The National Parks Board (NParks) will have the “statutory power” to take the parties involved in the erroneous forest clearing at the Kranji woodland to task if they are found to be involved in any wrongdoings, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Friday (26 Feb).
Mr Chan was responding to supplementary questions from Marine Parade GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Seah Kian Peng, who asked about the “stern warning” that was issued to the contractor on 13 Feb and whether the internal investigations by JTC will be complemented with an investigation by external parties.
He also asked whether there is a schedule for the frequency of site visits by the project manager, given that the JTC discovered the error on 13 Jan.
In response, Mr Chan noted that the stern warning is not the end of the investigations.
“At this point in time, NParks and JTC will do their investigations and subsequent to that,” the Minister replied.
“If there are any other wrongdoings uncovered by NParks’ investigations, NParks will have the statutory powers to take the responsible parties to task and the penalties for those are laid out in the respective Acts,” he added.
Mr Chan pointed out that there is a schedule that requires JTC officers to regularly visit the site, but whether the schedule has been adhered to is “the subject of an ongoing investigation”.
“The internal NParks and JTC regulate investigations as to whether the current processes have been followed and I expect the respective agencies who want to do a thorough review to see whether the processes have been followed,” he explained.
Additionally, Permanent Secretary Joseph Leong has also been appointed to determine how these processes can be tightened “especially across the inter-agency processes”.
The Minister added that Mr Leong will also have access to gather views from the public sector, the people sector, and the private sector.