost ofeducation for the non-resident siblings does not lead to less resources and opportunities for their Singapore citizen siblings.

Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Education whether food nutrition and healthy eating habits are taught in primary schools and, if so, at what level.

Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Education in each of the last three years, how many children have been diagnosed with dyslexia at the preschool, primary and secondary levels respectively.

Mr Darryl David: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether there is a standard protocol determining how the height and weight of children are regularly monitored in schools; (b) if so, how is this exercise conducted; and (c) how is the information presented to the children and their parents.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education with regard to the current performance management system of stack ranking (a) how is a C-, D, and E ranking grade determined for teachers; and (b) whether the way the grades are determined differs from school to school.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education what are the penalties teachers face when they get C-, D and E ranking grades respectively.

Ms Hany Soh: To ask the Minister for Education (a) whether there are existing programmes by the Ministry for schools to inculcate responsible consumption values amongst students; and (b) whether the Ministry has any framework to measure the learning outcomes of responsible consumption.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Education for each year in the past five years, how many and what percentage of schools do not have any teachers receiving the C-, D and E grades.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for Education (a) to date, what is the percentage of SkillsFuture credits utilised; (b) what is the redemption rate per age group (25-45, 46-65, 66 and above); and (c) how will the Ministry encourage Singaporeans in the lowest redemption group to tap upon their SkillsFuture credits for learning.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Education (a) in each year from 2011 to 2020, what are the median T-scores of students who sat for the PSLE, broken down by household income quintile; and (b) whether school closures due to COVID-19 disproportionately impacted the academic performance of children from lower income households.

Minister for Law

Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Minister for Law (a) for the past five years, what has been the number of maintenance order applications received by the Family Justice Court, broken down by applicants who are (i) still married and (ii) divorced respectively; and (b) what is the demographic breakdown by spousal income of (i) married applicants and (ii) divorced applicants.

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Law regarding investigations into deaths due to unnatural or unknown causes in the last two years (a) in how many and what proportion of such cases has a Coroner’s Inquiry not been held; (b) what are the matters taken into account by the coroner under section 25(3)(f) of the Coroners Act in deciding that it is not necessary in the public interest to hold an Inquiry under section 25(2)(b) of the Act; and (c) how often has the Public Prosecutor intervened to require an Inquiry in cases where the coroner had decided that an Inquiry is not necessary.

Ms Raeesah Khan: To ask the Minister for Law (a) over the past five years, in how many cases of sexual offences was a victim impact statement adduced by the prosecution to address the sentencing court; and (b) whether the Ministry intends to conduct a review of criminal sentencing for sexual offences and the weight given to the harm suffered by victims.

Minister for Manpower

Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the circumstances under which the Silver Support payout quantum may be reduced for beneficiaries; and (b) whether there are ways by which changes may be better explained to reduce the anxiety and other negative consequences for the seniors who are unaware or do not expect the drop.

Ms Hany Soh: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the time limit for filing a case under theTripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) framework by employees against their former employers can be lifted to provide more time for aggrieved employees to explore options for dispute resolution.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) in 2020, what is the number of discrimination cases that the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) has investigated; (b) how many cases are repeat offenders; and (c) how often does the Ministry conduct surveys to track the feelings of discrimination among Singaporean employees.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether there are any regulations preventing the employment of a stateless person in Singapore and, if so, whether such regulations can be removed.

Ms Mariam Jaafar: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry has statistics on the current number of cleaners who are hired directly by companies rather than the cleaning work being handled by a cleaning agency; and (b) whether this segment of workers can be included under the Progressive Wage Model framework.

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether there is an increasing trend of employers of work permit holders being required to pay medical bills above what will be covered under their work permit holders’ insurance policies; and (b) if so, whether the Ministry intends to increase the current medical insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per year.

Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Manpower given that CPF Board has provided its members the option of being exempted from CPF Life participation if they can find a comparable commercial annuity product (a) how many CPF members have already withdrawn their CPF retirement savings and chosen a commercial product that pays out the same or a higher monthly payout for life; and (b) how does CPF Board assess the veracity ofclaims made by such commercial products.

Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the rationale for introducing spousal income instead of per capita income criterion in eligibility assessment for Workfare Income Supplement (WIS); and (b) whether exceptions can be made for individuals who are estranged from their spouses, for their incomes to be considered independently, with supporting documents from the relevant agencies such as family service centres or marital counsellors.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the current percentage of companies that do not offer Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) to their staff; and (b) how does the Ministry intend to increase the EAP adoption rate given that it is a key intervention stated under the Tripartite Advisory on Mental Well-being at Workplaces.

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether there is a trend of workplace fatalities happening among sub-contractors; and (b) what else can be done to help companies strengthen their workplace safety practices other than conducting a voluntary safety time-out exercise.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether studies have been or are being done to look into whether migrant workers who are unable to go for meal breaks outside of their worksite during working hours are receiving adequate and proper food; and (b) whether any enforcement actions have been taken against employers who do not provide adequate food for this group of workers.

Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Manpower in respect of active licensed crane operators in Singapore (a) what is their current number; (b) ofthese, how many are Singapore citizens and permanent residents respectively; (c) how many new local operators are being trained on average every year; and (d) what are the deterrents and challenges which prevent more Singaporeans from taking up this vocation.

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether she can provide an update on the employment profile of all companies on the Fair Consideration Framework Watchlist in terms of (i) the ratio of Singaporeans to foreigners (ii) the ratio of Singaporeans to foreigners for employees drawing less than $5,000 in gross monthly salary (iii) the ratio of the largest group of foreigners to total employees (iv) the nationality of the companies’ human resource head and (v) the availability of succession plans.

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider a waiver of levies paid by employers that are either unable to receive their identified foreign domestic workers (FDWs) or FDWs that have requested that they be repatriated prior to the completion of contract due to COVID-19-related restrictions that prohibit travel between Singapore and the FDW’s home country.

Ms Raeesah Khan: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the setting up of a referral process for the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) to have oversight of all workplace harassment cases has been completed; (b) if so, how many reports of workplace harassment have been received since the referral process was set up; (c) what is the breakdown of cases by the type of workplace harassment; and (d) whether there are any ongoing programmes to improve awareness about TAFEP as a reporting avenue for victims of workplace harassment.

Miss Rachel Ong: To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how can companies be encouraged to support nursing mothers in Phase 3 of the re-opening and beyond in the set-up of lactation rooms in private workplaces since applications for the Work Life Grant that could have been used for that purpose has closed since 18 August 2020; and (b) whether the Ministry will review the guidelines that allow nursing mothers either more flexibility to work from home or for employers to provide appropriate lactation rooms.

Minister for Social and Family Development

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development arising from the Study on the Intergenerational Effects ofDivorce on Children in Singapore (a) whether there were significant differences in the outcomes of the children based on the age of the child when the parents got divorced; and (b) what are the Ministry’s next steps in further examining the issue of a ‘divorce penalty’ on our children and studying the efficacy of our interventions to reduce the effect of this penalty.

Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) since the start of the COVID-19 Support Grant, how many applicants have been rejected because they are unable to produce retrenchment letters from their employers; and (b) whether the Ministry will be open to consider applicants favourably as long as they are able to produce correspondence to show that they have been under pressure to resign by their employers.

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what avenues are available for stateless persons who require social and financial assistance for their families’ healthcare and educational needs.

Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development in light of the findings of a study by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, “Homeless in Singapore: Results from a Nationwide Street Count”, how does the Ministry plan to support homeless people with health problems.

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development how many children who are currently eligible for a Child Development Account (CDA) have not had their CDAs established and what can be done for this particular group of children.

Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what provisions does the Ministriy have in place for youth caregivers who are currently schooling; (b) whether the Ministry periodically monitors the mental and financial well-being of youth caregivers in school; (c) if so, how frequently does the Ministry monitor the youth concerned as well as provide social and support; and (d) whether the Ministry provides additional aftercare support for youth caregivers after their dependant has passed on.

Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what are the planning parameters for building childcare centres within a constituency; (b) what measures are in place to ensure sufficient childcare places in new estates; and (c) what assistance is available to parents who are unable to enrol their children at childcare centres near their homes.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the current number of families or individuals who have been engaged under the Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers network; (b) how many of them are open to assistance; and (c) among those who are being assisted, how many have managed to acquire a long-term and stable accommodation.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) to date, how many families or individuals who are receiving assistance under the Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers network have applied for a rental flat under HDB’s Public Rental Scheme; (b) how many of these applications are successful and unsuccessful respectively; and (c) what are the reasons for the unsuccessful applications.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs (a) in the last 10 years, how many cases have been reported to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) for contravention of Section 139 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act; (b) how many of these reported cases have been investigated; and (c) how many individuals have been charged and convicted.

Minister for Trade and Industry

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how is the Tech.Pass different from the current visa options such as EntrePass for foreign individuals intending to start their own companies; (b) whether there will be a reduction in the number of work passes available generally in view of the introduction of the Tech.Pass; and (c) whether the eligibility criteria are too lax especially with regard to “at least five cumulative years ofexperience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users”.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether Singapore will be participating in the Sun Cable project; (b) if so, how much of Singapore’s energy supply will come from the Sun Cable project; (c) what efforts are in place to diversify our energy sources; and (d) what are the associated risks and cost fluctuations of energy diversification.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how have post-COVID-19 needs impacted Singapore’s energy market outlook; (b) whether Singapore’s plan to import electricity from Malaysia is limited to renewable energy; (c) what is the process for the energy to be sold to Singapore; and (d) how can energy supply reliability be assured as more clean electricity from other countries are imported into Singapore.

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what is the current fuel mix for electricity generation derived from renewable energy sources; (b) how has this changed over the last 10 years; and (c) what is the target mix for the amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in 2030 and 2050.

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Ministry intends to negotiate for better terms in the ongoing review ofthe India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in light of the DBS group’s merger with Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song