But the ordinary business of Parliament goes on. Before the statement, we will have the usual 1.5 hours of Question Time. So I filed some questions.
Rather, I wanted to file some questions, for 9 April. The thing is, the cut-off for filing PQs for 9 April was 4.30pm on Tuesday. I've been really swamped in the office this whole week, but have been working on some questions for the upcoming sittings at nights. I finished them on Monday night -- but it was 1am, so I thought I should review them at work the next day before sending in to Parliament.
The year-end being what it is, I've been tremendously busy in the office. Tuesday was no different, and I completely forgot about the PQs until I glanced at my computer's clock and saw ... "4:29". Something clicked, I remembered about the PQs, and hurriedly e-mailed them in. My computer's clock said "4:30", and my e-mail was time-stamped 4.30pm as well.
Unfortunately for me, the Standing Orders prescribe that the relevant time is when the Clerk of Parliament receives the PQs. In my case, it seems that my e-mail was received at 4.35pm. (The Clerk's interpretation of "receive" must equate to when the e-mail is opened and read, not when it enters Parliament's e-mail system.) And so I missed the cut for 9 April 2007, and my questions were scheduled for the next day or after.
It's quite disappointing though, because one of the OPQs I filed was designed to obtain some important information before the ministerial statement on salaries. It's fairly self-evident which one.
Now I have to hope and keep my fingers crossed that: (a) there will be enough speakers on the statement that the debate is adjourned until 10 April, (b) I am slotted to speak on 10 April, and (c) I get to ask that particular OPQ on 10 April.
These are the questions I filed. I'll explain why I filed each of these questions when I post the answers.
FOR A SITTING ON OR AFTER 10 APRIL 2007
Questions for Oral Answer
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance for each of the years from 2004 to 2006 (a) how many officers resigned from the Administrative Service and what resignation rate did that represent; (b) of these resignations, how many Administrative Officers cited higher pay in a new job as the main reason or one of the main reasons; and (c) how many Administrative Officers were asked to resign for reasons related to non-performance.
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law since the Land Acquisition Act was introduced (a) how many cases were there where the Government compulsorily acquired land that was subsequently not used for 5 years or more; (b) what were the most common reasons for acquiring land in such cases; and (c) what controls are in place to ensure that the Government only acquires land that it actually needs.
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Minister for National Development in view of the situation of some tenants of one-room flats having to sleep in corridors and common areas when their flats are being upgraded (a) what are the HDB’s reasons for not permitting vacant units to be used on a temporary basis; (b) whether this situation has been encountered in previous upgradings; and (c) what measures will be taken to prevent a recurrence in future upgrading projects.
Questions for Written Answer
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Minister for National Development in each of the 5 years before the market for HDB loans was opened up to banks, how many flats did the HDB repossess for failure to make mortgage or loan repayments.
FOR A SITTING ON OR AFTER 11 APRIL 2007
Question for Oral Answer
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Minister for Transport what is the rationale for permitting high density lights to be installed on vehicles, especially sports utility vehicles, considering that use of fog lights is illegal except in low-visibility conditions.