Want to donate extra food? Louis Ng has a Bill to help you help others.

08/04/2024
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About 2.5 million hearty plates of chicken rice, or 813,000 tonnes. That is the weight of the food waste which Singapore generated in 2022.  

Our MP Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) is leading efforts to reduce this figure and help feed less well-off Singaporeans with his proposed Good Samaritan Food Donation Private Member’s Bill.  

This Bill is timely. 2022’s food wastage is up from the 763,000 tonnes discarded five years earlier and unsustainable for a country which imports 90 per cent of its food

“This proposed Bill addresses the concerns and provides legal support to organisations that want to reduce waste and tackle our rampant throwaway culture,” said MP Ng, who shared details of the draft Bill with the public at City Square Mall this past Thursday night (Apr 4). 

The Bill protects food donors from liability if someone gets harmed after eating their food. Of course, food donors must comply with food safety and hygiene conditions in order to enjoy the liability waiver. 

So this Bill encourages food donations. That means less waste. That means more food redistributed to food-insecure communities.  

A Bill in step with ground concerns 

MP Ng’s Bill proposal also comes in an environment where businesses and organisations only donate if there is an indemnity form. Basically, if I donate, then someone kena food poisoning, then sue me, then how?

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Source: Louis Ng / Facebook 

Briefly, with this Bill, food donors just need to make sure that their food is safe to eat at the point of handover as well as to tell the recipient how to properly handle and when to consume the food. 

These donors must also follow food safety and hygiene laws when handling the food. 

So these conditions address donor concerns; they were developed alongside stakeholders like the Restaurant Association of Singapore, BreadTalk, Ya Kun International, NTUC FairPrice and Food from the Heart, who are all on board with the Bill. 

A Committee of other PAP MPs, including Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC), Edward Chia (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) and Hany Soh (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC), drafted this Bill too.  

Alongside MP Ng, they have worked since September 2020 to find out ground and stakeholder sentiments. This includes listening to seven months of public consultations and surveys. 

“Working directly through public feedback and extensive consultations with stakeholders have allowed the team to identify the most pressing concern. We are one step closer to a greener and less wasteful Singapore, said MP Ng. 

Coming up next, MP Ng and the rest of the Committee will present this Bill to Parliament in the second half of 2024. It is MP Ng’s second Private Member’s Bill following how he took action for protecting wild animals and birds in March 2020.  

This listening to other Singaporeans as well as the drafting and redrafting of the Bill was a long process. It is for a worthwhile cause, though taking action on a large waste footprint and giving more food security for our fellow Singaporeans is a valuable addition to Singapore’s plate.