Singapore—On Sunday (Jan 31), the Workers’ Party (WP) gave the public a preview into the topics the party’s Members of Parliament will be discussing the following day, which include Dover Forest, the Covid-19 vaccine, and gender-based discrimination in schools.
Regarding Covid-19 vaccines, three WP MPs will be tackling the subject: Dennis Tan (Hougang SMC), Gerald Giam and Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC).
Mr Tan will ask the Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong, questions related to the spate of deaths among the elderly in Norway who received the vaccine and how this relates to the elderly in Singapore, specifically whether more precautions should be taken.
It was reported in the second week of January that over 30 older people died in Norway after getting the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the same vaccine being used in Singapore.
However, by Jan 19 and 22 respectively, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) released statements saying there was no evidence that the vaccine was linked to the deaths. These deaths said to be were “in line with expectations” as an estimated 45 elderly people die in Norway daily.
Mr Giam will ask questions regarding the order of priority for vaccination groups and whether or not Singaporeans who are scheduled to travel overseas for studies or essential business can be prioritised for vaccinations.
Finally, Mr Perera will ask questions concerning the timeline and measures to educate migrant workers concerning the vaccine.
As for gender-based discrimination in schools, some questions will be posed by Ms He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC).
The Ministry of Education (MOE) came under criticism last month after a transgender student named Ashlee claimed that the ministry blocked her from receiving hormone therapy.
Since then, the issue has remained in the news, with different groups calling on the MOE to look into the issue of gender policing in schools.
Last Tuesday (Jan 26), three people protesting in support of LGBTQ+ students were arrested outside the Ministry of Education (MOE) building in Buona Vista.
Ms He will ask Ong Ye Kung, the Minister of Education, what MOE’s policies and guidelines are on students with gender dysphoria, such as Ashlee.
The Sengkang MP will also ask questions concerning the support transgender teens receive at school, and what kind of training school staff receive in such instances.
As for Dover Forest, which has been in the news lately after the Nature Society of Singapore’s Conservation Committee called for the 33-hectare forest area to be set apart as a nature park instead of for residential development, Mr Tan and Ms He will also be asking questions.
Mr Tan will ask the Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, about the Environment Baseline Study for the Dover Forest. He will ask if the public consultation period can be extended and whether or not the results of the study can be published.
Ms He, on the over hand, will ask what steps are being proposed to address the loss of biodiversity and habitat of endangered and rare species if Dover Forest is to be used as residential land, among other questions.
Aside from these topics, Mr Tan, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap (Aljunied GRC) and Dr Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC) will also be asking questions in Parliament related to the economy and housing.
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