PMDs and fake news law are among issues MPs will raise in Parliament on Monday

A man riding an electronic scooter crosses over from a footpath with a sign indicating the PMD ban on footpaths, to a cycling path, along Jurong East St 31, on Dec 17, 2019.
A man riding an electronic scooter crosses over from a footpath with a sign indicating the PMD ban on footpaths, to a cycling path, along Jurong East St 31, on Dec 17, 2019.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - MPs will seek greater clarity on the issue of active mobility and personal mobility devices (PMDs) when Parliament sits on Monday (Jan 6).

The questions four MPs have filed were on cycling paths and footpaths, e-scooters and electric bicycles, as well as food delivery riders, according to the agenda for the sitting - or Order Paper - issued by the Clerk of Parliament on Friday (Jan 3).

These include whether there are plans to regulate electric bicycle use on roads, how many more kilometres of cycling paths will be built by year's end and whether there are measures to ensure the increase in electric bike riders as a result of the PMD ban will not lead to more accidents, or road traffic and active mobility offences.

Their questions follow the implementation on New Year's Day of the Land Transport Authority's zero-tolerance stance on PMDs on footpaths.

The footpath ban kicked in on Nov 5 following a series of e-scooter-related accidents but until New Year's Eve, the authorities had been issuing warnings to errant riders.

Under the new rules, e-scooters, which had been banned on roads previously, are now confined to cycling paths.

Other issues MPs will raise include the application of Singapore's fake news law and the Ministry of Education's policy on withholding results slip from students who have not paid in full their school fees.

Nominated MP Anthea Ong has filed two questions for the Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran on the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma).

She wants to know how the threshold of public interest is determined and measured in the case of online falsehoods, whether the Ministry of Communications and Information will consider creating a central listing of all issued directions on the Pofma website, and what steps are being taken to maintain public trust in the light of perceptions of a partisan political bias over recent applications of the law.

Dr Teo Ho Pin (Bukit Panjang) and Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) have filed questions for Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, asking how many students' results slips have been withheld by schools in the last few years and whether the Education Ministry will review the practice.

Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh's (Aljunied GRC) question for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is whether the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has completed its deliberations and when its report will be released to the public.

Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) and Mr Ong Teng Koon (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC) will raise the issue of cat ownership in Housing Board flats.

Seven Bills will also be introduced at Monday's session.

They include the Transport Ministry's new Bill on the control and licensing of shared mobility enterprises, which may include bike- and car-sharing firms, as well as amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act and the Active Mobility Act.

The Law Ministry's new Bill is on the Singapore Convention on Mediation, an international treaty named after Singapore that was signed by 46 countries in August last year, plus an amendment to the Geographical Indications Act.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources will file amendments to the Hazardous Waste (Control of Export, Import and Transit) Act and the National Environment Agency Act.

Three Bills are up for debate, including the Health Ministry's Healthcare Services Bill that would replace the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act.

The new law has a wider scope that includes traditional medicine, allied healthcare such as physiotherapy, as well as complementary and alternative medicine to reflect changes in the healthcare scene.