SPEECH BY ER DR LEE BEE WAH, MP FOR NEE SOON GRC, AT THE 2ND READING OF THE BUILDING CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL IN PARLIAMENT IN FEB 2020
Mr Speaker Sir
I rise to support the Bill. The amendments are certainly welcome especially in light of episodes of lifts breaking down in 2018.
I support the amendments for proper registration and training of lift technicians. We know individual lift companies may have their own in-house training, but how adequate are these training sessions? There is also a lack of career path for the technicians. Hence you don’t attract job-seekers, and there would be job-hopping, maybe leading to staff who are not adequately trained. Next, how do we regulate that the technical crew are not pressured to do jobs in a hurried manner, or jobs they are not trained to do, because they have to meet a quota of servicing X number of lifts in a day.
Based on my observation in Nee Soon South, definitely there are a lot of room for improvement in the quality of lift maintenance and quality of service by lift companies. Sometimes, they shut down the lifts without putting up proper signages informing residents. Sometimes, soon after the lift is back in working condition, it breaks down again. It shows that the checking was not thorough enough and it causes a lot of inconvenience to residents.
I believe there is a great shortage of technicians and engineers, and this is why they hurriedly finish the work to put the lift back in service again. Can minister share with this house, how many lift technicians do we have currently? I heard MOS mention that there are 70,000 lifts in Singapore, but how many technicians are there?
What is the target number and schedule of rolling out and what is the duration of the course? How many qualified trainers do we have to conduct courses on lift maintenance? Are we also training more lift engineers too??
Secondly, are we expecting an increasing number of carparks using mechanised parking system?
These are very specialised systems and they need to be properly installed and maintained. Otherwise, any freak accidents can be catastrophic.
Again, how many competent people are there to conduct the training? And, how long it takes to get someone trained?
Would Minister look into what is the frequency of maintenance for lifts and mechanised carparks determined? I think one important consideration is the frequency of the usage, rather than just a standard time-frame maintenance schedule.
Next is the maintenance of building façade. Many building owners may want fanciful facades to make their structures stand out.
But this is where aesthetics may be achieved at the expense of practicality of maintenance. We have our share of awnings and claddings on façade falling off.
What is the protocol for the maintenance of these structures? How are the workers trained for such roles?
Mr Speaker, these are burning issues which we must address in the public interest as we are quite a densely built up city state.
In Chinese please.
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