Singapore 2025

What of Singapore towards 2025? Thoughts of a Singaporean.

Parliament: Committee of Supply 2014 – Transport Issues

Rapid Transit System between Johor and Singapore

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Madam, I would like to ask the Ministry for an update of the feasibility study into the Rapid Transit System connecting the upcoming Thomson Line with Johor Bahru, and to explain Malaysia’s contribution to the study, reported by the mainstream media in Singapore as one of the most expensive commissioned LTA studies, with Singapore quoted to be footing two-thirds of the cost. I would like to enquire how this co-funding was determined and when the findings of this study are likely to be released.

Mr Lui Tuck Yew (Minister for Transport): Before I conclude, let me quickly update Mr Pritam Singh and other interested Members of this House on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) link to Johor Bahru. The preliminary engineering study with Malaysia has been completed. We are working with Malaysia to finalise the alignment and the station location in Johor, and then to commence the second part of the study which will focus on the detailed design of the system. The second part of the study, like that of the first phase, will be equally co-funded by both sides.

Illegal Parking near Places of Worship

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Madam, in 2013 circular to professional institutes on the review of parking requirements for places of worship, LTA noted that the worshipping patterns have changed over time with greater congregation sizes and the concurrent use of ancillary prayer halls. This resulted in a shortage of parking facilities and greater reliance on short-term parking along roads causing inconvenience to the surrounding community.

The regulations of better meeting the parking needs for new places of worship have taken effect, however, managing the parking woes at existing places of worship continue to challenging. I am concerned that our racial and religious bonds in the society get strained when commuters have to deal with congestion around places of worship. I get particularly concerned when news remarks are made about the problem concerning one faith every Friday and other faiths with have their day of worship or celebration on the weekends and, yet, other uncalled for remarks about clan or cultural association dinners.

I would like to ask the Ministry if it would consider launching a tolerance campaign with a view to encourage greater understanding between both road users and worshippers, with each party recognising that it has a duty to the other. Worshippers should be mindful of the neighbouring community and take extra efforts to avoid causing an obstruction in deploying marshals as is done in some places of worships. Road users should be encouraged to exercise some patience around places of worship knowing that worshippers do not seek inconvenience the larger community.

I believe targeted public campaign of this nature would also have the unintended positive effect of generating greater harmony and supporting efforts at building greater understanding between the races.

Mrs Josephine Teo (Senior Minister of State for Transport): I will now address Mr Lim Biow Chuan’s and Mr Pritam Singh’s questions on parking…..

For places of worship, LTA exercises flexibility when enforcing illegal parking during praying hours or special events, as long as the vehicles do not cause obstruction or pose safety concerns. This is the approach regardless of religion. Most of the religious organisations proactively do their part to manage the traffic and advise their worshippers not to park indiscriminately. Nevertheless, when there are complaints about indiscriminate parking that endangers other road users, LTA will take strict enforcement action.

Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) [budget speech proposal]

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Finally, the Minister spoke of extending the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) until June 2015 with a view to continuing the scheme thereafter. The Minister stated that more than 50% of new cars received CEVS rebates, an improvement over 2012 when only 40% of new cars were in the rebate bands.

However, in assessing the efficacy of the CEVS scheme against the environmental sustainability and climate change, it is worthwhile to consider that the neutral zone where no rebates are attracted and surcharges levied lies between 161 and 211 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. Even in 2011, about 60% of cars sold in Singapore already fell in this zone, so it is debatable how far the CEVS scheme as it stands, is going to encourage a larger green footprint in Singapore.

While the CEVS scheme is positive policy, there is scope for the Government to review the carbon emissions standards so as to alter behaviour in favour of greener policies through a scheme of clearer and sharper incentives and disincentives. As the reality of climate change becomes ever more apparent, there is considerable scope for Singapore to increase its soft power by establishing itself as a leader in embracing green technologies in view of our small size. Mdm Speaker, I support the Budget.

Mrs Josephine Teo (Senior Minister of State for Transport)On suggestions to do more to mitigate carbon emissions, we have done so with the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS). Since the implementation of the surcharge in July 2013, the percentage of high-emissions models registered has halved to less than 7%, compared to the first half of 2013. In the second half of 2013, 59% of the models were in the rebate bands, compared to about 40% in 2012 had the scheme been in place then.

The CEVS has been extended to June 2015. This was announced during the Budget. We will consider Mr Pritam Singh’s earlier suggestion during the debate to sharpen the incentive and disincentive structure when the scheme is up for review.


Written by singapore 2025

11/03/2014 at 6:24 am

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