Greater controls over ownership, management of key transport firms sought under new draft laws

2 weeks ago 37

Updated

Apr 03, 2024, 07:05 PM

Published

Apr 03, 2024, 07:05 PM

SINGAPORE - To guard against adverse influences and major interruptions in essential services, a new set of draft laws will subject key Singapore companies in the air, land and sea transport sectors to greater regulatory scrutiny if Parliament approves the changes.

The Transport Sector (Critical Firms) Bill, introduced by Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat in Parliament on April 3, seeks to amend existing laws so that Singapore’s transport authorities have more teeth when deciding which parties are allowed to own, or have control over, designated key entities.

The proposed amendments will also extend existing powers that allow the Transport Minister to step in during extreme cases when certain essential transport services cannot continue in a safe and reliable way. These powers will apply to a wider range of companies than they do now, if the Bill is passed.

While the Ministry of Transport (MOT), which tabled the Bill, could not provide specific examples, it said designated key entities under the draft laws could include firms providing services that are not easily replaceable because of significant market share or specialised expertise.

These key entities can either be those that provide essential transport services directly in Singapore or those that hold an equity interest in a key transport company here.

According to the Bill, essential transport services include bus and rail operations, port and passenger ferry services, as well as airport ground handling and aircraft maintenance.

MOT said its new Bill seeks to amend four existing laws: The Bu...

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