Parliament shorts : Coloured powder review

A participant getting splashed with green-coloured powder during the Colour Run held last August.
A participant getting splashed with green-coloured powder during the Colour Run held last August. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Coloured powder review

The authorities will assess the hazards posed by the use of coloured powder at next month's Colour Run event, and may impose additional measures to manage safety risks, Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran said.

Last month, coloured powder sprayed on a crowd at a water park in Taiwan ignited, claiming three lives and leaving more than 500 injured, including one Singaporean.

Mr Iswaran said the Colour Run in Singapore, slated for Aug 22 and 23, will need a public entertainment licence and a permit for a temporary stage. If necessary, the police may also impose additional conditions to manage safety risks. "This may include replacing combustible powder with non-combustible materials such as water mist, limiting the powder dispersal zone, disallowing sources of ignition within a certain radius, or prohibiting the discharge of powder at mass congregation areas such as the end point of the run," he added.

Punished for failure to declare address change

In the last three years, 61 individuals were convicted of failing to inform the authorities within 28 days that their place of residence had changed. Those caught had typically committed the offence to further other crimes, Mr Iswaran said.

Anyone found dishonestly using an outdated address to secure a licensed loan can be punished under the Penal Code, and police will act firmly against borrowers who obtain unlicensed loans with outdated addresses. Under the Moneylenders Act, they can face up to a year's jail.

Move-on orders useful

Police have issued 20 move-on orders since the Public Order Act was enacted in 2009, said Mr Iswaran. Of these, 19 subjects had complied with the order, which compels a person to move on and refrain from returning to the area for 24 hours if police determine he is about to break the law. Only one subject failed to comply and was then arrested.

This power has proven to be a useful way for police to "pre-emptively de-escalate" potential public order situations and stop other potentially illegal actions without effecting arrests.

Maritime Offences Act amended

Hijacking or threatening the safety of offshore fixed platforms such as oil rigs is now an offence here, even if the acts are committed outside Singapore's territorial waters.

The amendment to the Maritime Offences Act brings the law in line with provisions uder the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms, a multilateral treaty Singapore plans to sign. The change will let enforcement agencies protect Singaporeans on such platforms and help other countries whose platforms and people have been harmed in such attacks, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo. It also provides for extradition of offenders.

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'ParliamentShorts'. Print Edition | Subscribe