Latest speeches by Workers’ Party
Members of Parliament in 13th Parliament

  • Parliamentary Q&A for September 2019 Sitting
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Dennis Tan, Leon Perera, Parliament2019, Parliamentary Questions, pritam singh, sylvia lim
    HIRING, DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING SINGAPOREAN CORE Pritam Singh asked if the Government had an initiative to increase the number of Singaporeans hired under the Tech@SG programme, similar to the initiative for the financial sector previously. Chan Chun Sing replied that as the Government continued to bring in people and experts who...
  • Workplace Injury Compensation (Amendment) Bill – Speech by Chen Show Mao
    13thParliament, chen show mao, Parliament2019
    (Delivered on 3 September 2019) Mr Speaker, I support the extension of WICA coverage to a larger group of workers as proposed by the bill and urge continuing efforts by the Ministry to afford comparable protection to the more vulnerable workers currently excluded from WICA coverage because they are classified as...
  • CareShield Life and Long Term Care Bill – Speech by Chen Show Mao
    13thParliament, chen show mao, Parliament2019
    (Delivered on 2 September 2019) 议长先生, 在协助新加坡人为长期护理需求做好准备方面,今天议论的终身护保计划法案是朝着正确方向迈出的一步。 人说养儿防老。在今天的新加坡,养老单单靠孩子显然是不够的。在人口老龄化的明天,养老的挑战应该是更严峻的。去年国会议论终身护保计划委员会报告时,我说过计划本身能自我持续,但是落实计划的细节,还是需要积极的规划和进行的。举个例子,如何援助付不起保费的国人,将他们纳入计划内,不让落于人后,需要落实。这点,今天的法案做到了。 议长先生, 为什么说终身护保是朝着正确方向迈出的一步?我们的社会政策,正确的方向该是朝哪?我们的愿景是什么?大道之行,人不独亲其亲,不独子其子,使老有所终,废疾者有所养。凭着风险的分担,我们集合了大家的力量来关心无法自理的老人及残障人士。凭着风险的分担,我们才能以相对低的、大家付得起的保费买得到相对高的、在需要时起得了作用的赔付额。今天的法案为我们的愿景提供了一个合理可行的部分框架,以求使老有所终,废疾者有所养。但是法案以外配套的工作,还是需要积极的规划和进行的。像什么?如老人家因为衰老、中风或失智等原因而无法进行六项日常活动其中三项,也就是(冲凉、吃饭、换衣服、上厕所、室内走动、下床坐上椅子或轮椅)其中三项做不来,即可在计划下提出索偿,终身每个月获得现金600元来应付中长期护理费,直到康复为止。 可是,议长先生,600元能多买几斤中长期护理?家庭护理,全职护理女佣、疗养院、社区里的日间护理设施 还是其它的安排 -- 口袋里有600元,可外头有足够合适的选择吗?又合适的选择价钱合理、需要它的人都能承担吗?议长先生,我们还有可继续迈出的下一步。
  • Work Injury Compensation Bill – Speech by Pritam Singh
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, pritam singh
    (Delivered on 3 September 2019) Introduction Sir, the Work Injury Compensation Act or WICA is a critical piece of social legislation for all local and foreign workers in Singapore. Previously known as Workmen’s Compensation, the concept of providing compensation against workplace injuries via legislative fiat dates back to the late 19th...
  • Resource Sustainability Bill - Speech by Dennis Tan Lip Fong
    13thParliament, Budget 2019, Dennis Tan
    (Delivered in Parliament on 4 September 2019) Mr Speaker, with climate change and sustainability increasingly a hot button issue across the globe, it is timely to think about how we manage our waste as we set about building a sustainable Singapore. The amount of solid waste disposed has increased exponentially...
  • Resource Sustainability Bill - Speech by Daniel Goh
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 4 September 2019) Our Waste Emergency Mr Speaker Sir, alarm bells have been ringing around the world about the Climate Emergency facing our planet. The Prime Minister addressed the Climate Emergency in his National Day Rally speech recently. Even before this Climate Emergency, Singapore has been facing...
  • Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments (Repeal) Bill and the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments (Amendment) Bill - Speech by Dennis Tan Lip Fong
    13thParliament, Dennis Tan, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 2 September 2019) Mr Deputy Speaker, sir, I declare my interest as a practising lawyer. I support the consolidation of the laws under the current RECJA and REFJA under a revised REFJA pursuant to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments (Repeal) Bill and the Reciprocal Enforcement...
  • Children and Young Persons Amendment Bill - Speech by Sylvia Lim
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, sylvia lim
    (Delivered in Parliament on 3 September 2019) In the Ministry’s Press Release of 5 August, it is stated that the purpose of the Bill is to “strengthen Government and community support for abused and neglected children, and improve the rehabilitation and re-integration of children with offending behaviour”.   This enhanced...
  • CareShield Life and Long Term Care Bill - Speech by Png Eng Huat
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, png eng huat
    (Delivered in Parliament on 2 September 2019) Mr Speaker, anyone who has aged parents or loved ones to look after would know that providing long term care for the elderly, especially those who need help with activities of daily living, is a very daunting task. In a small family environment, the...
  • Careshield Bill - Speech by Leon Perera
    13thParliament, Leon Perera, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 2 September 2019) Mr Speaker sir, I declare my interest as the CEO of an international research consultancy that undertakes studies in the field of products and services for the elderly, among other industries. Sir, the Careshield Life and Long-Term Care Bill seeks to establish the CareShield Life...
  • Parliamentary Q&A for August 2019 Sitting
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Dennis Tan, Faisal Manap, Leon Perera, Parliament2019, Parliamentary Questions, png eng huat, pritam singh, sylvia lim
    PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF PEDESTRIANS GIVEN CHALLENGES PRESENTED BY PMDS AND E-SCOOTER USERS Part 1 Dennis Tan asked whether PMDs of commercial shared-PMD services operating from private premises were allowed travel on public land, and if there would be a review of the current law or licensing conditions to bar such...
  • Point-to-Point Passenger Transport Industry Bill - Speech by Leon Perera
    13thParliament, Leon Perera, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 6 August 2019) Mr Deputy Speaker sir, the Point-to-Point Transport Sector Bill regulates both taxi and ride-hailing industry operators, treating them as a single point-to-point transport sector. Notable provisions include the requirement for all providers to be licensed and the prohibition of driver exclusivity arrangements. On...
  • Point-to-Point Passenger Transport Industry Bill - Speech by Dennis Tan
    13thParliament, Dennis Tan, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 6 August 2019) Mr Speaker, point-to-point passenger transport acts as a key complement to our public rail and bus infrastructure. In times where speed, comfort, convenience or connectivity is desired, such point-to-point transportation helps to fill in the gaps that our rail and bus infrastructure may...
  • Fire Safety (Amendment) Bill - Speech by Daniel Goh
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 5 August 2019) Ageing Society, Ageing HDB Flats, New Technologies Mr Deputy Speaker Sir, it is credit to the Singapore Civil Defence Force and to the government’s approach to incorporate fire safety provisions at the building design stage that we have one of the lowest fire fatalities...
  • Fire Safety (Amendment) Bill - Speech by Sylvia Lim
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, sylvia lim
    (Delivered in Parliament on 5 August 2019) The fire safety culture in Singapore needs to be improved. There is a common occurrence of HDB bin chute fires, and electrical fires caused by overloading and charging e-scooters and batteries. The density of our high-rise environment makes fire safety critical. As such,...
  • Parliamentary Q&A for July 2019 Sitting
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Dennis Tan, Leon Perera, Parliament2019, Parliamentary Questions, png eng huat, pritam singh, sylvia lim
    RISKS TO SINGAPORE ECONOMY GIVEN PRESENT EXTERNAL UNCERTAINTY Pritam Singh asked for the Government’s assessment of the US-China trade war on Singapore, and measures to be undertaken to support Singaporeans in affected sectors. Sylvia Lim asked for an assessment of the risk of global trade war, and Singapore’s strategies to manage. Chan...
  • Parliamentary Q&A for May 2019 Sitting
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Dennis Tan, Faisal Manap, Leon Perera, Parliament2019, Parliamentary Questions, png eng huat, pritam singh, sylvia lim
    STATE OF BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH MALAYSIA FOLLOWING 9TH MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE LEADERS' RETREAT On Singapore’s 1962 water agreement with Malaysia, Pritam Singh asked if there had been situations where Singapore was not been able to tap the 250 million gallons daily limit. Vivian Balakrishnan replied that Singapore’s water supply had not been affected...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Png Eng Huat
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, png eng huat
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) Sir, if this bill is drafted solely to target the perpetrators of hate, violence, intolerance, and disdain towards another race or religion, by all means, let’s do it.  We should never allow such people to propagate their vile ideologies in any form or manner.  This...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Chen Show Mao
    13thParliament, chen show mao, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) 议长先生, 根据《防止网络假信息和网络操纵法案》,被定为发传假信息,容易损害我国公共利益的个人可被判坐牢长达10年、罚款最高10万元; 法人则罚款最高100万元。这项新法案,不能说是不严厉。 根据法案,政府可以强制个人或网络平台更正或撤下假新闻。每一位部长都有权评断信息真假,是否与公共利益相抵触,然后发布指示要求更正或撤下信息,即使信息已经被修正过或已经不在新加坡流传了。 如何定义信息真假、公共利益 ?-- 法案给了每位部长绝大的诠释空间。 “假信息”--法案定义为“虚假或有误导性的信息,无论以全或以偏,也无论是源于信息本身的解读或者结合更广泛背景的解读” (“false or misleading, whether wholly or in part, and whether on its own or in the context in which it appears”); ”信息“则定义为“文字(包括缩写及简称)、数字、影像及动像、声音、标志及其它代表符号、及它们之间任何的组合” (“any word (including abbreviation and initial), number, image (moving or otherwise), sound, symbol or other representation, or...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Sylvia Lim
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, sylvia lim
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) The Workers’ Party is not denying the problem of misinformation, nor that there is a real risk of the public being misled, especially in the digital age. The concerns range from the creation of bots to spread disinformation, profiting from knowingly spreading falsehoods,...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Daniel Goh
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) Leave It to the Courts Mr Speaker Sir, the aim to protect Singapore from deliberate online falsehoods that could undermine the democratic foundations of our society is acceptable and good. But this POFMA bill gives the government of the day massive targeted powers that...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Leon Perera
    13thParliament, Leon Perera, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) Mr Speaker sir, all members in this House and both the WP and PAP agree that fake online news is a danger that modern societies must address. We have seen what happens elsewhere when falsehoods fan sectarian hatreds, swing elections and harm national...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Dennis Tan
    13thParliament, Dennis Tan, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) Mr Speaker, the Workers’ Party opposes the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) Bill. Much as I believe that there is a need for some form of legislation to deal with online falsehoods and online falsehoods, the remedy must be appropriate. Indeed...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Faisal Manap
    13thParliament, Faisal Manap, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 8 May 2019) Tuan, pemerintah mengatakan Rang Undang-Undang Perlindungan Daripada Kepalsuan dan Manipulasi Dalam Talian (POFMA) adalah satu usaha kawalan dari segi undang-undang untuk mengatasi gejala berita palsu yang semakin menjadi-jadi dialam siber terutama melalui media sosial. Dikatakan juga undang-undang sebegini adalah perlu demi untuk menjaga...
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Low Thia Khiang
    13thParliament, low thia khiang, Parliament2019
    (Delivered in Parliament on 7 May 2019) 防止网络假信息和网络操纵法案 副议长先生,律政部长刚才在演讲时说这个法案赋予政府的权力比其他有关的现行法案狭窄。事实是,这个法案通过后,政府仍然同样拥有原本的权力,其他法案里所赋予政府的权力并没有因为这个法案而废除。重要的是,其他法案中政府所拥有的权力基本上是针对网站或者公司,但这个法案针对个人在社交媒体的言论。 部长也说,这个法案是以校准的立法应对网络假信息的问题。副议长先生,这个校准的立法,枪口对准个人在社交媒体上的言论是关键所在,也最令人担忧。 工人党反对防止网络假信息和网络操纵法案。虽然我们同意有必要立法对付利用网络制造假信息,破坏我国现有的政治体系和多元种族社会的人,制止外国人通过网络影响选举结果,也应该强制网络科技公司撤下可造成社会分裂的言论。但是,政府提呈国会的这个法案令我们感到非常失望和惊讶。 在工人党看来,政府提出这个法案,不单单只是为了应付以上的挑战,其背后的动机,是为了对社交媒体的批评者起阻吓的作用。 这个法案一提呈国会,主流媒体就已经先声夺人,法案的严刑重罚是报道的重点之一。 政府往后只要选择性的惩罚一些触犯者,就可以达到杀鸡儆猴的作用,令人不寒而栗,自我审查言论。这就是政府要通过这个法案,达到保护执政党,进行政治垄断的真正目标! 现今各种各样虚假不实的信息充斥网络,的确对政治制度和社会管理带来新的挑战。我们固然需要有应对的策略;但是别忘了,网络和社交媒体也赋予了一般市井小民论政和要政府负责任的权力,这是科技进步带来民主的正面发展。人们现在讨论政治已经不局限于在咖啡店里,或者三杯下肚后才滔滔不绝于口;对政府或政治人物有所质疑,也不局限于只敢在街头巷尾窃窃私语。这标志着新加坡人已经走出了过去政府利用内部安全法令,不必经过法庭审讯,由部长决定就可以长期关押人民的白色恐怖的阴影。这是新加坡迈向开放与民主的一大步。 其实,现代科技和网络的发达,社交媒体的普及,提供了现代民主制度改进和发展的演变契机。网络上的民意提供了政府一个有效、及时和在场景改变时也能灵活变更的回馈与回应的平台。政府和人民能够直接沟通,知晓人们的需要和所面对的问题,从而制定更完善的政策,改善民生。民意的体现,已经不只是在选举的时候。能够善用这个平台的政府,将能够更准确的推出体恤民情、合民意的政策,确保其继续执政。不过,与此同时,人民也可以通过网络监督政府,对政府的政策表示意见,甚至通过网络组织起来,形成一股势力向政府施压。 副议长先生,这就是现代政府所面对的头痛问题!市井小民皆可在网上发表意见,批评政府的政策,对某个政治人物的个人问题觉得不吐不快,都可以上网发表,然后全世界都可以读。即使受政府控制的主流媒体要暧昧了事,大事化小,小事化无也难以成事。 因此,政府借用了一般理性论政的人都会同意,需要立法对付网络上的假信息,而趁机立法让部长拥有审批一般公众言论,并采取行动的绝对权力。这是个明修栈道、暗渡陈仓的法案。 工人党反对这个法案。第一,这个法案让部长拥有绝对的权力判断什么是假信息,并决定采取什么行动。这就像在一场球赛中,让部长同时扮演球员和裁判的角色。 李显龙总理近日指出,科技和社交媒体的普及,让仇恨言论和假新闻非常容易散播。这让恶意人士更容易操纵观点,甚至影响选举。这虽然说得头头是道,但我们怎么能肯定,执政党的部长就不会为了赢得选举而操纵观点和散播假信息?虽然法案规定在大选时部长必需委任一名政府官员来替代部长执行任务,在表面上看来是避免利益冲突。但又有谁能确保这位由部长所委任的政府官员不会为了自己和部长的利益而做出有损公众利益的事? 这个法案虽然规定人们可以对部长的行动向法庭上诉,但是,在被部长对付之后才上法庭投诉部长的不是,无论如何,对一个普通的市民来说,都是很耗时耗精力的过程。一般人没有如政府一样拥有整个总检察署的资源,和政府打官司,谈何容易! 总之,工人党无法接受法案把关系到人民论政自由的基本权利交给部长作判断。工人党认为,应该先由部长向法庭作出投诉,向法官证明刊登在网络上的信息是假新闻或是虚假信息,拥有不良动机,由法官作出判断,才是可接受的行事过程。 第二,法案对假信息的定义所涵盖的范围太广,而且模糊。比如第2条款规定政府有权力对付具误导性的言论,但是具误导性和虚假之间的界限要怎么划?其实,政府根本没有兴趣在这方面做深入的探讨,它只是要人民把权力交给它,由它来做决定。 法案在国会提出后,面对诸多反对的声浪,政府为了争取支持,不得不对什么才算是假信息做了一些说明。政府也不断要人民相信,他们只是针对假信息,而不是个人意见。可是,在这方面,我对政府没有信心。在法案真正实施后,政府所呈现的又会是个怎么样的嘴脸呢?举个例子,如果我说政府推出建国一代和立国一代配套是为了买选票,这算是信息还是意见? 我认为,部长也可利用法案内假信息的广泛定义条文,根据需要对有关文字是信息还是意见做出选择性的诠释; 同样的话由不同的人说出来,部长可以做不同的解读而做出不同的判断。 例如,“老一辈的新加坡人无法接受一个非华人的总理”这样的话,如果是部长自己或者其支持者所说的,部长可以解说那是个人意见,但是如果在社交媒体上说这种话的是部长的政治对手,部长也可以说散布这样的假信息会造成族群对立,甚至引发冲突,危害国家安全而要求说这个话的人同时刊登政府认为才是对的话,要不然就惩罚他。这等于是现代版本的“文字狱”。 其实,政府曲解法案的条文来对付眼中钉的事件并不是没有发生过。例如防止骚扰法案当时在国会通过时原本只是为了保护个人。但在几年前,政府却企图利用这个法案把政府部门也列为被保护的对象。虽然高庭裁定政府没有援引这个法案的权利,因为政府不是“个人”。不过整个官司却也拖了好几年,对资源相对匮乏的个人而言,肯定是一笔不小的负担。 我认为,培养一个社会对假信息真正有免疫力的正确途径是公民教育和培养一般民众对网络信息探求事实的习惯,不轻易相信网络消息,对来自网络的挑衅和“大新闻”不随意反应。 网络是个公开的平台、网民也可对不合理的、偏激的、不公平的言论在网上进行反驳。有关的政府部门官员和部长也可以出面誊清或阐明立场。这样一来,网上的谣言、假信息或误导性的言论不但原形毕露,网民也从中受到教育,增添判断能力。 综上所述,工人党虽然意识到我们需要有新的策略应对社交媒体在信息传播的真实性方面所带来的种种挑战,但政府却企图利用这个时机,以部长为单一审判者,不需要先经过法庭审讯,部长就可以做决定的立法,来对付现代科技所赋予市井小民的言论空间和话语,所以我们反对这个法案。 虽然政府说法庭才是最后的裁定者,但这恐怕只是理论而已。在资源完全不对等的情况下,小市民要和政府打官司无异于以卵击石。因此,设计这样的法案,不是一个声称为了保护民主,捍卫公众利益的政府所应有的表现,而更像是一个不择手段,想要掌握绝对权力的独裁政府的所作所为。
  • Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill - Speech by Pritam Singh
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, pritam singh
    (Delivered in Parliament on 7 May 2019) Rely on the Judiciary, not the Executive Introduction Sir, as the Select Committee report on Deliberate Online Falsehoods observes, the phenomenon of fake news is nothing new. Since time immemorial, a battle for hearts and minds has taken place between people who host different views...
  • Protection from Harassment (Amendment) Bill - Speech by Pritam Singh
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, pritam singh
    (Delivered in Parliament on 7 May 2019) Positive changes, but absence of remedies against false statements made by the Government a lost opportunity Introduction Mr Speaker, the changes proposed to the Protection from Harassment Act or POHA by this amendment Bill are very significant, falling into three broad categories – outlawing doxxing,...
  • Criminal Law Reform Bill - Speech by Sylvia Lim
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, sylvia lim
    (Delivered in Parliament on 6 May 2019) The Bill today is the culmination of the work of the Penal Code Review Committee (PCRC), as refined by public feedback. After the Bill was tabled in Parliament for First Reading in February, the Second Reading was deferred to May, which was useful...
  • Parliamentary Q&A for 1 April 2019 Sitting
    13thParliament, daniel goh, Dennis Tan, Faisal Manap, Leon Perera, Parliament2019, Parliamentary Questions, png eng huat, sylvia lim
    ROLE OF PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION COMMISSION IN INVESTIGATING BLOOD DONORS’ DATA LEAK Sylvia Lim asked about the role of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in the investigation into the data leak of more than 800,000 blood donors’ personal information, and if a review was being done to ascertain whether...
  • Debate on Restricting Hate Speech to Maintain Racial and Religious Harmony in Singapore - Speech by Pritam Singh
    13thParliament, Parliament2019, pritam singh
    (Delivered in Parliament on 1 April 2019) 1. Mr Speaker, social harmony, racial and religious tolerance, robust but reasoned and respectful debate on contentious issues, all create an environment for modern societies to flourish and thrive. Hate speech, regardless who it is directed against – be it fellow citizens of...