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COVID-19, employment issues to be discussed in Parliament

COVID-19, employment issues to be discussed in Parliament

File photo of Parliament House. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: COVID-19 and issues relating to employment are among the topics to be discussed in Parliament on Feb 18 (Tuesday).

The Public Utilities (Amendment) Bill will be introduced for the first time during Tuesday's sitting. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will also deliver the year's Budget speech at 3pm

READ: Package to help households with cost of living to be announced at Budget amid COVID-19 outbreak: DPM Heng

Members of Parliament have submitted more than 20 questions on a range of issues, with several such as Png Eng Huat and Desmond Choo asking about the Government's measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as well as the estimated economic impact of the outbreak. 

The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed nearly 1,800 and infected more than 70,000 worldwide. 

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health announced two new cases on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 77. A total of 24 who were infected with the virus have made a full recovery and have been discharged. 

Amid concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday cut the year's GDP forecast range to -0.5% to 1.5%.

Members of Parliament have also tabled questions about Singapore's employment landscape.

MP Pritam Singh will ask the Manpower Minister about industries that find it difficult to attract or hire PMET Singaporeans, while MP Lim Biow Chuan will ask about the number of complaints received in the last three years regarding excessive foreigners working in financial institutions. 

Meanwhile, MP Foo Mee Har will ask about plans to help gig economy workers access group insurance, as well as save for retirement and home ownership.

READ: Budget 2020 includes new measures 'not on the table' a month ago, says Heng Swee Keat

MP Cheng Li Hui will ask whether a transport start-up without a moneylender license is allowed to offer loans to their drivers at a high administration fee, and whether there will be Government regulation on companies offering similar services operating within the grey area of the law. 

On other issues, MP Lee Bee Wah will ask about the number of complaints the Traffic Police have received about noisy vehicles and how many of these pertain to her constituency, while NMP Anthea Ong will ask about the percentage of Grassroots Advisors appointed by the People's Association that are members of a political party, as well as whether the Government has plans to review sexual education in schools. 

MP Louis Ng will ask about the number of individuals and organisations that have been prosecuted due to shipments of elephant and pangolin scales seized at Singapore's borders in 2019. 

Source: CNA/dl

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