- POSTED: 17 Jan 2014 21:25
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The first Parliament sitting of the year will take place next Monday, with MPs filing over 30 questions related to the riot in Little India last December.
SINGAPORE: The first Parliament sitting of the year will take place next Monday, with MPs filing over 30 questions related to the riot in Little India last December.
Two ministerial statements will also be delivered -- one by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean and the other by Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.
This is the first Parliament sitting since the Little India riot on December 8, so naturally there will be a slew of questions on this issue from Members of Parliament (MPs).
They want to know how the riot happened, how to prevent such events from occurring again, but if it does, how prepared authorities are to deal with such an incident.
MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC Denise Phua wants to know if the government will consider measures beyond the restrictions on alcohol sale and consumption in other areas that have a high risk of public disorder.
Some -- like MP for Marine Parade GRC Tin Pei Ling -- have proposed staggered off days for foreign workers to reduce over-crowding in places where they congregate.
Several other MPs want to know what is being done to improve welfare for foreign workers.
To address these concerns, two ministerial statements will be delivered -- one on the riot itself, and the other, on foreign worker management.
A new Bill, called the Public Order (Additional Temporary Measures) Bill is also expected to be tabled.
The Bill is expected to address how long the alcohol ban in Little India will be in place, as well as police powers of arrest.
On other matters, several MPs seek clarifications on the Do Not Call Registry, which allows consumers to bar unsolicited calls, text messages and faxes from telemarketers.
Another hot topic to be addressed is the issue of access to licensed moneylenders in the heartlands.
MP for West Coast GRC Foo Mee Har wants to know how vulnerable borrowers may be better protected from the temptation of easy credit from moneylenders.
MP for Punggol East Lee Li Lian will ask about the interest rate caps for secured and unsecured loans for lower income earners.
Some MPs -- like Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC) and David Ong (Jurong GRC) -- will also ask what is being done to improve cyber security in light of recent hacking incidents.