Parliament: NCMP Dennis Tan calls for lowering speed limit of PMDs from 25kmh to 15kmh

Personal mobility devices are currently allowed to travel at 25km on park connectors and shared paths.
Personal mobility devices are currently allowed to travel at 25km on park connectors and shared paths.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Lower the speed limit for personal mobility devices (PMD) to 15kmh in all areas, suggested Workers' Party Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan.

Such devices are currently allowed to travel at 25km on park connectors and shared paths. PMDs are banned from public roads. But this limit is still unsafe, said Mr Tan in Parliament Tuesday (May 15).

"I would invite the Minister (of Transport) to take a walk with me along a busy park connector and experience whether it is safe for PMDs to travel at 25kmh in a park connector, especially during the peak period," he added.

If the Government wants to promote PMDs for first and last-mile connectivity, it has to focus on building a good riding culture, which is really lacking at the moment, he said.

Mr Tan brought up accidents and near misses involving PMD users and pedestrians, as well as cyclists flouting traffic rules.

He called for more public education, enforcement and mooted the reduction of speed limits.

The NCMP, who is a maritime lawyer, focused on transport issues in his speech when debating the President's Address.

As the Government plans for the expansion of the rail network, it has to keep in mind the lessons learnt from various issues that have plagued the rail network in recent years, he said.

"Regardless of whether the Government may think that the worst of our rail unreliability and frequent train disruptions may be over, we must not forget the lessons learnt from the poor maintenance management, the poor planning of our rail system and infrastructure or the impact of train delays on our economy and commuters," he said.

These lessons are a reminder to get the planning, equipment, infrastructure and work ethos right from the start, added Mr Tan. He also urged the Government to design additional capacity into future rail lines, to cater to future demand.

Beyond transport, other MPs also gave their views and suggestions in response to the call for bold changes by President Halimah Yacob last week.

Several raised the topics of industry transformation and the Government's efforts in preparing Singaporeans for a digital economy.

Labour MP Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC) highlighted how industry transformation maps (ITM) lay a blueprint for the jobs of the future, but do not touch on jobs that are at risk of becoming obsolete.

"We need to distil each ITM and articulate what it means to the individual worker. We need every worker to understand where the future lies for him or her. At the same time, we need to excite the next generation of workers," said Mr Yong, who is also NTUC assistant secretary-general.

Labour MP Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) called for employers to emulate progressive firms such as fashion label Gap, coffee chain Starbucks and American retail chain Walmart, who went beyond "token pay raises" to boost morale of their workers.

Instead, they gave better pay packages and generous worker benefits, and focused on creating a more positive work environment, said Mr Zainal.

"When workers are happy at work, they become walking ambassadors for these companies, often going beyond the call of service to do a good job," he said.

Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson) called for Singaporeans to play a part in adopting smart nation initiatives, but added that the Government must also do more to "shepherd, and if need be, dictate certain technical parameters and solutions" in the push for greater adoption of contactless payments, or e-payments.

She narrated an encounter with a drinks stall owner who hid the e-payment machine in a drawer, despite the benefits of going cashless such as incentives and the lack of a transaction fee. She had preferred to stick to cash as it had never failed her, whereas e-payments consumed electricity and were inconvenient, Ms Tin said.

Her example illustrates that the transformation to a Smart Nation will not be easy, Ms Tin added. "It has to be a national effort, not just the work of the government. It will require all Singaporeans to contribute actively with their ideas and efforts."