The National Environment Agency (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill was passed in parliament today. All Members of Parliament from the Worker’s Party objected to clause 5 of the amendment bill.
Clause 5 of the amendment bill empowers community volunteers to be appointed as axillary officers, which gives them enforcement powers to act on violation such as littering.
NCMP Daniel Goh said that such powers vested in the community volunteers will result in a slippery slope towards a police state where neighbour prey on each other. “It goes against the very spirit of involving community volunteers…it will undermine community ownership of these important issues in the long run.” (full text of speech HERE)
MP for Aljunied GRC, Pritam Singh, voiced his objection saying, “It can be construed by non-volunteer neighbours as blatant favouritism or worse, as an attempt by some volunteers to create power or patronage network” (full text of Speech HERE)
While MP for Hougang SMC, Png Eng Huat, pointed out that the amendment Bill “has the potential to make such disputes end in violence.” (full text of Speech HERE)
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