Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung and Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng will be delivering Ministerial Statements during the July sitting of Parliament, scheduled for next week.
They will be addressing the issue of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), topics that became prominent after two recent incidents of verbal and physical assaults on Indians in Singapore.
Ong claimed PSP made false allegations regarding CECA
According to Ong in a Facebook post shared on July 1, the recent incidents were “disturbing” and not reflective of what Singaporeans are.
He said they occurred amid an undercurrent of sentiment against immigrant Indians in Singapore over the past two years.
While Ong acknowledged that these are concerns from Singaporeans that “need to be addressed”, he also said that the unhappiness is also fuelled by “false allegations” by the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), who claim that CECA has given Indian Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) a free hand to work in Singapore.
During May’s Parliament session, Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam called upon the PSP to file a motion on FTAs and CECA in Parliament, in order to invite proper debate on the matter.
PSP’s Leong Mun Wai accepted the offer, and in June 2021, he announced that he will be seeking more information from the government, before the debate.
PSP are welcome to respond to the two Ministerial Statements
In the run-up to the filing of PSP’s proposed motion, the government has received many parliamentary questions on the matter, including many from PSP, revealed Ong.
Hence, the two ministers will be delivering Ministerial Statements in Parliament next week, in order to explain how vital FTAs are to Singapore, and how they work.
Ong also said that they will address the false allegations that FTAs allow foreign professionals a “free hand” to live and work in Singapore, and will open their Ministerial Statements for debate.
“This will allow members of the PSP to respond to our statements if they wish to,” said Ong.
Top image via YouTube/MCI.