10 MPs to ask Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan about MRT tunnel flooding incident in Parliament

The MPs will pose questions on a range of issues on the tunnel flooding incident, from water pump systems to maintenance regimes and rainfall. PHOTO: ST READER

SINGAPORE - The flooding of an MRT tunnel last month which crippled the North-South line for 20 hours has prompted a rare deluge of MPs to ask the Government to account for the episode, among other issues, when Parliament sits next week.

Ten MPs from both sides of the House will ask Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan what caused the incident, and how to prevent it from happening again. Their questions will be answered on Tuesday.

As this session is likely the last time Parliament will sit this year, MPs will debate a bumper crop of seven laws.

These laws will govern the upcoming railway links with Malaysia, changes to the Central Provident Fund, measures to enhance workplace safety and health as well as raise the smoking age, and tighter regulation of massage parlours, travel agents, and the sale of food.

Another seven proposed laws will be introduced for debate at the next sitting, according to Parliament's official agenda released on Friday (Nov 3).

The MPs will pose questions on a range of issues on the tunnel flooding incident, from water pump systems to maintenance regimes and rainfall.

Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) will ask if a committee of inquiry will be appointed to review the MRT tunnel flooding incident, which affected a quarter of a million commuters.

MPs will ask how to prevent a similar incident from happening again, for instance in other sections of the MRT where there are tunnel openings, like Lavender-Kallang, Redhill-Tiong Bahru, Kembangan-Bedok and Expo-Changi.

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) will ask Mr Khaw what SMRT's "deep-seated cultural issues" are.

SMRT group chief executive Desmond Kuek had said at a press conference that these issues remained, despite progress on instilling a positive work culture.

Also on the agenda is how the recent announcement of zero growth in cars and motorcycles by next February will affect Singaporeans.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) will ask if the public transport system is prepared for more passengers who would otherwise have used cars.

Meanwhile, Mr Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC) wants to know how the move will affect e-commerce businesses relying on these vehicles.

Ms Intan Mokhtar and Mr Ang Hin Kee (both Ang Mo Kio GRC) will ask about plans to recruit more local mother tongue language teachers for young children. Four MPs also want to know about the causes of the smoky chemical smells reported in parts of Singapore at the end of September.

Mr Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC) will also speak for up to 20 minutes on the future of National Service, after four unsuccessful attempts to do so since July.

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