Singapore

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NSEWL UPGRADE AT HALFWAY MARK

Until all its key ageing systems are replaced or renewed, the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) remain at risk of major disruptions, even with diligent maintenance, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday. He said in Parliament that projects to replace the ageing components on the 30-year-old NSEWL have reached about their half-way mark, and are targeted to be finished in 2024.

He said a target set for 2020, to have MRT trains travel an average of 1 million km before encountering a delay of longer than five minutes, is achievable.

The Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF) this year is 425,000 train-km, an improvement from the 133,000 train-km in 2015.

Mr Khaw acknowledged that commuters may not be able to relate to this as the MKBF improvements did not always bear out in their actual real-life experiences. This is because of teething issues with signalling system testing on the North-South Line, which have caused several disruptions, he said. But he added that a corner has been turned and the system is stabilising.

GREEN LIGHT FOR RUNNING RED LIGHT IN EMERGENCY

From next month, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances will be allowed to run a red light and make unauthorised U-turns when responding to life-threatening emergencies.

Their exemption from part of the Road Traffic Act is in the works. Police vehicles and fire engines could be exempted as well.

Currently, drivers of SCDF ambulances are liable for traffic offences when they run a red light or make an unauthorised U-turn, although they can file an appeal and get a waiver. With the change, they no longer have to do it, SCDF said in a statement.

NEW FORMULA FOR 
MILK TINS

Formula milk companies may soon have to encourage breastfeeding on milk tins, and avoid the use of misleading claims and pictures, under changes to the Sale of Food Act passed in Parliament yesterday.

The changes to the law - prompted by outrage over the rising prices of infant milk formula - also allow the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority to recall food products when contamination is suspected, and to license non-retail food businesses like warehouses.

The AVA can now specify what claims are allowed and the way they are presented, though these exact requirements will be defined later.

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