Parliament briefs : Mental health of maids

The new airport development fund is expected to get an initial sum of $3 billion.
The new airport development fund is expected to get an initial sum of $3 billion.ST FILE PHOTO

Mental health of maids

Mental health checks for foreign maids are available at hospitals, the Institute of Mental Health and private specialist clinics, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor said.

But they are not mandatory as they are "time-consuming, costly and not always foolproof", she said in reply to Nominated MP Kuik Shiao-Yin.

However, domestic workers have to go for a medical screening every six months, and doctors will raise concerns should they arise.

Training and guidebooks for workers and employers provide information on mental well-being and stress management, she added.

No new anti-doping law

Singapore will ensure its anti-doping practices are in line with global standards against the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, but there is no need for further legislation, Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong said. New testing requirements under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code can be introduced under current laws, he said in reply to Nominated MP Benedict Tan.

Dr Tan also asked how doping among bodybuilders and gym users can be prevented. Mr Wong said Anti-Doping Singapore would ensure mechanisms are in place for bodybuilding, even though the sport has been dropped by the Singapore National Olympic Council.

Public education could be stepped up for recreational gym users, he added, but said: "I'm not sure that we want to go in to start policing or administering anti-doping tests at the private gyms all over Singapore."

Trade fair funds

About 40 trade fairs were organised by the Citizens Consultative Committees every year in the last three years. Held for between 16 and 32 days, two-thirds of these fairs earn a revenue of $10,000 to $100,000, People's Association (PA) deputy chairman Lim Swee Say said in a written reply to Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC).

The remaining fairs received revenues of between $100,000 and $350,000, with the exception of the Geylang Serai Trade Fair held during Ramadan. It drew between $900,000 and $1.3 million a year.

The funds raised are used for welfare assistance, scholarships and bursaries, among others. But their use is subject to good governance, and must comply with the PA's financial rules, Mr Lim added.

Airport development fund

A development fund for major airport projects such as Terminal 5 will be set up under an amendment to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) Bill passed yesterday.

The Changi Airport Development Fund (CADF) will be administered by the CAAS, and is expected to receive an initial sum of $3 billion.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said the Terminal 5 expansion will require a "sizeable, long-term financial commitment" by the Government, given its complexity and scale.

The CADF enables funds to be set aside while the Government has the fiscal resources.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'ParliamentBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe