Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan will be asked to account for the flooding of an MRT tunnel on 7 Oct that caused a 20-hour service breakdown on the North-South line, when parliament convenes on Tuesday.
Both People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarians and Workers’ Party (WP) parliamentarians will question the Minister on a range of issues related to the flooding incident, from maintenance regimes, how to prevent such an incident from happening in the future, and whether a committee of inquiry will be appointed to review the incident.
The 10 Members of Parliament (MPs) who are set to question Khaw on the incident, which affected a quarter of a million commuters, are:
Choa Chu Kang GRC MP, Zaqy Mohamad
Ang Mo Kio GRC MP, Gan Thiam Poh
Jurong GRC MP, Tan Wu Meng
Nee Soon GRC MP, Lee Bee Wah
Tampines GRC MP, Cheng Li Hui
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP, Christopher de Souza
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP, Liang Eng Hwa
Aljunied GRC MP, Pritam Singh
NCMP Dennis Tan Lip Fong
NCMP Daniel Goh
Both NCMPs who will grill Khaw and Aljunied GRC MP Singh are from the WP, while the remaining MPs are from the ruling party.
WP MP Pritam Singh and PAP MP Christopher de Souza will ask for clarification about what SMRT’s “deep-seated cultural issues” are.
The MPs will be referring to SMRT group CEO Desmond Kuek’s comments at a recent press conference that despite progress, “there remain some deep-seated cultural issues within the company that has needed more time than anticipated to root out.”
Besides this, Khaw will also be questioned on LTA’s recent announcement that it will slash car and motorcycle growth to 0% from the current 0.25% shortly.
According to Parliament’s official agenda, that was released yesterday, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Saktiandi Supaat will ask if the public transport system is prepared for more passengers who would otherwise have used cars, while Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo will seek an explanation about how the growth cut will affect e-commerce businesses relying on cars and bikes.
As the next parliamentary sitting will likely be the last session of the year, parliament’s agenda reflects that several issues will be tabled before the House concludes 2017.
The issues that will be raised include laws governing the upcoming railway links with Malaysia, changes to the CPF scheme, raising the smoking age, measures to enhance workplace safety and health, plans to recruit more mother tongue teachers for young children, and stricter regulation of travel agents, massage parlours, and the sale of food.
Four MPs will also seek clarification about what caused the smoky chemical smells reported in parts of Singapore at the end of September.
Following four unsuccessful attempts to do so, Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair will finally raise a motion on the future of National Service, as well.