ON THE AGENDA
PARLIAMENT debated and passed five Bills yesterday, all of which were on changes that will affect the legal sector.
During question time, Members of Parliament also discussed issues such as a review of alcohol restriction measures, the ban on smoking shisha tobacco and the rising popularity of taxi apps.
Putting the brakes on boozing and puffing
A NEW law on liquor control could be tabled in Parliament by early next year. Among its possible measures are restrictions on drinking in public, and limits on the hours retailers can sell alcohol.
Taking aim at another addictive substance said to be harmful to health, the Government will ban shisha some time later this month. It will put an end to the import, distribution and sale of the tobacco, smoked through a waterpipe.
Remembering the turbulent past
PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced last month that two landmarks would be set up to commemorate historic events in Singapore's turbulent past. Their locations were revealed in Parliament yesterday.
A memorial to the victims of Konfrontasi will stand at Dhoby Ghaut Lawn opposite MacDonald House in Orchard Road, and a marker to honour those who fought the communists will be placed in Esplanade Park.
Why stadium's pitch is not perfect
GRASS on the National Stadium pitch did not have enough time to take root, owing to a three-month construction delay.
Also, the Singapore Sports Hub management had misjudged the impact of an intensive calendar schedule on the field. It has since made remedies, such as postponing events to let the grass grow.
Regulating taxi apps
TAXI app providers will soon have to meet some regulatory requirements, such as having adequate insurance.
In the past two years, at least four such apps have been launched.
PARLIAMENT passed five changes to the Constitution, one of which is for the short-term rehiring of retired judges while another is to create a Deputy Attorney-General position.
The changes were passed 69 to seven, with the required quorum of two-thirds of the 87 elected MPs. The seven nay votes came from the Workers' Party.
Two new Bills
TWO new Bills were introduced yesterday.
The Foreign Employee Dormitories Bill requires operators of large foreign worker dormitories to get a licence, under which they must provide recreational facilities for the workers, among other things.
The Pawnbrokers Bill seeks to raise the security deposit of each pawnshop branch from $20,000 to $100,000.
Plea for SMEs
NOMINATED MP Thomas Chua wants the Government to amend five policies to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) survive and thrive.
Among them is his call for a one-stop agency to help SMEs, with a minister overseeing it.