ON THE AGENDA
MPs DEBATED the penalties and practicality of a Bill to fight the haze. It was eventually passed, as were two other Bills.
MPs also raised questions on issues such as the Gaza conflict, payouts from CPF Life annuity and foreign workers' pay.
Haze penalties 'too low'
IN ALL, nine MPs, Non-Constituency MPs and Nominated MPs spoke on the Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill over two days. They broadly agreed that penalties were too low compared to the size of the companies' profits and the harm caused by haze.
The penalties: up to $100,000 a day of unhealthy haze, capped at a total of $2 million.
Singapore supports prosecution if Gaza civilians were targeted
FOREIGN Minister K. Shanmugam said it is "completely unacceptable and an international crime" if civilians were being targeted in the Gaza crisis.
In such a case, Singapore would support prosecution, he added.
But he stressed the need to "look at the facts carefully", adding that both Israel and militant group Hamas have a part to play in stopping the violence.
Remove cap on CPF Minimum Sum: MP Foo
CENTRAL Provident Fund members should be allowed to set aside funds above the Minimum Sum to get larger CPF Life payouts, said Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC). But Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin replied that CPF Life focuses on the needs of lower-income Singaporeans.
MOM to look into loophole in S Pass pay
THE Manpower Ministry will look into a potential loophole that allows foreign workers to be paid low basic wages, said Minister Tan.
Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) had noted that the minimum S Pass pay of $2,200 can comprise basic pay and fixed allowances. Low basic pay means lower overtime and bonuses, making these workers "cheaper" than Singaporeans.
Home care guidelines to be done by year end
THE Health Ministry is working with home care providers to formalise guidelines for the sector, a move that would improve the overall quality of care, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.
1.32m foreign workers
SINGAPORE has 1.32 million foreign workers, most of whom work in the construction and marine sectors, Minister Tan said in a written answer.
Burden of new business regulations
THE Government realises that new business regulations are making things tough for companies, but is working to minimise their impact, said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang.
More compensation for land acquisition
LAND owners affected by government acquisition of their land will get more compensation under the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill passed yesterday.
Attorney-General can represent statutory boards
THE Attorney-General can represent two statutory boards in judicial review cases, with the passing of the Attorney-General (Additional Functions) Bill yesterday.
The duo are the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Land Authority.
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