Parliamentary debate on Budget ends
Debate on the Budget ended today with the estimates for the new Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and those for the various Organs of State, passed.
Leader of the House and Defence Minister, Ng Eng Hen noted that 483 amendments were filed, seven per cent more than last year.
It was the second Budget for the current term of Government.
Dr Ng noted that with experience, new MPs and office bearers were more assured and forceful in their speeches this year.
Overall, he said the quality of debate, the civility and demeanour displayed spoke well of Singapore's legislature.
But he admitted that the art of the succinct can be honed.
Dr Ng said it's now time to get down to work.
He said the government and MPs must commit to the task of doing things well, to ensure that policies get implemented correctly to improve the lives of Singaporeans.
And they should speak up, if they're not.
Dr Ng noted that the budget was the first for newly appointed Speaker of Parliament, Halimah Yacob.
"This Budget session was also a first for you in the Chair, although no one would have guessed. You presided over this House with adroitness, attentiveness, patience and firmness delicately applied. The result was smooth proceedings and business completed on time."
Mdm Halimah had several observations and words of advice.
"This is a serious debate and you have taken great pains to address the people's concerns. The exchange with the front bench was robust and engaging. My advice for next year is plan your speech better. Brevity is not a sin. After all the two most powerful words in human vocabulary are very short- yes and no. It is a pleasure to preside over a Parliament where honourable members take their work seriously and have great pride for the people they represent. The people expect no less from us."
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