asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to introduce a system of health insurance and social security in Singapore and the Federation of Malaya.
The introduction of health insurance in these territories is at present impracticable but the health and medical services are being improved and extended. In Singapore, medical and social welfare plans have been approved by the Legislative Council and parts of these plans, such as free treatment in hospitals, free tuberculosis treatment and family allowances for those under treatment, are already in operation. In the Federation of Malaya, all workers are entitled to free medical treatment under the Labour Code and free treatment is given in cases of hardship in all Government hospitals. Social security is being advanced generally by these and other measures suited to local circumstances. In the Federation of Malaya, an Employees Provident Fund Scheme is being examined which will give cover to a high proportion of the wage-earning population; a system of employment exchanges is also to be established. In Singapore, a Working Party is investigating the possibilities of introducing a scheme of social security.