Cat Ownership in HDB
Sir, it is the year of the rabbit but it really should be the year of the cat in this House. As a matter of consistency, I am raising the issue of the keeping cats in HDB flats again this year, similar to the last few years. I am speaking up because this policy of not allowing the keeping of cats just does not make any sense, we do not even enforce it and it is not fair. Why discriminate against people who keep cats?
So many people are already keeping cats in HDB, so many Members of this House see our residents breaking this policy and so many people have provided legitimate and good reasons as to why this policy should change. I am glad we have finally done a public consultation on this issue and it seems we are moving forward.
I hope Minister can provide a further update on the progress on this issue and share some of the brief conditions the Ministry is considering imposing to allow the keeping of cats in HDB flats. The cats are tired of running and hiding and it is time to end this cat and mouse game.
Penalties for Animals Abuse and Cruelty
More than a decade ago, before I was elected as a Member of Parliament, I sat in the Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee to review Singapore’s animal welfare legislation. It has been quite some time since we last increase penalties for animal abuse and cruelty. It is time we review this again.
Stories of animal abuse have emerged in the news with worrying frequency. Several cases of animal cruelty and abuse have also come before the Court. We know for a fact that the number of animal cruelty and welfare feedback to AVS has also risen over the years. There is also growing awareness and concerns about animal welfare and rightly so.
It is time for us to increase the penalties for animal abuse and cruelty and also increase the length of time offenders can be disqualified from owning animals. We should also emphasise the role of Mandatory Treatment Order as a sentencing option. I understand the Ministry is reviewing this and I hope Minister can provide an update and timeline for this review.
Watch the speech here.