Quick takes from Parliament, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Quick takes from Parliament

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S'pore to match 
M'sia's road charge

Singapore will match the RM20 (S$6.40) road charge that Malaysia has imposed on foreign vehicles since Nov 1 last year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament yesterday.

He also said drivers of Singapore-registered vehicles entering Malaysia via Woodlands and Tuas paid an estimated RM13.9 million (S$4.5 million) in road charges between Nov 1 and Dec 20.

Changes to 
Presidential Elections Act

Presidential hopefuls will get more time to submit their papers, and the committee that decides if they qualify to run for office will have more time to vet the applications as well.

These are two of the changes to the Presidential Elections Act proposed in Parliament yesterday.

The deadline to apply for a certificate of eligibility will be extended to five days after the Writ of Election is issued, up from three days. Additionally, Nomination Day will be at least 10 days after the Prime Minister issues the Writ of Election, up from five days.

MPs will debate the amendments when Parliament sits next month, and they are likely to pass the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill in time for the upcoming election, which is due by the end August.

Two more maids sent home

Two more radicalised foreign domestic workers were sent home between Dec 18 and Jan 9. In all, seven foreign maids have been radicalised and repatriated in the past two years, said Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in a written reply to a parliamentary question yesterday.

All seven maids were radicalised through the Internet, said Mr Shanmugam.

He added that their presence here "posed a security concern" and they were repatriated to their home countries.

New law to better 
protect retail investors

Parliament passed a law with stringent safeguards that will help ensure that unaware or illiquid retail investors are not inadvertently exposed to risky financial products.

The changes to the Securities and Futures Act will also allow the Monetary Authority of Singapore to designate the Singapore interbank offered rate and the swap offer rate. This means the central bank will regulate the entities that manage these key financial benchmarks to ensure a credible rate-setting process.

Telcos' resilience is of international standard

Singapore's telco networks are as resilient as those of their international counterparts, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim in Parliament yesterday.

He cited how Singtel and StarHub's broadband networks were available more than 99.9 per cent of the time in the past year, as required by regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority.

In recent months, both Singtel and StarHub suffered outages, prompting MPs to question the resiliency of their networks, including towards cyber attacks.