The debate in 2 minutes



PARLIAMENT sat yesterday for a session that saw the swearing in of nine new Nominated Members of Parliament, and the first part of a debate on recommendations by the Aspire committee to improve ITE and polytechnic vocational education, which is due to continue today.

Changes to the Road Traffic Act were also debated and passed, and eight new Bills were introduced, including one to outlaw online gambling.

NMPs sworn in

THE new batch of nine NMPs were sworn in yesterday in a ceremony marking the start of their 21/2-year term.

Taking their oaths of allegiance at the start of the sitting, they pledged to uphold and protect the Constitution.

Low risk of Ebola

THERE is low risk of the deadly Ebola virus spreading to Singapore as few travellers from the affected West African countries arrive here each month, said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min.

Nonetheless, Tan Tock Seng Hospital has been earmarked to handle suspected cases in the event of an outbreak.

Lease valuation explained

A FLAT owner who joins the Lease Buyback Scheme will find that the lease he retains is worth more than the lease he sells back, even though the number of years for each is the same.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said this is because a property's value does not fall at a steady rate.

Trend of short-term home rentals to be monitored

THE Government will monitor the growing phenomenon of home owners offering their residences for short stays of less than six months, such as on sites like Airbnb, and which is against the law, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan.

Illegal to hold mobile phones while driving from February

DRIVING with a mobile phone or communication device in one hand will be illegal starting from next February, with changes to the Road Traffic Act passed in Parliament yesterday.

Offenders can be fined, given demerit points and jailed if convicted in court.

Driving test for foreign workers

WORK permit and S-pass holders hired for driving jobs will have to pass a practical test if they want to operate small buses and mini-vans from June next year.

Bill against online gambling

A BILL was tabled to make online gambling a criminal offence and give the authorities more power to fight the growing addiction.

Under the Remote Gambling Bill, payments made to remote gambling websites could be blocked and access to such sites turned off. Gamblers can also be jailed up to six months or fined up to $5,000, while the agents helping gambling websites can be hit even harder.

Other new Bills introduced

SEVEN other new Bills were also introduced.

Among them are the Companies (Amendment) Bill that is aimed at easing the regulatory burden for small companies, and the Education Endowment and Savings Schemes (Amendment) Bill that will extend the Edusave scheme to students in madrasahs, among others.

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