Parliament Briefs: Regular police patrols in Paya Lebar area: MHA

Regular police patrols in Paya Lebar area: MHA

While the Paya Lebar area is popular among foreign workers, especially on Sundays, the foreigners "are generally law-abiding and orderly", said Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee.

Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef (Marine Parade GRC) had asked how the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is monitoring large congregations in the area.

Mr Lee said police conduct patrols at Paya Lebar MRT station and the City Plaza, 1KM and Tanjong Katong Complex malls, where they talk to foreign workers about crime prevention and remind them to abide by the law.

He added that auxiliary police officers are also deployed to conduct patrols there and take enforcement action when an individual is caught littering, urinating in public, or smoking in prohibited places.

Exam annotations not signal of a disability

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board makes annotations on students' exam certificates to reflect special arrangements for those with special needs or medical conditions.

Such arrangements may include giving the student more time to complete the exam, providing a script with enlarged print, or exempting the student from specific components of the test.

In such cases, the student's exam certificate may be annotated to reflect the special arrangements, said Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong had asked for the rationale for annotations and if the move will result in students being discriminated in future studies or employment.

Dr Faishal said the exam board annotates an exam certificate "only where there are significant modifications to the examination", and it is not meant to indicate a disability.

MOE has not come across cases of discriminatory hiring due to such annotations, he added.

AVA: Most bird-related feedback about pigeons

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has received about 21,000 cases of bird-related feedback over the past three years, most of which are related to the feeding of pigeons by the public and pigeon nuisance in general.

Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon yesterday said various government agencies are working to tackle the problem.

For example, the National Environment Agency (NEA) works with town councils and table-cleaning contractors to clear leftover food in hawker centres quickly.

But he also urged the public to play a role in curbing the bird population by keeping the overall environment clean and not feeding the birds.

NEA will take enforcement action against offenders who do not comply, he added.

Initiatives to mobilise GPs under study by MOH

While family medicine clinics have had a positive impact on the community, it has not been easy to implement them on a larger scale, said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min.

"The scalability can be a challenge because of the fact that we need to mobilise the general practitioners (GPs), who are mainly in solo practice, to come together to form a family medicine centre," Dr Lam said.

He was responding to Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC), who had asked for an update on these centres.

Dr Lam said the Ministry of Health (MOH) is looking at other initiatives to get GPs working together to provide team-based healthcare, such as primary care networks where GPs still practise at their own clinics but collaborate virtually by sharing processes, resources and other forms of support.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2017, with the headline 'Parliament Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe