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Radicalisation, WEF meeting and imported COVID-19 cases to be discussed in Parliament

Radicalisation, WEF meeting and imported COVID-19 cases to be discussed in Parliament

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

SINGAPORE: Radicalisation will be among the topics discussed in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 16), after it was announced on Jan 27 that a 16-year-old Singaporean had been detained under the Internal Security Act for making detailed plans to attack Muslims.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Annual Meeting and imported COVID-19 cases will be on the agenda as well.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Sweet Keat will also deliver his Budget speech at 3pm.

The Big Read: Pummelled by COVID-19, Singapore's economy to begin K-shaped recovery with Budget 2021

According to the order paper, four MPs have filed questions for Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam related to the radicalised teenager who planned to use a machete to attack Muslims at two mosques in the Woodlands area.

MP Christopher de Souza (PAP-Holland-Bukit Timah) has asked about legal tools that should be put in place to support the Home Team’s capabilities to detect, trace and apprehend self-radicalised terror suspects before an attack takes place.

He has also asked about further measures to denounce such attacks, wherever they occur, to prevent “copy-cats” from believing that they can replicate similar attacks in Singapore.

MP Desmond Choo (PAP-Tampines) has asked whether investigations are conclusive that the teenager was a “lone wolf” and about efforts to promote a better understanding of race and racial relations among younger Singaporeans.

Mr Choo has also asked about existing safeguards to prevent young people from obtaining offensive weapons, components and materials from e-commerce platforms.

MP Murali Pillai (PAP-Bukit Batok) has asked about the circumstances that led to the teenager’s arrest as well as steps that can be taken to counter self-radicalisation.

MP Lim Biow Chuan (PAP-Mountbatten) has asked about what can be done to improve relationships between different religious groups and if different religious organisations can be equipped with knowledge to help identify members who may have become self-radicalised.

READ: Religious groups asked to be more vigilant after teenager planned mosque attacks, says Shanmugam

READ: National Council of Churches urges Christians to be vigilant following arrest of teen who planned to attack mosques

MP He Ting Ru (WP-Sengkang) has filed two questions on the WEF Special Annual Meeting scheduled to take place in Singapore in August.

The first set of questions for Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing relate to the approval process for such in-person global conferences in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; the cost and revenue associated with the meeting; and other factors taken into consideration when deciding to host such events in Singapore.

Ms He’s second set of questions for Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong regard COVID-19 protocols for those attending the WEF meeting: Whether attendees would be subject to stay-home notices and quarantine rules, and if attendees would be required to use TraceTogether technology.

READ: World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab in Singapore to prepare for Special Annual Meeting in August

Two MPs have asked the Health Minister questions related to imported COVID-19 cases.

MP Gan Thiam Poh (PAP-Ang Mo Kio) has asked about the percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases for each country in relation to total arrivals from these countries, and whether the Ministry of Health will require all foreigners arriving in Singapore to have travel insurance which covers COVID-19 hospitalisation.

Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai (PSP) will ask why Singapore’s borders have not been closed to travellers from India and Indonesia considering the “disproportionately large number of imported cases” originating in the two countries. 

Among the other questions, MPs have asked about the situation in Myanmar, safeguards to prevent the destabilisation of the securities market and support schemes for the elderly.

Source: CNA/kg(rw)

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