Sembawang Members of Parliament (MPs) will step up to fill in for Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and the Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan who is currently on medical leave due to a fractured arm.
Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) MP Amrin Amin told Channel NewsAsia that the other Sembawang MPs will pitch in in the meantime. Mr Amin was speaking at a Meet-the-People (MPS) session for Mr Khaw on February 25, Monday, at Block 789 Woodlands Avenue 6.
“We work as a team so in Minister Khaw’s absence Sembawang GRC MPs will take turns and we are supported by a strong team of activists here who have been working with him for many, many years.
The 66-year-old Transport Minister injured his arm in a fall sometime last week, though specific details concerning the accident are unknown.
News of Mr Khaw’s accident was made public when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a statement, saying that the Transport Minister would be on extended medical leave, most likely for a period of several weeks.
He is currently confined to the hospital and is scheduled for surgery in the next few days.
The statement from the PMO also said that Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, has been appointed as Acting Minister for Transport in the interim, which “ensures that the ongoing discussions with Malaysia on several transport matters will continue to be well coordinated.”
Dr Balakrishnan has stepped up to assume some of the Transport Minister’s responsibilities in order to continue discussions with Malaysia over matters pertaining to transport.
In January, Mr Khaw met in Singapore with Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, to talk about airspace and aviation issues that have currently beset the two countries. A few weeks before this, the Foreign Affairs Minister also met with his Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah.
Dr. Balakrishnan and Mr. Saifuddin have both pressed for more discussions between Singapore and Malaysia in order for solutions to be found for bilateral issues that have arisen especially after Dr. Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, returned to power in May 2018.
Additionally, the statement from the PMO also said that other officials would assist Dr Balakrishnan for other transport matters and in the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament, which is expected to resume on Tuesday, February 26, namely Senior Minister of State Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Mr Baey Yam Keng.
On Mr Amrin’s part, he said that his fellow Sembawang MPs will take turns with community duties while Mr Khaw is in recovery for his injury. The other MPs under Sembawang GRC are Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education; and Vikram Nair and Lim Wee Kiak.
According to Mr Amrin, the Transport Minister is “recovering well” and that they communicate regularly with him.
He said, “I think we’ll manage. In times like this, we all have to pitch in and I think that is what it means to work as a team. We’ll get through this.”