ON THE AGENDA
DOMINATING question time yesterday were the National Library Board's (NLB) policies on controversial books and Singapore Airlines' (SIA) decision to fly over eastern Ukraine before the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
A Bill to establish the Family Justice Courts was passed. Debate began on another Bill, to make it illegal to cause or contribute to haze pollution here, and will continue as Parliament sits again today.
Separate teams to choose and review library books
THE NLB will ensure that the team which selects books for acquisition is different from the team which reviews books, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.
The separation of responsibilities is not clearly spelt out now, but is "a good practice" that will lead to greater public confidence in the review process, he said.
SIA plane was 90km from MH17
TRANSPORT Minister Lui Tuck Yew confirmed that an SIA plane was about 90km or 10 minutes away from MH17 when the Malaysian plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.
At the time, there were no commercial flight restrictions over that airspace, said Mr Lui. The route was popular with many airlines as it was the optimal path.
Using net assets different from drawing down on reserves
THE Government relies on net assets as an investment buffer to meet its liabilities on government securities linked to Central Provident Fund returns, in years when investment returns are weak, but that is not a draw on past reserves, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The Government's net assets are indeed Singapore's reserves.
But what determines if there is a draw on past reserves, as defined by the Constitution, is whether the Government has entered into liabilities that are sustainable and will not result in a systematic erosion of the reserves.
New dengue vaccine 'not good enough' for S'pore
A NEW dengue vaccine to be marketed by French firm Sanofi next year is "not good enough" for Singapore, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
He said it was not effective enough against the two most common types of dengue virus here, types 1 and 2.
Too early to relax property curbs
NATIONAL Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it is premature to relax property cooling measures, given current market conditions.
Family Justice Act passed
A BILL to streamline divorce proceedings, reduce costs and trauma and protect the welfare of children was debated and passed.
The Family Justice Act creates the new Family Justice Courts that will also hear family violence cases, probate matters and issues pertaining to youth and children.
Haze penalties not large enough: MPs
PENALTIES in the proposed Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill may not be large enough to deter big firms, and should be upped for repeat offenders, said Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) and Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC).
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