Parliament sitting on Feb 12

The Parliament House of Singapore. The Parliament will sit next Thursday, Feb 12, at 1.30pm, the Office of the Clerk of Parliament announced on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The Parliament House of Singapore. The Parliament will sit next Thursday, Feb 12, at 1.30pm, the Office of the Clerk of Parliament announced on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Parliament will sit next Thursday, Feb 12, at 1.30pm, the Office of the Clerk of Parliament announced on Monday. 

While the agenda for the session is not yet available, there are three proposed laws that the House could debate when it next meets: on community dispute resolution; deep seabed mining; and changes to the Police Force Act. 

All three Bills were introduced in Parliament last month.

The Community Disputes Resolution Bill would establish a tribunal to hear difficult cases between neighbours.  Neighbours who are currently unable to resolve their disputes can seek help at a community mediation centre. But this is voluntary and the no-show rate is 60 per cent. 

With the tribunal, neighbours can bring the case to a judge, who has to powers to offer mandatory mediation and issue orders. 

The Deep Seabed Mining Bill aims to protect the marine environment from any harm caused by mining for minerals on the ocean floor - in line with Singapore's obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

If passed, Singaporeans and companies based here cannot mine in the open sea - which includes part of the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil that lies outside territorial waters - unless they are licensed to do so.

The last Bill proposes changes to the Police Force Act, which governs how the police are organised and disciplined. 

Among other changes, it would now be illegal for someone to use police items like badges, uniforms and car decals to falsely represent himself as an officer. The unauthorised distribution and sale of such items would also be illegal. 

Parliament is also scheduled to sit on Feb 23 when Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam will deliver the Budget Statement.