Here are 6 things you might have missed in Parliament 


With over a dozen PAP MPs raising questions and a motion over the escalating humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, the Israel-Hamas conflict took centre stage in Parliament this week. But besides foreign policy and an intense cost of living debate, here are six other issues our MPs have raised, continuing in their efforts to provide diverse voices and speak up for the underserved.  

Uplifting workers with real-wage growth

Given the rising cost of living, MPs Mr Edward Chia (Holland–Bukit Timah GRC) and Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC) are rightly concerned that the incomes of Singaporeans can keep pace with inflation. 

In response, Senior Minister of State (SMS) Zaqy Mohamad shared that Industry Transformation Maps will help raise productivity to sustain real income growth. Additionally, the government has paid extra attention to uplift lower-wage workers, achieved by expanding the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) to more industries and co-funding wage increases through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, added SMS Zaqy.   

Balancing wildlife management with public safety  

Animal lovers were angst when NParks decided to put down a saltwater crocodile spotted near East Coast Park. In light of the incident, MP Ms Nadia Samdin (Ang Mo Kio GRC) asked if there were any other options available, one that does not involve killing our wildlife. 

Unfortunately, saltwater crocodiles are apex predators and opportunistic feeders, shared Minister of State (MOS) Tan Kiat How in his reply. With no feasible option to relocate or rehome the crocodile in this instance, it had to be euthanised as a last resort due to public safety, added MOS Tan.  

Housing transgender inmates and ensuring their safety 

Considering the case of a transgender rapist housed in an all-female jail before being moved to a male one in Scotland. Even though the issue is a continent away, how do prisons in Singapore plan on housing its transgender inmates?  

Responding to MP Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok SMC), Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam shared that inmates will continue to be housed based on their registered sex instead of their self-identified one. However, in situations for inmates who are transitioning, they will be housed in individual cells or a shared one with others in the same situation. The priority, noted Minister Shanmugam, is the safety of all prisoners. 

Protecting seniors from scams

The Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF) provides payouts to victims of phishing scams should financial institutions and telecommunication companies breach their duties, said MOS Alvin Tan.  

In addition, having encountered elderly residents losing their life savings to phishing, malware and deep fake scams, MP Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) wants better protection for our seniors, especially those unfamiliar with digital tokens. “Elderly customers with limited digital literacy are placed in a potentially invidious position when their bank phased out the use of physical hardware tokens,” noted MP Tan. Acknowledging the danger, MOS Tan assured us that the government will work with banks to ensure that consumers requesting a physical token can receive it with minimal friction.  

Moderating COE prices and building a car-lite city 

With the continued rise in Certificates of Entitlement (COE) prices, anxiety is mounting. For those who need a car to ferry their dependents or use it to make a living, there is real fear of being priced out of it in the near future.

Responding to MPs, including Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Bukit Panjang SMC), who asked if there are measures to moderate further increases in prices, Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat shared that more COEs will be brought forward from the peak years to fill the current troughs in a “cut-and-fill” approach. But considering how it is hardly tenable for our vehicle population to keep increasing, building an accessible and inclusive transport system that meets the needs of all Singaporeans will continue to be the PAP Government’s goal.  

Ensuring affordability and variety of lower-sodium options  

Many Asian dishes are heavy on sauces and seasonings. But now that there is greater awareness to lower our sodium intake, how can we ensure alternatives do not lead to increased business overhead costs and higher food prices, asked MP Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC)?  

In reply, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) Rahayu Mahzam shared that through government grants to re-formulate their products, 15 major manufacturers and food operators are working to increase the variety and demand for lower-sodium ingredients. With more choices available, opting for a healthier option need not burn a hole in our pockets. 

As we work towards a shared future, Singaporeans can rest assured that PAP MPs will continue to be their voice in Parliament and champion causes to build a more caring and inclusive society. 

Photo Source: Visit Singapore/ Dr Tan Wu Meng/ Chee Hong Tat/ Zaqy Mohamad via Facebook