Parliament Highlights – 3 February 2020

03 Feb 2020 3 min read

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New citizens have negligible effect on citizen unemployment rate, says Josephine Teo

The addition of new citizens has a negligible effect on Singapore’s citizen unemployment rate, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

Responding to a parliamentary query, Mrs Teo explained that this figure is based on the Labour Force and it is not possible to break down the unemployment rate by duration of citizenship.

Nevertheless, Mrs Teo said the addition of new citizens does not change the citizen unemployment rate in any significant way. 

Out of 3.5 million Singapore citizens, significantly less than 1 per cent received their citizenship within the past year, she revealed. Some are working adults, while others have yet to join the labour force or have retired.

“This means that the impact to the citizen labour force and unemployment rate is essentially negligible,” she said.

The addition of new citizens has a negligible effect on Singapore’s citizen unemployment rate, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament.

Responding to a parliamentary query, Mrs Teo explained that this figure is based on the Labour Force Survey, which asks for the respondent’s citizenship at the point of the survey but does not require the respondent to indicate when he or she obtained citizenship.

It is thus not possible to break down the unemployment rate by duration of citizenship, she said.

Nevertheless, Mrs Teo said the addition of new citizens does not change the citizen unemployment rate in any significant way.

She added that out of 3.5 million Singapore citizens, significantly less than 1 per cent received their citizenship within the past year. Some are working adults, while others have yet to join the labour force or have retired.

Three principles to guide the Government’s disclosure of personal data

Government agencies will set the record straight when public complaints or petitions are inaccurate, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr Janil Puthucheary said that the Government is guided by three principles when disclosing personal data. However, the disclosure of the personal data will be ‘limited by scope’.

The three principles are:

1. Government agencies will only disclose personal data to ensure that clarifications put forth by agencies are clear and indisputable.

2. Agencies will disclose specific information to give a full picture of the public complaints or petitions and allow relevant individuals to challenge the Government’s account of the case, if need be

3. To disclose only relevant data to the case.

Dr Puthucheary added that the Government might sometimes disclose identities to remove ambiguity in the Government’s statement of the facts and settle any doubts over the matter conclusively in the minds of the public.

Dr Puthucheary said these in response to the article that was put up online regarding access to MediSave and Special Account CPF Funds which was published with a pseudonym.

Dr Puthucheary emphasised, “It is merely that should a complaint occur in the public space and as a result of that complaint, the public has been misinformed, inaccuracies have been stated, then those inaccuracies need to be stated in the public in a way that is unambiguous and robustly explains the facts to everyone.”

A&E departments at public hospitals can manage all life-threatening emergencies

Accident and emergency (A&E) departments at public hospitals nationwide offer adequate services to manage all life-threatening emergencies, Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong told Parliament.

He added that all public hospital A&E departments are equipped and capable of providing resuscitation, stabilisation and initial treatment for all life-threatening emergencies, including trauma cases, for adults and children. “Public hospitals must also fulfil the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) standards of trauma care.”

Private hospitals here, however, are currently not configured to manage all life-threatening emergencies or cases involving multiple patients with serious injuries, he said. 

He was replying to a parliamentary query on why victims of a recent car accident at Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital instead of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, a private hospital which was about 200m away from the scene of the accident.