As reported by States Times Review, Leader of the House and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu recently complained about Parliamentary speeches getting longer, and as a result, she had to stay until 10pm in Parliament.
Grace Fu: I am working longer hours
She said: “Compared to previous terms of Government, Parliament sittings are getting longer — with Members of Parliament (MPs) staying behind until 10pm at a sitting last month… To some extent, we can sit longer if need be… But in overall terms, I would prefer to have a focused, meaningful sitting… this would be more beneficial for the quality of debate.”
The S$1.76 million-a-year PAP Minister then told all MPs to keep their speeches short to save time: “Participate vigorously in debates by all means, but keep your speeches short, sharp and to the point.”
Minister Grace Fu then pulled out statistics saying that Parliament sessions are working longer hours now and the average sitting duration has hit 6 hours: “The House that the average sitting duration for the 13th Parliament under the present term of Government was six hours and 23 minutes, compared to five hours and 40 minutes for the 12th Parliament, and five hours and eight minutes for the 11th Parliament.”
‘No rocket science’ in deciding Parliament question line-up
At the parliament session on May 8th, WP MP Pritam Singh asked how the priority of Parliamentary questions are being decided given the ‘lack of time’. The opposition MP then said he had to wait for months for his question to be answered for a question he raised last year.
To this, Minister Grace Fu answered: “There was no rocket science to deciding on the line-up. If there are lots of questions on a topic… If a question concerns a topical issue, it gets put in front. A balance is struck between questions from all sides of the House.”
No talk on Singaporean workers’ long working hours
Singapore workers work the longest hours in the world, averaging 45.6 hours a week. However, no mention of long working hours was ever made in Parliament.