MPs raise more questions despite new PMD measures
For almost an hour, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min took questions as 14 MPs sought clarifications and made suggestions on how the Government should be tackling the menace of personal mobility devices (PMDs).
This came after a ministerial statement responding to the 16 parliamentary questions filed for yesterday's sitting, during which Dr Lam had unveiled a host of new measures intended to address safety concerns.
There were nagging questions over whether the authorities would consider making the Safe Riding Programme compulsory for all PMD users and if there were plans to license them, with Mr Alex Yam (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC) citing Israel, New Zealand and provinces in Canada that require a driver's licence or a special permit.
Concern over the recent spate of PMD fires was raised as MPs questioned why the deadline for UL2272 certification could not be made even earlier.
Mr Yam echoed calls for an immediate ban on non-certified PMDs, likening it to the recalls by car manufacturer Toyota and furniture retailer Ikea.
But Dr Lam reiterated his stance that the July 2020 date is a reasonable one and would allow for a smoother replacement process as retailers stock up on certified devices.
He said in response to Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir), who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working very closely with the Singapore Civil Defence Force to step up fire safety education on PMDs in the interim.
Several MPs also called for stiffer action against errant retailers. To date, LTA has taken action against 12 such retailers, but Dr Lam did not reveal what these actions were.
In response to a query from Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) about online retailers, especially those headquartered overseas, Dr Lam said LTA is working with online shopping platforms to educate consumers and retailers on local regulations, and to take down false advertisements touting compliant devices.
He told MPs that the regulatory regime for PMDs had to be nimble and responsive, but Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten ) wondered if the LTA and Transport Ministry were simply being reactive. In rebuttal, Dr Lam highlighted that Singapore is the only country to implement the UL2272 standard, mandatory registration and, soon, mandatory inspections.