Parliament to discuss flash floods, bike-sharing and 'sugar baby' dating platform on Feb 5

Parliament to discuss flash floods, bike-sharing and 'sugar baby' dating platform on Feb 5

Channel NewsAsia·2018-02-02 19:05

Traffic along Paya Lebar affected after heavy rain. (Photo: Thomas Tan)

SINGAPORE: Issues surrounding the flash floods in Singapore last month, the errant parking of shared bicycles and a money-for-love dating platform will be on the agenda when Parliament sits on Monday (Feb 5).

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam will also be making a ministerial statement about the Government's position on the City Harvest Church ruling, and a motion to support seniors will be discussed.

Several parts of eastern Singapore were hit by flash floods on Jan 8 following intense rain, with dramatic photos and videos showing partially submerged cars and pedestrians wading in knee-deep water.

According to the Parliament order paper released on Friday, five questions on flooding have been tabled.

Workers' Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Dennis Tan Lip Fong has asked what caused the heavy flooding on Jan 8, what has been done to help those affected and what measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents. 

People's Action Party Member of Parliament (MP) Henry Kwek has asked whether flood prevention systems will prevent a recurrence of the Jan 8 floods after the completion of drainage upgrades next year.

MP Cheryl Chan Wei Ling has asked about whether works at Bedok Canal affected the Jan 8 flood at Bedok North Avenue 4. Four of the flash flood locations that day had led to Bedok Canal and are subject to tidal influence.

MP Cheng Li Hui has asked how motorists are notified of flash floods while MP Murali Pillai has queried how PUB ensures drains and canals are kept free of debris to alleviate flooding.

PUB said last month that floods at Tampines Avenue 12 on Jan 8 were aggravated by an obstructed ditch near a construction site.

Other issues on Parliament's agenda include the errant parking of bicycles. Last month 62 bikes from three bike-sharing companies were impounded for obstructing foot paths during an enforcement operation by the Land Transport Authority.

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan has been asked what can be done to address the indiscriminate parking of such bicycles and what more can be done to make bike-sharing operators clear such bikes, as well as whether there are plans to require these companies to invest in bike-docking stations.

Other issues on the agenda include questions over money-for-love online dating platform TheSugarBook, which seeks to pair wealthy individuals with "sugar babies". 

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee has been asked what his ministry's position is on the platform and whether it will be taking steps to address the "possible harm and exploitation" that its targets could be subjected to.

He has also been asked whether such platforms are legal in Singapore and what measures are in place to protect the vulnerable.

Elsewhere, MP Desmond Choo has asked about issues over the recent theft of fuel from Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery and whether petrochemical companies' security needs to be tightened.

NCMP Dennis Tan has asked whether the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau will conduct a "thorough investigation" into the business affairs of Keppel Offshore and Marine following its corruption scandal.

MPs have also posed questions on the number of road traffic accidents overseas involving Singaporeans, recent popping and cracking of floor tiles in HDB flats and cryptocurrency trading.

Several Bills will be up for debate, including the Cybersecurity Bill which is designed to empower the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore to manage and respond to cybersecurity threats.


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