Debate In 2 Minutes

Six Bills were passed during yesterday's Parliament sitting, during which MPs debated the amendments to the Women's Charter at length.

MPs also discussed topics such as petrol prices and the Cross Island Line, during question time.

'No collusion' in petrol pricing

A study by the Competition Commission of Singapore found no evidence of collusion in retail petrol pricing, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon.

The study found that in the past six years, listed prices for the octane-95 grade of petrol moved in tandem with the prices that petrol companies paid for refined petrol.

But MPs Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) and Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC) called for the relaxation of the rule that mandates fuel tanks of vehicles leaving Singapore must be at least three-quarters full, saying this would raise competition among petrol retailers here.

Cross Island Line to have about 30 stations

The 50km Cross Island Line (CRL) will be an "important" part of the MRT network, with nearly half of its 30 stations set to be interchanges, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

It will serve areas such as Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, Sin Ming, Bukit Timah, Clementi and West Coast, and support at least 600,000 trips daily, he added.

NDP at new National Stadium to cost $39.4m

It will cost $39.4 million to stage this year's National Day Parade at the new National Stadium, more than double the budget of previous parades at the Marina Bay Floating Platform. The rental cost for the venue at the Sports Hub makes up about 15 per cent of the budget, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. The larger venue will allow 275,000 people to catch the parade, double the number of spectators previously.

Changes made to Women's Charter

Divorcing couples with children younger than 21, who cannot agree on matters such as parenting arrangements, will have to go for a mandatory parenting programme.

This was among several changes to the Women's Charter, made in an amendment Bill passed yesterday.

Another change allows men who are incapacitated by illness or disability to apply for spousal maintenance.

Easier transfer to spouse's CPF account

Also passed yesterday was the Central Provident Fund (Amendment) Bill, which will make it easier to transfer funds to a spouse's CPF account, and lower the threshold for members to make claims under CPF insurance schemes.

Patrick Tay speaks up for finance sector PMEs

Amid uncertainty in the financial sector, Singapore's professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) in the finance industry must remain adaptable, resilient in the face of setbacks, and pick up new skills to stay relevant, said labour MP Patrick Tay (West Coast GRC) in an adjournment motion.

He proposed moves such as linking pre-employment courses with training programmes, to prepare students for the job even before they enter the industry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2016, with the headline Debate In 2 Minutes. Subscribe