From The Backbench

Ease curbs for those vaccinated and set up more travel bubbles, say MPs

Mr Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC) and Ms Mariam Jaafar (Sembawang GRC).
Mr Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC) and Ms Mariam Jaafar (Sembawang GRC).PHOTOS: GOV.SG

Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC)

Ease curbs for those vaccinated

To encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 when their turn comes, Mr Nair suggested easing restrictions for those who have received the jab.

This could include allowing people to meet in larger groups if all of them are vaccinated, offices where all staff are vaccinated to operate normally, and individuals to have fewer restrictions when travelling, he said.

Mr Nair added that while vaccinations are optional and can remain so, such "tangible, immediate" benefits are gentle ways to nudge people into getting vaccinated.

Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (Chua Chu Kang GRC)

Set up more travel bubbles

Singapore should set up more travel bubbles with strategic partners as the global Covid-19 situation improves, given how its economy depends heavily on international trade, said Mr Zhulkarnain.

Such arrangements will promote more business travel and encourage more Singaporeans to take advantage of opportunities overseas.

"It would also allow the flow of people and reconnection of families who have been kept apart in this pandemic," he said.

Singapore's lone travel bubble, with Hong Kong, is still under suspension.

Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC)

Call to optimise bus routes

Reviewing bus routes could make public transport more efficient and sustainable, said Mr Ang, who noted that many services duplicate MRT routes.

"It is better for bus services to connect people to the train stations within a town, that is, for first and last-mile connections, while it is more efficient to travel between towns using the MRT," he said.

Citing the example of the Central Business District (CBD) where most buildings are within 400m of an MRT station, Mr Ang suggested having bus services stop at MRT station bus stops just outside the district, and that dedicated feeder bus services be set up within the CBD.

Such a relook could reduce the number of buses, which can help to reduce air pollution, he added.

Mariam Jaafar (Sembawang GRC)

Help developing nations fight climate change

As Singapore makes strides in mitigating the effects of climate change, it can also help developing countries to do the same, said Ms Mariam.

Developed countries have been able to mitigate their emissions partly because global manufacturing has migrated to emerging markets that have invested heavily in energy, she said, adding that developing nations bear the brunt of climate change's impact and exhibit the highest emissions intensities.

"Many emerging markets will need help - aid, debt assistance, technical assistance. Singapore can advocate for their voices to be heard... get them help from the advanced economies," she said.