Environmental News Archive

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A House Of Sand, Speculation And Security Issues

10 Feb 2007 (TODAY)

Lee U-Wen

A LIVELY debate on the Indonesian ban on sand exports is expected to kick
off the second Parliament sitting of the new year, when the House meets
again on Monday.

Other key issues tabled by 28 Members of Parliament (MPs) include ties
between Singapore and Thailand; market speculation on luxury homes; and
the integration of disabled people into the community.

The Government will also be introducing two new Bills on Land Acquisition
(Amendment) and Spam Control.

But it is the permanent sand ban that is expected to dominate at the start
of proceedings, with three MPs - Mr Charles Chong, Mdm Cynthia Phua and
Mdm Ho Geok Choo - looking for answers from both National Development
Minister Mah Bow Tan and Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo.

Mr Chong (Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency) wants to
know what the impact will be on Singapore's construction industry and land
reclamation works, while Mdm Ho (West Coast GRC), is curious to know if Mr
Mah's ministry was forewarned about the ban and if he tried to convince
the Indonesian government to reconsider its move.

Ms Lee Bee Wah (Ang Mo Kio GRC), meanwhile, wants to hear the Government's
response to the "very serious allegation of eavesdropping" involving
Singapore that has purportedly compromised Thailand's national security.

All eyes, too, will be focused on what five of the seven rookie Nominated
MPs would have to say, having tabled nine of the 63 questions in this
latest sitting.

The issues range from the types of financial aid for low-income
breadwinners, to the elected presidency and the Constitution, trainee
teachers and the number of Housing Board mortgages foreclosed.

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