ON THE AGENDA
Health-care costs and jobs were some issues raised by 17 MPs on the second day of the debate on the President's Address. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Senior Minister of State for Manpower Amy Khor also spoke on ageing and the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
Masterplan to help seniors
A national masterplan to help seniors live meaningful lives is due to be ready by next year, when Singapore turns 50.
It will include making the workplace more welcoming for them and better support for multi-generation families in housing and care services, said Mr Gan.
MediShield Life premiums
Premiums for the new MediShield Life, which covers every Singaporean for life, are due to be announced next month.
The MediShield review committee's other recommendations will not be ready by the end of this month, as announced earlier.
CPF ideas to be considered Dr Khor promised to consider MPs' ideas to further raise older workers' CPF contribution rates, link payouts to inflation and find better ways for the elderly to unlock the value of their flats.
On hiring Singaporeans
Forcing bosses to hire Singaporeans who may not have the right skills as professionals, managers and executives could hurt Singaporeans if firms ship out because they cannot meet their staffing needs, warned Dr Khor in response to Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC).
Ms Foo clarified that she meant Singaporeans with the right skills should get the first pick of jobs.
More data for citizens
Citizens must be empowered and given data to build a technology-driven Smart Nation, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan.
'Don't politicise health care' Dr Janil Puthucheary (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) said Singapore has achieved good health-care outcomes but some choose to stir anxiety and fear by telling selected stories of instances when things have gone wrong. He warned against politicising an important issue like health care, saying it could hurt the health of the nation.
'Govt passed on risks in policies' Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam said the Government has passed on risks to Singaporeans in its public transport, CPF and health-care insurance policies.
Constructive politics, Part 2
Workers' Party MPs and Nominated MP Laurence Lien said constructive politics should involve everyone in society. PAP MPs stressed the importance of keeping debates civil and informed.
Call to scrap elected presidency
Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) wants the elected presidency scrapped now that there are more vocal PAP backbenchers and an increased opposition presence in the House.
She worries about the President's powers, the admission of candidates with lower credentials, and the presidential election campaign dividing the country.
The debate continues today.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.