The gist: Preventing abuse in pre-schools and meeting demand for HDB flats

SINGAPORE – MPs discussed ways to strengthen the system to prevent child abuse in pre-schools, and how to meet the strong demand for public housing from segments such as singles and the elderly.

The key takeaways:

ECDA to relook investigation processes, penalties

the gist: preventing abuse in pre-schools and meeting demand for hdb flats

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) plans to strengthen investigation protocols and possibly enhance financial penalties on errant operators to strengthen its system of preventing child abuse in pre-schools.

The agency will also work with the National Institute of Early Childhood Development and training providers to ensure all educators know what constitutes inappropriate and prohibited methods of child management, and better equip them to call out bad practices.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, announcing the moves in Parliament, said any operator’s policy on the use of mobile phones should not hinder its staff from reporting any wrongdoing.

Why it matters:

The review of ECDA’s regulatory framework for pre-school operators comes after a case of abuse came to light at a Kinderland pre-school. A teacher exposed the abuse, having filmed videos of another teacher forcing children to drink water, among other things.

Ms Sun said there are about 10 cases of child mismanagement each year per 100,000 enrolled children, and though this figure has remained low in recent years, each case is one too many.

Notably, by training teachers to recognise abuse and endorsing the use of mobile phones to capture evidence, the authorities are sending a strong signal to operators and teachers that educators have a responsibility to blow the whistle on abuse.

HDB to launch more two-room flexi flats from 2024 to 2026

the gist: preventing abuse in pre-schools and meeting demand for hdb flats

Up to 14,000 two-room flexi Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will be launched over the next three years to meet demand from singles and the elderly, an increase of about 30 per cent from 2021 to 2023.

From the second half of 2024, singles will also be able to apply for such flats across all BTO projects islandwide, under the new public housing framework. Currently, singles aged 35 and older can buy new two-room flexi flats only in non-mature estates.

Why it matters:

Demand for such two-room flats has been rising over the years, with more people marrying late or choosing not to get married, and seniors choosing to right-size.

While the number of two-room flats launched for sale rose 5.1 per cent from 4,194 units in 2018 to 4,408 units in 2022, the number of applicants for such flats more than doubled over the same period, from 7,145 to 14,864.

Allowing singles to apply for such flats across all BTO projects will also give people more flexibility on where to live.

Under the new housing framework, projects in choicer locations will be categorised as Prime or Plus flats and will come with stricter resale conditions, while projects in other locations will be categorised as Standard flats and will come with the standard five-year minimum occupation period.

More stringent process for registering societies

the gist: preventing abuse in pre-schools and meeting demand for hdb flats

The registration process for new societies is likely to become more stringent, following proposed amendments to the Societies Act.

One change will allow the Registrar of Societies to request more information from applicants who go through the automatic registration process, which currently allows applicants to submit a form and pay prescribed fees, with no questions asked.

Another change will give the registrar power to reject an application submitted through this route, if he believes the society would likely be used for unlawful purposes or be in conflict with national security.

Why it matters:

Currently, about half of all applications go through the automatic pathway. Societies related to religion, ethnicity, language and politics go through a stricter route, which involves vetting.

With the proposed changes, the registrar will be able to weed out those that may try to rely on this automatic route to evade scrutiny, even if they may not fall into the more-scrutinised categories. This will ensure that societies that pose a threat to Singapore’s security or interests cannot be set up easily.

Since its introduction in 2004, three known societies registered through the automatic route were eventually flagged as suspicious, said the authorities.

If you have a few more minutes:

CCTV cameras in pre-schools

With closed-circuit television cameras becoming mandatory in pre-schools, measures will be put in place to protect the privacy of children and staff. ECDA will be very careful about where these cameras are installed, and protocols will be instituted to govern the use of such footage, such as requiring the faces of those not involved in an investigation to be masked.

Tighter processes to prevent poll card errors

The Elections Department (ELD) will require its contracted printer of election poll cards to tighten its processes to prevent a repeat of an error that saw 9,822 voters receive two poll cards in the recent presidential election. For instance, ELD and the printer will perform a sampling audit to check that details on poll cards are accurate, and that the number of cards printed for a constituency is exactly the same as the number of registered voters.

Speaker rules on two complaints by NCMP Leong Mun Wai

Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng on Monday ruled that Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok) did not impute any improper motives to Progress Singapore Party Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai during a debate on Aug 3 about lease agreements.

Mr Murali had said that Mr Leong had “advocated some form of rent control”, but this does not impute improper motives to Mr Leong, as rent control is a legitimate policy tool, said Mr Seah. He added that both MPs had been given the opportunity to clarify what they meant, noting that such exchanges are in the nature of debates.

Another complaint by Mr Leong against Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on Aug 16 was deemed by Mr Seah to be “out of time”, as the incident had taken place on Sept 14, 2021.

Mr Seah noted that Dr Balakrishnan had apologised on Sept 15, 2021, for saying “he’s illiterate”, and Mr Leong had accepted the apology. Even then, a letter by Dr Balakrishnan saying he stood by his apology will be put on parliamentary record.

News Related


Illinois state troopers seize a record 5K pounds of cannabis during traffic stop

Illinois State Police troopers recently arrested two men for allegedly trafficking more than 5,000 pounds of cannabis in what police said was one of the largest seizures in the agency’s ... Read more »

City of Chicago denies NBC 5 Investigates' request for additional records showing how $57 million was spent on staffing migrant shelters

City agency says burden of redacting records “outweighs public interest in the information” Since August of last year, city finance records show a Kansas-based company, Favorite Healthcare Staffing, has billed ... Read more »

Lack of workplace safety led to foreign worker’s death at Quebec farm: report

Lack of safety protection around an industrial food mixer at a Quebec farm is what led to the death of a foreign worker last year, Quebec’s workplace safety board (CNESST) ... Read more »

Undercover confession allowed as evidence in Saskatoon first-degree murder trial

A major decision was made in Saskatoon’s Court of King’s Bench on Friday that will finally advance Greg Fertuck’s first-degree murder trial after nearly three years. On Friday, Justice Richard ... Read more »

Temporary closure of Chez Doris day shelter could put a strain on resources for unhoused Montrealers

As of Saturday, there will be fewer services available to vulnerable women in Montreal, including those experiencing homelessness. Chez Doris, which caters to such clients, is temporarily pausing some day ... Read more »

Tropical Storm Ophelia gains strength, threatening North Carolina, Virginia

Tropical Storm Ophelia was gaining strength as it churned toward the North Carolina coast on Friday, promising a weekend of heavy rain and windy conditions throughout the mid-Atlantic. Forecasters issued ... Read more »

Calgary bobsledder Isaak Ulmer sliding into success

Inheriting the same passion from his father who competed in the sport, Isaak Ulmer loves bobsledding. “I really look up to him,” Ulmer said. “When our school came for a ... Read more »

‘It’s a bit ridiculous’: Toronto man frustrated after EV charging plans shut down

A Toronto man hoping to make the switch to an electric vehicle was left frustrated after consulting and working with the city for more than a year and a half, ... Read more »

B.C. pledges $61 million to help cities meet new housing density targets

B.C. municipalities will get $61 million in funding to assist in meeting new provincial development and zoning changes meant to help address the housing crisis, Premier David Eby said Friday. ... Read more »

Soaring Hearts Project opens transitional housing in Lethbridge

A new multi-million-dollar transitional housing unit opened in Lethbridge on Friday. Nearly 20 years in the making, the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society’s (BFLS) Soaring Hearts Project will welcome Indigenous women ... Read more »

Manitoba PCs pledge more money for homeless veterans’ housing

Manitoba Progressive Conservatives are promising more money for a planned housing development that helps homeless military veterans. The Tory government put up $500,000 last year for the Winnipeg Kinsmen Veterans ... Read more »

Decline in annual food safety inspections scrutinized after Calgary E. coli outbreak

The Opposition NDP is raising concerns about an Alberta Health Services report that shows a decline in the number of annual food safety inspections since 2018, as six children remain ... Read more »

B.C. politicians vote against lifting vaccine mandate for health-care workers

A vote was held at the Union of B.C. Municipalities this week about the mandate requiring health-care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada ... Read more »

Flames’ Russian defenceman Zadorov speaks out against war in Ukraine, Putin

Calgary Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov has spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and says he and other Russians in the NHL couldn’t come to an agreement on what to ... Read more »

Israel, Saudi Arabia ‘at the cusp’ of peace agreement, Netanyahu tells UN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that Israel is “at the cusp” of a historic breakthrough leading to a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, ... Read more »

Calgary plans to open new public washrooms next year along Memorial Drive

When the Sunnyside lift station started to take shape, people who walk and wheel near McHugh Bluff thought the new washrooms would provide a much-needed place for relief. Two washrooms ... Read more »

John Woo’s First American Pic In 20 Years, ‘Silent Night’, Sets December Release

Silent Night Capstone Studios As there’s positive vibes (knock on wood) coming out the AMPTP and WGA talks at the time of this post, there are interesting maneuvers happening on ... Read more »

Fox Shuffles Its Board Some More; Director Who Urged Company “To Take A Stance” After Jan. 6 Not Running, A Former Prime Minister Of Australia Is

Courtesy photo Fox, which just announced that Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman, unveiled a few more changes to its board of directors today. An SEC filing listing the ... Read more »

Thai PM pitches $21 billion cash handout to revive economy

BANGKOK – Thailand will dole out 560 billion baht (S$21 billion) to its 55 million adults in the next six months to spur domestic demand and investment, with new Prime ... Read more »

Biden says climate change poses greater threat than nuclear war

HANOI – United States President Joe Biden said the sole threat to humanity’s existence is climate change, and that not even nuclear conflict poses a similar danger. “The only existential ... Read more »

Bid to keep German backpacker's rapist behind bars

A man who force-fed sedative laced chocolates to a German backpacker he lured to work on a farm before raping her in a shearing shed could re-offend, psychiatrists say. Peter ... Read more »

New regional sleep program targets First Nations people

A new program aimed at improving sleep health in regional Indigenous communities is linking western science and traditional ways of knowing to better address the health condition of obstructive sleep ... Read more »

Troubled Home and Away star’s drug-fuelled downfall exposed

The struggles of a former Home and Away star have been laid bare as he was jailed for assaulting three people and attempting to steal a car using a wine ... Read more »

‘Close enough isn’t good enough’: NRL happy with controversial calls that decided elimination finals

NRL head of football Graham Annesley says “close enough isn’t good enough” when it comes to scoring tries, and has backed the Bunker for making two big calls in the ... Read more »

Convicted rapist Peter Van de Wetering is set to be released from jail after nine years

A rapist who kidnapped, drugged and raped a German backpacker is a “high” risk of reoffending if released from jail, key experts have told a court. The Queensland Attorney-General is ... Read more »

Anwar hints at new taxes as Malaysia seeks to narrow budget gap

MALAYSIA – Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim signalled that the South-east Asian nation may be considering additional taxes to boost state revenue and meet the target of almost halving the ... Read more »

Teen admits he sexually abused younger sister, 11, when he was just 14

SINGAPORE – A teenager was just 14 years old in 2020 when he subjected his own sister, then 11, to multiple acts of sexual abuse, including attempted rape, over a ... Read more »

Biden wraps Vietnam visit by talking with business leaders and visiting a memorial to John McCain

Biden wraps Vietnam visit by talking with business leaders and visiting a memorial to John McCain President Joe Biden is wrapping up a visit to Vietnam by calling on the ... Read more »

Where Is Shark Tank Filmed?

Television Reality TV ABC/Christopher Willard For years, home audiences have gotten a glimpse into the cutthroat world of entrepreneurship thanks to “Shark Tank,” and after a variety of startup companies ... Read more »

Ukraine war live updates: Ukraine left fuming after G20 summit; Russian missile strike kills foreign aid workers

This is CNBC’s live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine. See below for the latest updates. Ukraine was left fuming after the Group of 20 nations, which were ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự