In response to MP Louis Ng’s question, Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of Home Affairs Desmond Lee said on 7th November the government is willing to review laws criminalising suicide. (Link)
Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam also responded that when responding to such cases, Police’s priority is to ensure the person’s safety. Only two out of 1096 cases of attempted suicide reported in 2015 were eventually prosecuted.
He clarified that police usually arrest persons for attempting suicide in order to prevent them from doing harm, either to themselves or to others. For persons taken into custody, depending on their condition, they may be taken to the Police station for investigation, sent to the hospitals directly for medical treatment, referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric treatment, or to the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) for counselling.
MP Louis Ng also asked about Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), which detects chromosomal defects in embryos. The procedure is currently banned. Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said the government will set up a programme to study it. (Read more)
Mr Ng has also filed questions about a dedicated animal welfare commission (answer), a charge on plastic bags at supermarkets (answer), and work permit holders to engage in part-time work considering Singapore’s current labour shortage (answer).