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Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, issues concerning work pass holders to be discussed in Parliament

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, issues concerning work pass holders to be discussed in Parliament

File photo of Parliament House. (Photo: Hani Amin)

SINGAPORE: Updates on the regulatory approval of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and the risk of infection for young children who are not eligible to be vaccinated are among the issues that will be discussed when Parliament sits on Monday (Aug 2).

Member of Parliament Gerald Giam (WP-Aljunied) submitted a question on when Singapore expects to receive its first shipment of the Novavax vaccine and whether there are plans to accelerate its approval here.

MP Saktiandi Supaat (PAP-Bishan Toa Payoh) asked the Ministry of Manpower whether special leave can be granted to parents to take care of their child when a pre-school or school is ordered to close due to links to COVID-19 cases. 

MP He Ting Ru (WP-Sengkang) submitted questions on the assessed risk level for children under the age of 12 who are unable to be vaccinated, given the move back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).

Other issues on the agenda include fabricated or forged education qualification certifications submitted by employment pass and S Pass holders. MP Gan Thiam Poh (PAP-Ang Mo Kio) asked how many of these pass holders in the ICT sector have done so in the past three years, and whether the Manpower Ministry will work with only reputable educational institutions overseas for approval of such work passes.

READ: Work pass holders get jail for submitting false degree qualifications

MP Wan Rizal (PAP-Jalan Besar) filed questions on licensed cleaning businesses that have failed to comply with the Progressive Wage Model and the actions taken against these companies.

MP Louis Ng (PAP-Nee Soon) submitted questions on marine debris originating from ship waste disposal and neighbouring countries, as well as related data for the past five years.

Mr Ng also asked the Minister for Social and Family Development for statistics on the starting salaries of social workers, and if the ministry intends to recommend higher starting salaries for such workers.

READ: Side effects, infection risks and post-COVID-19 school life: Tackling vaccine concerns for kids

Two Bills will be introduced - the Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill and the Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill.

Three Bills will be read for a second time, including the Child Development Co-Savings (Amendment) Bill. If passed, parents who are currently not eligible for maternity or paternity leave due to certain employment arrangements will be able to get cash benefits.

READ: MHA proposes higher penalties for evading road blocks, expanding scope of forced entry by police

The Ministry of Home Affairs had also proposed increasing penalties for evading road blocks and criminalising the breach of police cordons under proposed amendments to the Police Force Act. That Bill is up for a second reading.

Source: CNA/ic(gs)


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