ON THE AGENDA
Parliament yesterday discussed how to honour founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as MPs offered ideas on what can be done.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Mr Lee's elder son, responded in a parliamentary statement.
After question time, four Bills were introduced, and the Housing and Development (Amendment) Bill was passed.
Taking time to decide
PM Lee urged Singaporeans to wait until some time has passed before deciding on how best to honour Mr Lee, who died on March 23 at age 91. He said the country should make calm, considered decisions that can also withstand the test of time. He also reminded the House that Mr Lee strongly disapproved of monuments and was careful never to allow a personality cult to grow around him.
Oxley house to stay for now
The late Mr Lee's daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, will continue to live in the family home at 38 Oxley Road. If and when she moves out, Mr Lee has stated his wish for the house to be demolished.
But PM Lee said it would be up to the government of the day to consider the matter. Speaking as a son, however, he hopes the late Mr Lee's wishes will be carried out, he added.
Commemorative $50 note
A new commemorative $50 note will include an element which features Mr Lee with his fist raised, leading the crowd with the rallying cry of "Merdeka", or independence in Malay.
PM Lee said the note is part of an SG50 commemorative set of notes, and plans for it were finalised last year. It is already in production.
He said printing Mr Lee's image on Singapore's currency notes and coins is something that can be considered in the future.
Entering by force
Errant flat owners who persistently refuse to fix ceiling leaks, make dangerous structural changes to their flats or flout their lease agreements, could have Housing Board officers forcing them to open up in the near future.
The Housing and Development (Amendment) Bill, passed yesterday, gives HDB officers the powers to enter these flats to do repairs or carry out investigations.
Only as last resort
Giving assurance to MPs about the amendments to the Housing and Development Act, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said HDB officers will enter flats without a warrant, only as a last resort.
This is when there are no other ways to enter it, and there is imminent danger to public safety or health.
The officers will also try to limit damage when forcing their way into the flat, said Mr Lee, without elaborating on who will pay for the repairs.
Why dance music event was cancelled
The organisers of the Future Music Festival Asia could not assure Singapore authorities that they would implement measures to prevent drug-related activities.
This is why the dance music event, which was to have been held at the Changi Exhibition Centre on March 13 and 14, was cancelled, said Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.
He added that past Future Music Festival events held in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney had been tainted by drug-related activities.
This article was first published on April 14, 2015.
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