JOO KOON COLLISION HAD NO PRECEDENT
SMRT staff, including the train captain involved, "did not know" that the second protective bubble of the train involved in the Joo Koon collision on Nov 15 last year could have been deactivated - which would have allowed the captain to prevent the accident.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told parliament yesterday that had this protective bubble, which ensures a safe distance between trains, been deactivated, the captain could have hit the brakes.
Responding to Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Dennis Tan's questions on the incident, Mr Khaw said: "Thales, the supplier of the CBTC (communications-based train control signalling system), had not anticipated such a scenario. This was an isolated case with no precedent, even for Thales.
"Had they been aware of this, the train captain on the second train could have switched from Automatic to Restricted Manual Mode to drive the train manually or, as a last resort, engaged the emergency stop button to keep the train from moving."
HARSHER PENALTIES FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY?
There could soon be dedicated laws against child pornography here, with harsh penalties, revealed Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam yesterday.
He said the Government is looking at drafting these laws, in response to a request from Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah) for an update on the review of Singapore's laws against the vice.
Highlighting how he had mentioned a review of the Penal Code on Tuesday, Mr Shanmugam added that these laws will be specific and encapsulate several aspects of child pornography.
"We are looking at whether there should be dedicated laws to deal with activities related to child pornography - from the making of pornographic material involving children, to possession and distribution of such material, and also whether such laws should carry higher penalties to send a stronger deterrent message," he said.
The minister added that the review proposals will be tabled for public consultation later this year.
CLADDING ISSUE: NO EVIDENCE BUILDING CERTIFICATION IS AT FAULT
There is currently no evidence that building certification is at fault for the cladding issue, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, adding that it is "too quick" to conclude that it is so.
The minister said that of the seven buildings containing problematic cladding brands Bolliya and Bolli-Core FR, three have had their panels removed.
The problematic cladding from the brand Alubond, which SCDF said last year affected 35 buildings, has been taken down from 17 buildings, and is being removed from the remaining 18.
- HARIZ BAHARUDIN
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