GOVT MAY EXTEND SMOKE-FREE AREAS BEYOND ORCHARD
There are no official plans to make smoking rooms compulsory in public places, but more areas outside of Orchard Road could be turned into smoke-free zones, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor in Parliament yesterday.
Replying to a question from Mr Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC), Dr Khor said smoking rooms would not eliminate exposure to environmental tobacco smoke as it could "seep into other parts of the building", posing health risks to those in enclosed spaces.
Dr Khor said the Government will study the results of the designated smoking areas pilot running in Orchard Road, which will be gazetted a smoke-free zone from July, before it scales it up.
'SCOPE' FOR SHORT-TERM PRIVATE HOME RENTALS IN SINGAPORE
Short-term accommodations such as those provided by Airbnb could soon be allowed for private homes, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong told the House yesterday.
Mr Wong, in replying to a question from Mr Henry Kwek (Nee Soon GRC), said there is "scope" for such accommodations in Singapore - subject to proper controls.
"There are different views among home owners who are keen to put out their units for short-term accommodation, and those who are concerned about privacy and safety in their homes," said Mr Wong.
"There are also competing interests between hotel operators and short-term stay platform operators like Airbnb."
STRICT RULES TO PROTECT POLICE CAMERA FOOTAGE
Access to footage from police cameras is "tightly controlled" due to strict protocols, said Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin yesterday.
He told the House: "Singapore Police Force (SPF) has data protection safeguards and controls on the use of police camera footage.
"The footage is securely stored, and only authorised persons are allowed to access them. Any officer found accessing the footage for unauthorised purposes will be severely dealt with."
Mr Amrin added that audits are also conducted on a "regular basis", as and when there are irregularities.
These statements were in response to a question by Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), who had asked about the status of SPF's PolCam 2.0 project, which was introduced in 2016.
Mr Amrin said the Government plans to install 6,000 more cameras by 2020 - meaning there will be 11,000 cameras across 2,500 locations islandwide.
Footage from these cameras has so far helped solve more than 2,300 police cases as of the end of last year, he added.
MORE ITE, POLY GRADUATES CHOOSING TO FURTHER STUDIES IN LAST DECADE
Over the last decade, the number of Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic graduates choosing to further their studies has gone up by 10 per cent.
Senior Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary revealed this in Parliament yesterday while answering a question from Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera about the percentage of these graduates who find employment.
According to Dr Janil, the number of ITE and poly graduates holding full-time jobs fell from 77 per cent in 2007 to 58 per cent in 2016.
He added that the number of these graduates who choose to go into part-time, freelance, and temporary work has gone up.
Dr Janil said the Education Ministry will be conducting an in-depth study of the trends to understand how students decide what to do after graduating. - HARIZ BAHARUDIN