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Singapore

Parliament to debate public transport, education issues on April 9

A total of 67 questions have been filed for the Parliament sitting on April 9.

Parliament to debate public transport, education issues on April 9

Singapore Parliament House.

SINGAPORE: A total of 67 questions have been filed for the Parliament sitting on April 9.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) will be fielding 14 questions.

West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har wanted to know how long it takes to upgrade one lift under HDB's Lift Upgrading Programme, and if MND would consider setting tighter productivity targets for contractors so that the time needed for upgrading works can be shortened to minimise inconvenience to residents.

Marine Parade MP Seah Kian Peng asked if the Housing Board would consider reviewing the relevance of bomb shelters in HDB flats.

He also wanted to know if HDB will review the current 50-storey height limit for HDB blocks, given that commercial buildings near HDB blocks are allowed to go beyond 50 storeys.

Non-constituency MP Mrs Lina Chiam asked MND about its action plans to address the misuse of factory units for non-industrial activities.

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Dr Janil Puthucheary wanted to know if the Transport Ministry has received confirmation from the Malaysian government on the toll for Singapore-registered cars that make use of the 8km Eastern Dispersal Link in Johor Bahru.

Nominated MP Teo Siong Seng wanted Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew to explain if his ministry has conducted a comprehensive manpower study to ascertain the total projected demand for bus drivers, as Singapore prepares to ramp up the number of public buses on the roads.

Opposition MP Pritam Singh wanted to know if Transport Ministry will publish an annual report together with the annual financial reports of the two public transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit, to show how the S$1.1 billion Bus Services Enhancement Fund will be used and allow taxpayer to scrutinise the actual costs involved in the purchase and running of the additional buses by the two operators.

GPC Chair for education and MP for Mountbatten Lim Biow Chuan tabled a question to the Education Minister, asking if MOE can implement a policy of not allowing schools to give children homework during school holidays, while Pasir Ris-Punggol MP Zainal Sapari asked for an update on the number and percentage of Integrated Programme students who have dropped out from the programme and the reasons they failed to complete the programme.

In his question to the Finance Ministry, Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng asked if government procurement guidelines ensure that neither local nor foreign suppliers are favoured during invitation, assessment and award of tenders.

On April 9, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will also move a motion to seek authorisation to borrow S$170 billion through issuance of government securities.

A Finance Ministry spokesperson said the proposed increase in the limit of the securities that Government can issue is to meet the higher investment needs of the CPF Board and the demand for Singapore Government Securities in the debt markets.

This will bring total government borrowing to S$490 billion.

Five bills are up for second reading during the sitting - they include the Public Utilities (Amendment) Bill, Energy Conservation Bill, Sewerage and Drainage (Amendment) Bill, International Arbitration (Amendment) Bill and Foreign Limitation Periods Bill.

Source: CNA/fa

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