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Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Singapore

Parliament to reconvene on May 16

tabla! | Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Singapore is a country in transition as it adjusts to new domestic needs while navigating an uncertain international environment, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on April 15.

He made the point on the day the Government announced that Parliament had gone into its customary mid-term recess - a month-long break before it reconvenes on May 16.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam will open the second half of this 12th session of Parliament on that day with an address to outline the priorities, policies and programmes of the Government for the rest of its term.

The House will then discuss Dr Tan's address in what is called the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President's Address. The Government did not say when the debate would begin, but this has traditionally happened within a week or so of the address.

In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said that Parliament had been busy over the past 2 1/2 years, with "vigorous and valuable" debates on the white papers on ministerial salaries and population.

"We have passed Budgets that include major economic and social policies, including the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP), GST Vouchers and Workfare enhancements. MPs have filed many questions to obtain information, press for actions and solve their voters' problems," he said.

In August last year, Mr Lee first announced plans to prorogue Parliament, to allow MPs to take stock of their work and let the Government map out a fresh legislative programme. He told reporters during his visit to London last month that the second half of this session of Parliament would see the Government work more on building a stronger social safety net for Singapore and keeping upward paths open for all.

He also said that with work already beginning on the MediShield Life review and the PGP, Singaporeans could expect "a few more pieces to come" to help improve social safety nets.

The last time Parliament was prorogued was back in April 2009, three years after Singapore's 11th Parliament was sworn in. The current Parliament was sworn in in May 2011.


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