PARLIAMENT

Law updated to boost engineering field

The law governing the work of engineers in Singapore has been updated to raise the professional standards of engineers, help Singapore engineering firms expand overseas and increase the flexibility of companies in hiring engineers.

The changes "will raise standards, help professional engineers capture overseas opportunities, and provide a more pro-enterprise environment for local professional engineering firms and contractors", Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said during the debate on the Professional Engineers (Amendment) Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Lee noted that the engineering sector has grown since 2005, when the law was last updated. The number of registered engineers has risen by 20 per cent to 3,900 while the number of licensed engineering companies has grown from 76 to more than 200.

The operating environment has also changed, said Mr Lee, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development.

The changes to the law include giving more leeway to the Professional Engineers Board to champion the profession. It will also get powers to impose a wider range of penalties including fines of up to $100,000. Currently, it can revoke the licences of engineering firms or impose fines of up to $20,000.

The updated law will also pave the way for Asean countries to recognise Singapore engineering certification, thus helping local companies expand overseas.

Four MPs spoke in support of the proposed changes. Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) said the updated law can boost the image of the engineering profession, while Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) urged the Government to continue to strengthen engineering expertise in the public sector.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Law updated to boost engineering field'. Print Edition | Subscribe