Clarity, Once And For All: Temasek Holdings Did Invest Singaporeans’ CPF?

By Leong Sze Hian and Roy Ngerng Yi Ling

So, the golden question – did Temasek Holdings invest Singaporeans’ CPF?

In June this year, the government finally admitted for the very first time ever that the GIC does invest Singaporeans’ CPF.

CPF How It Works cropped

But what about Temasek Holdings?

In this article, let’s find out once and for all if Temasek Holdings has ever taken our CPF to invest.

On Tuesday, at the IPS Forum on CPF and Retirement AdequacyRoy Ngerng asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister:

Temasek Holdings has said that they do not invest our CPF, is it possible to know if in the past Temasek Holdings had invested our CPF? Because the GIC was only set up in 1981, so prior to 1981, how was the CPF used and otherwise was it invested in Temasek Holdings?

The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister replied:

Did Temasek manage the CPF funds in the past? No. It has never managed CPF funds. Temasek started off with a set of assets which were transferred by the Government at time of inception. I don’t have the exact figure in my head – but about $400 million dollars worth of assets in the form of a set of companies. It has never received CPF monies to invest.

What was the case in the early days, before we amended the constitution in 1992, is that CPF monies, which were invested in Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS), could be used by the Government to finance infrastructure – such as road infrastructure, Singapore’s economic infrastructure and social infrastructure. Just like (other) Singapore Government Securities (SGS), the Government was allowed to use borrowings in addition to the revenues it got in its budget, to finance infrastructural investments. That was the old system.

Well, exactly what “economic infrastructure and social infrastructure” investments is the government referring to?

And we do seem to have the answer. According to a speech given by the Minister for Labour and Communications in 1982:

CPF savings form a large portion of Singapore’s savings. These savings are used for capital formation which means the construction of new factories, installation of new plant and equipment, expansion of infrastructure such as roads,’ ports and telecommunications, the building of houses and so on. These facilities coupled with Singapore’s economic and political stability have in turn attracted large amounts of investments each year. These again go into the setting up of more businesses, factories and enterprises.

So, there you have it. Our CPF was used to invest in, among others, factories, ports and telecommunications, the building of houses and so on. So, who currently owns this?

Let’s explore these in detail.

CPF is Invested in the Temasek Holdings, via HDB

According to the book, ‘Social Insecurity in the New Millennium’ by Linda Low and Aw Tar Choon, “the CPF became a de facto housing financier since the Housing and Development Board (HDB) was a heavy user of development funds”. It went on further to explain that, “In the initial years, before the government built up budgetary surpluses, it borrowed funds from the CPF for its development expenditure budget, one important user being the HDB.”

Indeed, according to the Innovation Policies in Singapore, and Applicability to New Zealand report, it also reaffirmed that, “The single largest item in the 1961-64 State Development Plan, and hence indirect beneficiary of CPF funds, was housing,” and that in this “CPF-HDB nexus”, “The CPF financed Singapore’s public housing program (where) In the 1960s and 1970s, the HDB was the largest borrower from the government’s development fund.”

Low and Aw also explained that, “The other way the CPF functions as a financing agent is when CPF members use their CPF savings to purchase HDB housing”.

And how does this become problematic? You can see that the net flow in one year in this “CPF-HDB” nexus is that there is still a higher net inflow into HDB, where Singaporeans would lose more of our CPF into the HDB.

Net CPF-HDB Flows 2008 2009

Chart: Lessons from Singapore’s Central Provident Fund

Take a look at how much has been withdrawn from our CPF for housing:

Annual CPF Withdrawals 1960 to 2013

Chart: Housing and the CPF System

Thus in short, it is clear that Singaporeans’ CPF is invested in the HDB. Now, why is this important?

According to Surbana, “In July 2003, HDB’s Building and Development Division was corporatised as HDB Corporation Pte Ltd (HDBCorp) in a bid to export Singapore’s decades of urbanisation expertise and experience to other countries… A year later, the potential of HDB Corp was evident in its acquisition by Temasek Holdings, the Singapore Government’s investment vehicle and in 2005, the company was rebranded as Surbana Corporation Pte Ltd.” Also, “In April 2011, CapitaLand, one of the largest real estate developers in Singapore, acquired a 40% stake in Surbana, with the rest held by Temasek Holdings. Two years later, Surbana underwent a restructure and its township development arm, Surbana Land was integrated with CapitaLand China, leaving its consultancy as the core business for Surbana.”

Today, Surbana calls itself “A Singapore MNC, Temasek-Linked company” and CapitaLand is one of the major investments of Temasek Holdings.

By now, it would be clear to any reader that Singaporeans’ CPF was indeed invested in the HDB, which corporatised an arm, that was then absorbed into Temasek Holdings. So, is the CPF invested in Temasek Holdings? And when the HDB was corporatised and acquired by Temasek Holdings and CapitaLand, was Singaporeans’ CPF returned to Singaporeans, or were the earnings shared with Singaporeans?

CPF used to finance HDB_edited

In fact, this is so troubling that in 2009, it was reported in The Business Times, in the article, ‘Shouldn’t HDB deal be on commercial basis?’, that, “The sale of HDB Corp to Temasek Holdings has already begged several questions in the business community. Why was there no tender and no transparency on the transaction price? And why Temasek?” It added that, “While neither is a publicly listed company – so there is no mandatory requirement to disclose price details – the lack of disclosure runs counter, at least in spirit, to the growing emphasis on corporate governance.”

The Business Times reported that “So in effect, it’s a left to right hand deal – a reshuffling of assets and holding companies by the government,” and Leong Sze Hian had “said in a letter to BT that he is ‘puzzled’ by HDB’s explanation that calling a tender for the sale could have disrupted services to HDB residents subsequently.”

Finally, The Business Times emphasised that, “Nor do we know just how good a deal HDB Corp got from Temasek. And it seems reasonable to ask: would not a more equitable price have been achieved if there was a tender?”

And more importantly, how were Singaporeans compensated with our CPF?

CPF is Invested in the Temasek Holdings, via POSB

Apparently, this lack of openness in the “left to right hand deal” was not the first time it happened in 2009. According to The Business Times, “In 1998, POSBank was sold to DBS Bank, another Temasek-linked company, making DBS the largest bank in Singapore. Two years on, DBS sold its stake in DBS Land to Pidemco Land, also a government-linked company, to create property giant CapitaLand. Again, no other suitors were reportedly allowed.”

Today, DBS is one of the major investments of the Temasek Holdings.

Perhaps what would be revealing is from the book, ‘Housing a Healthy, Educated and Wealthy Nation through the CPF’ by Linda Low and T. C. Aw, the CPF funds were liberalised for investment after 1973/74. And so, “Having liberalized CPF for investment, the government seized on the opportunity to link (and tap) the large pool of CPF balances with the privatization of its government-linked companies (GLCs), beginning with the statutory boards. The privatization exercise was part of public sector reform, where the government began to scale back its activities in the economy after 1985, to make the private sector the engine of growth. Since the 1985 recession, a conscious recycling of CPF funds to avert possible “crowding-out” effects overall has been more distinct. Thus, in 1993, when Singapore Telecom was privatized through public flotation, there was a jump in CPF funds withdrawn.”

CPF is Invested in the Temasek Holdings, via Singtel

Thus according to Singtel:

In October 1993, SingTel became a public company. Shares were traded for the first time on the Stock Exchange of Singapore (now known as the Singapore Exchange or SGX) on 1 November 1993. The IPO in 1993 represented 11 per cent of SingTel shares, with the rest held by Temasek Holdings… Singapore Citizens were able to purchase Group A shares (via using our CPF) at a discounted price as part of the Singapore Government’s effort to share the nation’s wealth and to enlarge the base of share-owning Singaporeans.

In 1996, Temasek Holdings offered a second tranche of SingTel shares (ST-2) to Singaporeans at a discounted price, reducing its shareholding in SingTel to about 82 per cent.

The National Library Board further reported that:

In October 1993, SingTel announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The government, through state investment company Temasek Holdings, initially offered 1.1 billion shares for sale to Singaporeans, with a series of discounts and loyalty bonuses. This issue was subscribed by 4.1 times, and Temasek added another 587 million shares to help meet demand. After the float, the government still held around 89% of SingTel through Temasek.

On 1 November, SingTel debuted on the Stock Exchange of Singapore, with more than 1.4 million Singaporeans and foreign and local institutions acquiring shares in the company. With a share capital of 15.25 billion shares and a market capitalisation of S$60 billion at the time, SingTel became the largest company on the Exchange. Further tranches of SingTel shares were released for public sale in subsequent years, including 804 million shares in 1996.

According to the CPF Board Annual Report in 2004, “Singaporean CPF members were able to buy discounted SingTel shares in 1993 (ST “A” shares) and 1996 (ST2 shares). SingTel declared a final dividend of 6.4 cents a share for its financial year ended 31 March 2004.”

The CPF Board also explained that, “SingTel had performed capital reduction on 1 September 2004 and 1 September 2006. In the 2004 capital reduction, SingTel had cancelled 1 in every 14 of its shares, with the resultant shareholding rounded-up to the nearest 10 shares, where applicable. SingTel had reimbursed you a cash distribution of S$2.36 for each cancelled share. In the 2006 capital reduction, SingTel had cancelled 1 in every 20 of its shares, with the resultant shareholding rounded-up to the nearest 10 shares, where applicable. SingTel had reimbursed you a cash distribution of $2.74 for each cancelled share. The cash distributions were credited into your CPF Ordinary Account and a letter was also sent to inform you of the capital reduction in September 2004 and September 2006 respectively.”

Where Singaporeans had bought Singtel shares with our CPF at $1.90, we were only reimbursed with cash distributions of $2.36 in 2004 and $2.74 in 2006.

(Note: Was the initial public offering price of $3.61 for Singtel, arguably so overpriced that it took about 20 years for the price to to go above $3.61 (after accounting for the capital reduction in 2004 and 2006), after the initial surge in the price in 1993?)

Perhaps the issue cannot be more simply put when Linda Low explained that the CPF investment scheme “assist(ed) with the government privatization program, as, for example, in the case of Singapore Telecom, which was privatized in 1993. A huge sum withdrawn from the CPF was invested into Singapore Telecom.”

Is something wrong here? Were the interest earned on our CPF returned to Singaporeans? Today, Singtel is one of the major investments of Temasek Holdings.

CPF used to invest in Singtel_edited

CPF is Invested in the Temasek Holdings, via SBS Transit

And this is not yet all! Low and Aw had also described how “On 26 April 1978, CPF members could start using their CPF savings for investment… (for) shares issued by Singapore Bus Service.” Later on, “Singapore Bus Service shares were renamed DelGro shares following the change in name of the bus company to DelGro Corporation.”

In 2003, Delgro Corporation and Comfort Group merged to become ComfortDelgro, where SBS Transit became part of the group. At one time, “Temasek owns more than 50% of the shares in … SBS Transit.

CPF used to invest in Delgro_edited

CPF is Invested in the Temasek Holdings, via Government-Linked Companies

But SBS Transit wasn’t the only transport company to be acquired by the Temasek Holdings.

Leong Sze Hian wrote that, “Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009,” where the airport was then “transferred to Temasek”.

Leong Sze Hian also asked:

In this connection, to what extent has the 1990′s corporatisation and transfer of state entities like SingPower and PSA, and the biggest single-year jncrease in its portfolio value with the listing of SingTel in 1993, contributed to its phenomenal 17 per cent annualised returns from Temasek’s inception?

Who benefits from the transaction when a state entity is corporatised? If an entity is sold, what is the price? How do Singaporeans benefit?

It may seem quite odd to debate and approve in Parliament the sale of a strategic state asset, like Chang Airport, when the price was still not known.

Today, SATS and Singapore Airlines are also one of the major investments of  Temasek Holdings.

At the start of the article, we also found out that the CPF was invested in port infrastructure. Today, PSA and Neptune Orient Lines are also major investments of  Temasek Holdings.

The CPF was also invested in the construction of factories. Today, Mapletree is also one of the major investments of Temasek Holdings.

Again, the question is, were Singaporeans reimbursed for the use of our CPF, and were the earnings on our CPF returned to Singaporeans?

Exposed: The Government Did Take Singaporeans’ CPF To Invest In The Temasek Holdings

So, did Temasek Holdings invest our CPF, or only GIC? The issue is very clear now. What we have shown you is only a cross-section of how our CPF is actually invested in Temasek Holdings. But how many more? And most importantly, was our CPF monies returned back to Singaporeans? Or did we, in a sense, lose them to Temasek Holdings?

Today, Temasek Holdings earns 16% in SGD terms since inception (1974). How much of their earnings is attributed to the CPF which has not been returned to Singaporeans?

Are we facing another roundabout explanation from the government again as to how even though the CPF is indeed invested in the GIC, the government would want to claim otherwise, until forced without a choice to submit to admission once again?

We now know that the CPF is indeed invested in the GIC, via a complicated routed process by the government, via government bonds and reserves.

Doesn’t it look quite similar to you that the CPF is also invested in Temasek Holdings, via a similarly complicated routed process, via the government-linked companies, and what the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister had described as economic and social infrastructural investments?

CPF used to invest in GLCs_edited

Since June, the government has finally admitted to many issues and questions. We finally know our CPF is invested in the GIC. But Temasek Holdings? – the government is still reluctant to explain the full workings and mechanics behind how our CPF is invested in Temasek Holdings. However, by doing our own investigations, we are able to know the information for ourselves. So, will the government admit to this as well? Or will they continue to not be transparent?

3rd Edition Of The #ReturnOurCPF Event: Why Singaporeans Cannot Retire Because Of The HDB

We cannot let up on our fight to demand to the government to be transparent and accountable to Singaporeans on what exactly they are doing with our CPF. The facts need to be known to Singaporeans. If today we cannot retire because we do not have enough in our CPF, we need to know the facts about what the government has been doing with it.

On 23 August, there will be the third edition of the #ReturnOurCPF event. In the first edition on June 7, the speakers revealed to you the facts that the government has finally admitted to how they are using our CPF to invest in the GIC. In the second edition on 12 July, we exposed further information about the estimated number of Singaporeans who were not able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum.

Join us at the third edition as we reveal even more glaring facts about how our CPF is being used by the HDB and for housing, and find out why Singaporeans are not able to retire adequately, because of the HDB.

You can join the Facebook event page here.

(Note: Also, Roy Ngerng’s first court case hearing will be held on 18 September 2014, at 10.00am. It will be a full-day hearing.)

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title@Chinese

Questions To DPM Tharman: How Much Has GIC Earned From Singaporeans’ CPF?

Yesterday, I attended the Forum on CPF and Retirement Adequacy, organised by the Institute of Policy Studies. At the closing dialogue with the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, I posed some questions. The full question and answer session was captured by the Channel NewsAsia:

The questions that I had posed: 

  1. Now that we know that the CPF is invested in the GIC, is it also possible to know what is the interest earned in SG terms since inception?
  2. Secondly, Temasek Holdings has said that they do not invest our CPF, is it possible to know if in the past Temasek Holdings had invested our CPF? Because the GIC was only set up in 1981, so prior to 1981, how was the CPF used and otherwise was it invested in Temasek Holdings?
  3. Thirdly, how much has the Government earned in absolute monetary terms from the excess returns of the CPF and will the Government consider returning some of them to Singaporeans?
  4. Finally, the GIC has said before June this year that they do not know if they invest our CPF because it is “not made explicit” to them – they said this on the GIC FAQ. But the Government made an about-turn in June this year and admitted that they do. So in the interest of public interest, is it possibly to know why the Government made an about-turn? It might also be intriguing because the Government is also on the board of the GIC, so it would be insightful to know why. Thank you.

(1) Temasek Has Never Managed CPF Funds?

The minister replied that the Temasek Holdings “has never managed CPF funds” and that it “started off with a set of assets which were transferred by the Government at time of inception (1974)” with “about $400 million dollars worth of assets in the form of a set of companies”.

But he also revealed that, “before we amended the constitution in 1992, is that CPF monies, which were invested in Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS), could be used by the Government to finance infrastructure – such as road infrastructure, Singapore’s economic infrastructure and social infrastructure. Just like (other) Singapore Government Securities (SGS), the Government was allowed to use borrowings in addition to the revenues it got in its budget, to finance infrastructural investments.”

What are these “economic infrastructural and social infrastructural investments”? Were they part of the $400 million dollars worth of assets in the set of companies which were transferred by the government to the Temasek Holdings?

 (2) GIC Does Not Need To Know If They Manage Our CPF?

On whether the GIC knows if it manages the CPF, the minister replied that, “GIC manages … CPF assets – but not as CPF assets. It is managing Government assets: managing all Government assets put together,… And the GIC (hence) pays no regard to what the source of funds is.”

He went on further to say that, “If the GIC was just managing CPF funds as a CPF fund manager, it would be managed quite differently. To provide a guaranteed interest rate of four to five per cent of the Special Account, or 2.5 to 3.5 per cent of the Ordinary Account, capital guaranteed and interest rate guaranteed, it would be a very different fund that it would be managing.”

Finally, he said that, “So the GIC manages a pool of Government assets, irrespective of sources of the funds. It is the Government that then takes the risk,” and that, “we’re not just triple-A-rated, but we’re able to provide CPF members with a very fair return on a guaranteed basis.”

I find this answer very worrying because as I have written before, if the government is also on the Board of Directors of the GIC (the prime minister is the chairperson), then there needs to be transparent accountability on how our CPF monies are actually being managed by the government and the GIC.

(3) GIC Takes On The Risk For CPF?

Later on at the forum, someone asked about the triple-A rating of the government. He pointed out that the government had said that the CPF is guaranteed “secure” returns because the government has a triple-A rating, and asked if the government can guarantee the rating because of how it’s managed Singapore’s finances. The minister then replied that the triple-A rating comes about because the government has additional assets, which comes from years of fiscal prudence. He said that when the government sells land, they don’t spend it. Surpluses from land sales and investment income add to the assets, which allows the government to come to its current financial position, and explains the strong credit rating.

Which leads us to this question – if our CPF is helping the government to accumulate the assets, then isn’t it because of Singaporeans’ CPF that Singapore is able to have a triple-A rating? If so, aren’t Singaporeans guaranteeing the returns on our CPF by ourselves? Then, shouldn’t we get all the returns earned on our CPF back, and not just the 2.5% to 4% we are given back now?

In fact, Ms Wong Su-Yen had presented at the forum how the Singapore government has over-invested our CPF retirement funds in very low-risk bonds – 72% goes into bonds, when the other countries would invest between 49% to 69% in higher risk investments, which has thus resulted in one of the least adequate retirement funds for Singaporeans in the world.

CPF Investment Allocation vs World

Thus seen in this light, does the government’s rhetoric that, “If the GIC was just managing CPF funds as a CPF fund manager, it would be managed quite differently” does not quite hold water when the evidence from the other countries show contrary.

At the end of the day, the government still has not answered as to why they made the about turn and finally admitted in June this year that they do invest our CPF in the GIC.

 (4) Singaporeans Are Still Not Able To Know What The GIC’s Returns Since Inception Is

As to GIC’s returns, the minister said that, “The GIC publishes five-year, 10-year, 20-year returns. You can look at the returns, and they are easily computed into Singapore dollars. Over the last five years it earned 0.5 per cent in Singapore dollar terms, over the last 10 years it earned five per cent in Singapore dollar terms, over the last 20 years it earned five per cent in Singapore dollar terms.”

However, the minister still did not reveal the GIC’s returns in Singapore dollar terms since GIC’s inception (in 1981).

But what we do know is that Leong Sze Hian has found that “it was disclosed in 2006 that the returns for the 25 years prior to 2006, was 9.5 per cent”, and asked if the GIC’s returns since inception would be more than 6%.

Why is this important? If our CPF is invested in the GIC, then the interest earned on our CPF should be returned to us. The difference of 1 or 2 per cent is very significant, as that can translate into tens and hundreds of thousands of pension funds that can be returned to Singaporeans.

(5) Questions 1, 3 And 4 Were Not Answered

Finally, of the 4 questions that I had posed, the minister did not answer 3 of the questions – questions 1, 3 and 4. We still do not know how much the government had earned in absolute monetary terms from the excess returns that were earned from our CPF. And even though the minister answered question 2, his answer only throws up even more questions. Did the Temasek Holdings invest assets from companies which had used our CPF monies?

Since June, more and more truths are being revealed and admitted by the government. In June, the government finally admitted to the truth that they invest our CPF in the GIC. Today, the government reveals that the Temasek Holdings has never invested the CPF, but have used assets from companies, which could possibly have been invested with our CPF.

Yet, the government is still not willing to let us know what the GIC’s returns are since inception. If the GIC uses our CPF to invest, then Singaporeans have every right to know how it is performing and the government cannot hide this information from Singaporeans.

3rd Edition Of The #ReturnOurCPF Event: Why Singaporeans Cannot Retire Because Of The HDB

We have to keep up this fight, to demand for transparency and accountability from the government. The CPF is our money, so the government claims, and if so, it is the every right of Singaporeans to demand proper answers from the government.

On 23 August, we will be organising the third edition of the #ReturnOurCPF event. In the first edition on June 7, we revealed to you the truths that the government has finally admitted to how they are using our CPF to invest in the GIC. In the second edition on 12 July, we exposed further truths about the exact number of Singaporeans who were not able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum.

Join us at the third edition as we reveal even more glaring facts about how our CPF is being used by the HDB and for housing, and find out why Singaporeans are not able to retire adequately, because of the HDB.

You can join the Facebook event page here.

Also, my first court case will be held on 18 September 2014, at 10.00am. It will be a full-day hearing.

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title@Chinese

关于我的案件于2014年7月17日审前会议进展汇报

FreeGreatPicture.com-29418-gesture

您好!
各位我的律师今天已经出席了法院的审前会议。这是一个简短的事务。整个过程不超过半小时。
Hello everyone, my lawyer attended my pre-trial conference today. It was a short affair. Was done in just less than half an hour.

事情经过是:法院给予我们如下的期限。
What happened was we were given the following timelines from the courts:

我们必须在8月1日呈递我们的抗辩书。总理将随着在8月22日回复我们的抗辩(假设他有回复的话。)
We were told to submit our Affidavit by 1 August. The prime minister will then submit his reply (if any) by 22 August.
抗辩书是以宣誓书或事实声明的形式递交,必须进行宣誓的。

An Affidavit is a written declaration or statement of facts, under oath.
我们也必须在9月4日前递交我们书写的呈堂证据(双方),我们将于9月11日做出回复。
We are to also file our written submissions (from both sides) of the evidence we have by 4 September and our subsequent replies to these on 11 September.

法院将于9月18日进行总结判决。这将是一个闭门全日的庭审。
The hearing for the summary judgment will be held on 18 September. It will be a full-day hearing which will be held closed-door in the Chambers.

我的律师将抗辩反对总结判决。我们希望能够获得一个有利于我们的结果,那就是我们可以在法庭进行辩护我的立场。请为我们、新加坡和真相公诸于世而祈祷。
My lawyer, M Ravi, will fight to resist the summary judgment. We hope for a favourable outcome where we would be able to go on trial to defend my position. Please pray for us, and for Singapore, for the truth to be known.

第二场法院审前会议将于在9月26日下午2.30分举行。
A second Pre-trial Conference will be held on 26 September at 2.30pm.

我再一次感谢那些今天无法进入法院(包括我本人在内)听审的老朋友们和新朋友们。我非常诚挚的感激您们每一个人密切关注着这个案件的进展和确保事情是对我完好的。
Thank you to friends, old and new, who had turned up to support today even though you couldn’t enter the Chambers. (I couldn’t too!) I very much appreciate you and everyone for keeping watch on this and making sure that things are fine on my side.

朋友们,我一切都很好。我对所有的事情都采取积极的态度。这是因为我知道,您们已经尽力为此说出什么是正确的!这是因为我知道,我们是紧密团结在一块儿!我们为正义而斗争!真相将会被揭露!
I am doing well and am taking things positively. There is strength in knowing that you’ve done your best to speak for what is right, and in knowing that we are standing in solidarity together in this. Our fight for justice and truth will prevail.

我会继续为我们的公积金而发言。我搜索了几个政府网站有关把我们的公积金投资在GIC和淡马锡控股的信息。在今年5月份政府删除了所有这些有关的信息。但是,在今年6月份,政府突然间来个大转弯,最终承认了我们的公积金是投资在GIC和淡马锡控股的事实。
I will continue to speak up for our CPF. By May this year, the government deleted all evidence that I’ve traced of how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings from the government websites. But by June this year, the government suddenly did an about turn and finally admitted the truth – that our CPF is indeed invested in the GIC.

在今5月份,GIC还坚持说,不知道他们是在动用我们的公积金进行投资。但是,在今年6月份,他们也同样的进行了大转弯,承认了他们是动用了我们的公积金进行投资的事实。
By May this year, the GIC still told us that they do not know if they use our CPF to invest. But by June this year, they also did an about turn and admitted the truth – that they do use our CPF to invest.

当您发现GIC董事会是由总理、两位副总理和其他部长组成的,实际上就是政府。那么,你的问题是:为什么政府没有告诉我们的公积金是投资在GIC的事实真相和到今年5月份还继续告诉我们不知道GIC是动用了我们的公积金进行投资?
When you find out that the Board of Directors on the GIC are made up of the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and other ministers, or actually, the government, then you question – why was it the government never told us the truth that our CPF is invested in the GIC and still even told us that they don’t know about this all the way until May this year?

为什么他们要在今年6月承认这个事实?
Why did they suddenly admit to the truth in June this year?

在今年6月份,淡马锡控股也辩称他们并没有投资在我们的公积金。但是,这是否说明他们过去没有这么做呢?事实是,一本由前财政部官员撰写的书已经暴露了这个事实!——淡马锡控股是动用了我们的公积金。那么,他们是什么时候停止咱这么做的?政府或淡马锡控股是否会告诉我们事实真相?
In June this year, the Temasek Holdings also claimed that they do not invest using our CPF. But does this mean that they used to? Indeed, a book by an ex-director of the Ministry of Finance exposed the truth – Temasek Holdings did use our CPF. Then when did they stop? Will they or the government tell us the truth?

这个问题的事实已经越来越浑浊了。在过去的两个月,很多真相被揭露了。政府最终必须承认这些真相。长期以来,每当我们提出要求给予确实的答案时,他们从来就不愿意给予明确的回答!
The facts of the matter is that things are getting murkier and murkier. Over these past two months, many truths are finally revealed. The government is finally admitting to the truths. For a long time, we asked for answers and they never wanted to give them to us.

在今年6月份,终于我们知道了我们的公积金是投资在GIC。
Finally, in June this year, we now know our CPF is invested in the GIC.

在今年6月份,最终政府第一次揭露了同意我们估计约85%的新加坡人是无法达到公积金存款最低额的要求的。同时,55%的新加坡人必须动用我们的公积金普通户头购买政府组屋。
Finally, in July this year, the government revealed information for the first time which allows us to estimate that 85% of Singaporeans cannot even meet the CPF Minimum Sum in cash, and that we have to use 55% of our CPF Ordinary Account to pay for the HDB flats.

许文远也第一次揭露,政府控制建屋局建设施工进度和政府组屋的价格。从2008年到去年,每年土地的成本增加了18%,政府组屋的转售价每年长幅9.1%。但是, 我们的收入增长只有5.3%。
In Parliament, Khaw Boon Wan also revealed for the first time that the government controls the construction programme and they also control the prices of the HDB flats. From 2008 to last year, land costs grew by 18.2% every year and HDB resale flats grew by 9.1% every year, but our incomes grew by only 5.3%.

我想,您现在可以看到事情真相是那么的可怕。政府拿我们的公积金投资在GIC和淡马锡控股,支付给我们在公积金户头的回报是那么的低。然后,迫使我们使用自己的公积金去购买公共住屋。我们却支付高利息还给政府。
I hope you can see what’s terribly wrong by now. The government takes our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings and pays us low returns then makes us buy public flats with our own CPF, and charge a higher interest on it.

既然他们给予我们在公积金户头的利息是低的,控制了组屋价格,又把组屋价格操高,接着,让使用自己的公积金购买组屋并支付高利息。假设我们失去了我们的公积金,那么,这里实际发生的情况是什么?
Since they give us low interests on our CPF, controls the prices of flats and make them high, then charge a higher interest to make us buy the flats with our CPF, if we are losing our CPF, then what is really going on here?

假设政府是事实上动用我们的公积金投资在GIC和淡马锡控股,那么,到底他们动用了多少数额?他们在动用我们的公积金投资在GIC和淡马锡控股后赚取了多少回报后有没有归还给我们?现在是政府必须归还这些投资回报的时候了!
If the government indeed uses our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings, then how much exactly did they take, how much did they earn from us which they did not return? It’s time they return us our money now!

今天85% 的新加坡人无法达到最低存款额的要求。新加坡人是世界上人民没有足够的退休金退休的国家之一。许多新加坡人是无法退休的。他们必须去当临时工和清洁工人之类的低微工作。
Today, 85% of Singaporeans cannot meet the CPF Minimum Sum, Singaporeans have one of the least adequate retirement funds in the world and many Singaporeans cannot retire, and have to work in odd-jobs and as menial labour, as cleaners etc.

今天新加坡是世界上生活费最昂贵的国家。然而,新加坡人也是发展中国家里赚取最低薪金的国家和世界上赚取最低的公积金回报利息的国家。
Singapore is the most expensive country in the world today. Yet Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the developed countries and earn the lowest CPF interest rates in the world.

朋友们,一些事情是不对的!而且非常错误的!
Something is not quite right, my friends. Something is very, very wrong.

新加坡人民需要改变。现在已经不是我们只是感到愤怒而希望情况自己能够改变!除非我们争取实现改变,否则,情况是不会自己改变的!
Change needs to come to Singapore. It’s no longer enough for us to be angry and hope that things will change. Things will not change, unless we make change happen.

我的朋友们,假设我们是要生活在一个受到保护和照顾的公正和更加平等的社会,那么,这是我们必须做些事情的时候了。我们知道自己需要的是什么?——一个能够让年轻人和老年人可以生活在活跃和快乐的社会。一个能够让我们感觉到政府是在保护我们的社会。
My friends, if we want to live in a fairer and more equal society where we will be protected and taken care of, then it’s time we do something about it. We know what we want – a society where our young and old can flourish, and where we can live happy lives, knowing that we are protected by our government.

假设您已经晓得整个问题的症结所在,这是我们必须坚强起来的时候了。这是必须需要拿出勇气、自豪和站起来的时候。为了我们能够真正获得自由和受到保护、为了我们的权利和自由,我们必须站起来共同进行斗争的时刻。
If you realise now what the problem is, it’s time to be brave, it’s time to be strong. It’s take to have courage, take pride and stand up. For if we truly want to be free and protected, then for our rights and our freedom, it’s time we stand up and fight, together.

这是我们手挽手共同实现改变现状的时刻。我们通过改变现状实现我们要看到的改变。
It’s time for us to join hands and make things happen. To make change happen, by being the change we want to see.

谢谢大家。我将会继续战斗,我将会继续和大家一道战斗!为了我们自己、家庭和孩子们的有一个美好的未来,我会和你们在共同的道路上一起看到这个改变。
Thank you, my friends. I will continue to fight, and I will continue to fight with you, and you with me, in our own ways. Together, we will see this through, and see change come, for the better, for ourselves, our families and our children.

朋友们 ,团结起来,让我们共同努力实现改变。
Together, my friends. Let’s do it.

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Today, At The Pre-Trial Conference Of Lee Hsien Loong’s Case Against CPF Blogger Roy Ngerng

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Hello everyone, my lawyer attended my pre-trial conference today. It was a short affair. Was done in just less than half an hour.

What happened was we were given the following timelines from the courts:

We were told to submit our Affidavit by 1 August. The prime minister will then submit his reply (if any) by 22 August.

An Affidavit is a written declaration or statement of facts, under oath.

We are to also file our written submissions (from both sides) of the evidence we have by 4 September and our subsequent replies to these on 11 September.

The hearing for the summary judgment will be held on 18 September. It will be a full-day hearing which will be held closed-door in the Chambers.

My lawyer, M Ravi, will fight to resist the summary judgment. We hope for a favourable outcome where we would be able to go on trial to defend my position. Please pray for us, and for Singapore, for the truth to be known.

A second Pre-trial Conference will be held on 26 September at 2.30pm.

Thank you to friends, old and new, who had turned up to support today even though you couldn’t enter the Chambers. (I couldn’t too!) I very much appreciate you and everyone for keeping watch on this and making sure that things are fine on my side.

I am doing well and am taking things positively. There is strength in knowing that you’ve done your best to speak for what is right, and in knowing that we are standing in solidarity together in this. Our fight for justice and truth will prevail.

I will continue to speak up for our CPF. By May this year, the government deleted all evidence that I’ve traced of how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings from the government websites. But by June this year, the government suddenly did an about turn and finally admitted the truth – that our CPF is indeed invested in the GIC.

By May this year, the GIC still told us that they do not know if they use our CPF to invest. But by June this year, they also did an about turn and admitted the truth – that they do use our CPF to invest.

When you find out that the Board of Directors on the GIC are made up of the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and other ministers, or actually, the government, then you question – why was it the government never told us the truth that our CPF is invested in the GIC and still even told us that they don’t know about this all the way until May this year?

Why did they suddenly admit to the truth in June this year?

In June this year, the Temasek Holdings also claimed that they do not invest using our CPF. But does this mean that they used to? Indeed, a book by an ex-director of the Ministry of Finance exposed the truth – Temasek Holdings did use our CPF. Then when did they stop? Will they or the government tell us the truth?

The facts of the matter is that things are getting murkier and murkier. Over these past two months, many truths are finally revealed. The government is finally admitting to the truths. For a long time, we asked for answers and they never wanted to give them to us.

Finally, in June this year, we now know our CPF is invested in the GIC. Finally, in July this year, the government revealed information for the first time which allows us to estimate that 85% of Singaporeans cannot even meet the CPF Minimum Sum in cash, and that we have to use 55% of our CPF Ordinary Account to pay for the HDB flats.

In Parliament, Khaw Boon Wah also revealed for the first time that the government controls the construction programme and they also control the prices of the HDB flats. From 2008 to last year, land costs grew by 18.2% every year and HDB resale flats grew by 9.1% every year, but our incomes grew by only 5.3%.

I hope you can see what’s terribly wrong by now. The government takes our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings and pays us low returns then makes us buy public flats with our own CPF, and charge a higher interest on it. Since they give us low interests on our CPF, controls the prices of flats and make them high, then charge a higher interest to make us buy the flats with our CPF, if we are losing our CPF, then what is really going on here?

If the government indeed uses our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings, then how much exactly did they take, how much did they earn from us which they did not return? It’s time they return us our money now!

Today, 85% of Singaporeans cannot meet the CPF Minimum Sum, Singaporeans have one of the least adequate retirement funds in the world and many Singaporeans cannot retire, and have to work in odd-jobs and as menial labour, as cleaners etc.

Singapore is the most expensive country in the world today. Yet Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the developed countries and earn the lowest CPF interest rates in the world.

Something is not quite right, my friends. Something is very, very wrong.

Change needs to come to Singapore. It’s no longer enough for us to be angry and hope that things will change. Things will not change, unless we make change happen.

My friends, if we want to live in a fairer and more equal society where we will be protected and taken care of, then it’s time we do something about it. We know what we want – a society where our young and old can flourish, and where we can live happy lives, knowing that we are protected by our government.

If you realise now what the problem is, it’s time to be brave, it’s time to be strong. It’s take to have courage, take pride and stand up. For if we truly want to be free and protected, then for our rights and our freedom, it’s time we stand up and fight, together.

It’s time for us to join hands and make things happen. To make change happen, by being the change we want to see.

Thank you, my friends. I will continue to fight, and I will continue to fight with you, and you with me, in our own ways. Together, we will see this through, and see change come, for the better, for ourselves, our families and our children.

Together, my friends. Let’s do it.

Originally posted on my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sexiespider/posts/10152301183064141

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Lee Hsien Loong’s Affidavit (10 July 2014) For The CPF Case Against Roy Ngerng

Affidavit of Lee Hsien Loong

Update On CPF Case Defamation Suit Against Lee Hsien Loong

Hello everyone, just a quick update, my pre-trial conference will be held tomorrow, on 17 July, at 2.30pm at Chamber 4A at the Supreme Court (It was postponed from 4 July). It will be a closed-door session where the court will give both sides the timeline to submit our affidavit.

The pre-trial will be closed-door. I understand that some media and supporters might be coming down. It wouldn’t be possible to go into the chamber for this pre-trial though.

The prime minister has filed for a summary judgment, which means that he wants the court to pass the judgment without going through a court trial, and then go straight to asking the courts to award the damages. The court hearing will be held on 18 September at 10am. My lawyer, M Ravi, will fight the case for me and to resist the summary judgment.

Thank you everyone for the support and encouragement! Let’s continue to join hands to fight for transparency and accountability on our CPF!

My Life As A Cleaner: Having New Found Respect For Our Cleaners

My back was aching from the cleaning, but the clinic was going to open in another hour and I couldn’t stop to rest. Otherwise, I would be cleaning while the patients were walking in and it would be inconvenient to them.

Unknown to most people, after I lost my job in the middle of June, I took up a cleaning job for about 2 weeks. A friend of mine had asked me if I knew anyone who could do some cleaning work for the clinic that he works at, as his cleaning lady was going on leave. I volunteered as I had just got out of a job, and I thought that it would be a useful experience to learn from.

I had to clean for 6 days a week and it was a part-time job, which meant that I needed to clean for 4 hours a day. Every morning, I would start with cleaning the toilets, sweeping and mopping the floors and wiping the counter, tables, chairs and beds with Dettol. It was quite a big clinic, so it took several hours to get through the whole place.

Before I had started cleaning, another cleaning auntie had shared with me on her experience. Once, when she was scrubbing the toilet bowl, as her brush went into the depths of the bowl, the shit which were stuck inside loosened and were released back into the toilet bowl. It was horrifying. On the first day of my job, I thought to myself if that would happened.

When I was on the job, I would take breakfast every morning, and wonder to myself if I would see shit later, and if it would then overturn the appetite. I can imagine how you would need to train for a very strong stomach to handle that!

Thankfully, on my first day, as I surveyed the three toilets – there was a male and female toilet, and a toilet for users on wheelchairs – the toilets were clean. The cleaning lady before me had been meticulous in her job and had obviously taken her job very seriously. She had different brushes for the different toilets, and had arranged her things very neatly. I felt that I had a responsibility to make sure that I upkeep what she did, and maintained the cleanliness.

I scrubbed the toilet bowls, urinals and the floor and washed the basins with detergent. Later on, I also used detergent and bleach to mop the floors and Dettol to wipe the rest of the furniture. By the end of the two weeks, my hands and feet were very dry and there were signs of cracking.

Everytime as I poured the washing powder onto the toilet bowl or floor, I thought to myself that this was what the cleaning aunties and uncles had to do almost everyday. I wondered what side effects it would have to their health.

Not only that, they would also be in close contact with the lingering dirt and dust. So, you can imagine if the cleaning aunties and uncles were working for the past 30, 40 years of their lives, how this would have quite drastic effects to their health.

I was only working for 2 weeks and I was already thinking about this. I wonder how it would be for someone who has to clean for several decades, knowing and bearing with the effects it can have on one’s health.

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Making sure it’s clean inside

My Encounter With S***

Shit did come a few days into the job. One day, when I went to do my daily inspection of the toilets before I started cleaning them, I saw one of the toilet bowls with pieces of shit in it. I think the cleaning lady would be quite used to it by now and might have handled it better than I would.

At home, we would ensure that our toilets are cleaned after each use, so the toilets were generally clean. Even if I were to use it, I would wash it clean after every use.

Thus when I saw the pieces of shit stuck onto the inner walls of the toilet bowl, I started spraying water to wash it away. But it was a very resilient piece of shit! It just wouldn’t go away no matter how I sprayed at it!

Then, I thought to myself, why not sterilise it with the washing detergent, in the hope of “cleaning” it? What was I even thinking, right? But I did. So I poured washing powder on it, then washing detergent, and then bleach. But it still wouldn’t go away!

So, I thought, OK, let the detergent stay for now and hopefully that would make it easier to wash later on. I started scrubbing the floors and the other toilet bowls. But it was not long before I was worried if the shit would actually solidify further under the detergent which would make it more difficult to clean later on, and quickly used water to wash the detergent away. The shit remained, unmovable.

I know, the whole cleaning the shit felt like a whole operation, right? Finally, I decided to leave it, wash the other parts of the toilet first and cleaned that toilet bowl the last. When I finally did, I scrubbed at the shit with the brush. Thankfully, it did go away with the scrubbing!

The toilets that I was working with were generally well-maintained and the users also helped to keep it clean. But I can’t help but imagine how the cleaners who had to spend their whole day cleaning toilets at the shopping malls, which were used by thousands of people everyday, and had to maintain it at daily intervals! Imagine the amount of shit splattered all over!

It reminded me of how the toilets were well-maintained in some of the other countries that I had visited, in Australia, some parts of Europe, and in South Korea. This got me thinking – the cleanliness of our toilets isn’t only the job and duty of the cleaning auntie or uncle, but also of all the users, to help maintain it, so that we do not stain the toilet bowl or cause the pee to be sprayed around. It meant that we should try to keep the toilets clean and wipe off any stray shit or pee, so that we could help keep the toilets clean.

Perhaps the Japanese, for example, are more socially conscious of their responsibility, also because from young, children are taught to clean the toilets in their schools, so that they know how it would feel like to clean, and how it is thus appropriate for them to also make sure they do not dirty the toilets, and to keep it clean for the next person. This also reminded me of a teacher when I was in school, who actually brought a toilet seat to an assembly session, to teach us the methods to shit and pee properly, so that we could keep the toilets clean. I actually thought what he did was a really good lesson, but I don’t think it ever caught on.

2014-07-16 16.30.59

Job Satisfaction! Proud of the bowl I washed!

Should Our Elderly Still Be Working In Menial Jobs In Their Golden Years?

Back to my cleaning. By the end of the week, my back was aching badly. It felt sore. Even two weeks after I stopped cleaning, I still felt the soreness on my back.

I’ve always thought that our elderly shouldn’t be working in their later years, especially in menial jobs, and should be able to retire gracefully and with dignity. Now that I’ve actually worked as a cleaner, I am even more convinced that our elderly shouldn’t be working as cleaners, as odd-job labourers or cans and cardboard collectors! In their old age, their bodies would be more tired and it would take longer for them to recover. I cannot imagine what it is like for them to have to clean, day in, day out, for 6 days of the week and as long as 12 hours a day! I don’t think it’s quite humane or respectful to treat our elderly in such a way!

In other countries, say in South Korea, for the elderly, their idea of keeping active is to go trekking on the weekends. And if you travel on the metro, you would see the elderly dressed in their hiking gear on weekends, to go trekking in their mountains. And they would have earned enough before their retire to afford to buy the gear as well! However, in Singapore, I just don’t think it’s quite right that the idea of keeping active for our elderly is to clean at a coffee shop.

In a way, I knew what it was like to work the whole day in a menial job. In the second week of cleaning, I was also helping my dad. So, I had to clean in the morning, rush home to scrub myself clean, then rush down to help my dad for another few hours. I had to stand around for the whole day. On the first day that after it happened, I woke up feeling really tired. My hands and legs were aching and I had to go through another day or standing, washing and moving around. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. So, you can imagine what it’s like for our elderly to work for the whole day and hardly resting, and how it would be quite unbelievable for them to have to do this, at their age, some as old as 60, 70 or 80! I really don’t think it’s right for us or for the government to allow this to happen to them.

At the coffee shop, there is an old lady who is already 87. She would be at the coffee shop collecting cans almost every evening. When she sits down to eat, you can see her hands shake feebly. But she is still working. Once, I saw her trying to step on the cans to flatten them. But her legs no longer have the strength, and it was taking a long time, so I helped her to flatten them. A friend of mine came by and helped to collect cans for her, so that she could rest.

Should We Pay Our Low-Income Workers Such Low Wages When Every Job Has Its Value?

If you speak to many of the elderly, they would tell you that they want to be treated with respect and with dignity. Isn’t that what all of us want?

As such, it is honestly quite pathetic that we pay them such low wages and when they need help from the government, the government would give them a paltry amount, some as low as just $100 to use every month. Every person has dignity and wants to live with dignity. The very least we could do is to pay people well, and if they need help, not to throw them a little bit of cash but to actually give them enough to put them back on their feet. Otherwise, why would I even want to take money from you if it looks like I’m begging from you?

As a cleaner, I was paid $20 for 4 hours. This meant that I was earning $5 an hour. This is already very low, but I understand that for some cleaners who were working 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and as late as last year, they were only earning $800 a month! This is even lesser than $3 an hour!

And can you imagine that this hasn’t changed for the past 20 years? I honestly cannot imagine how anyone in their right mind would allow this to happen. Actually, once you work as a cleaner, you begin to realise how even as a cleaner, you need to be committed to your job, to do your job well. You need to put in effort and it does require skills. Where are you going to clean today, how are you going to clean it, how do you work efficiently? These are all things to think about. And how do you clean the toilet as clean as you can? It requires skills, handwork, commitment and passion, even as a cleaner to do your job well. It’s not some menial job that we should just chuck some people into.

Just because we don’t work in these jobs and we think they have little or no value, then decide to throw some random people to do the job and then give them low wages, doesn’t mean they are deserving of this. Once we really do the jobs that they do, do we realise that their jobs are very important as well.

I was comparing what I was previously doing in the office with cleaning. What makes cleaning lesser than what I was doing in the office? In fact, cleaning was so much more tiring. Sometimes you don’t have time to rest, not like when we are in the office. Once you go on the job, you understand the value of the job and the worth of the people doing these jobs.

I’ve always believed that low-income workers shouldn’t be paid such low wages of $800 or $1,000. Now that I’ve worked as a cleaner, I truly believe that they deserve much higher wages, of at least $1,500. In fact, I still think that this is too low. I would think for the current cost of living in Singapore, they should be paid at least $2,000.

Recently, if you’ve read an article on The Online Citizen, they had found how a cleaning company, with contracts with the government, is earning millions in profits. If they increase the wages of their workers by twice over, they would still be earning millions! Makes you wonder if we should be paying our cleaners only $1,000 when these companies can pay them $2,000 and still earn very comfortably. If our government does not want to enact laws to protect their wages in spite of the clear imbalance, I really question what the government is doing for the citizens.

We Need To Protect Our Low-Income Workers

What I find worrying too is that in some of these jobs, they might be contract positions, or you might only be paid if you work. If you don’t, you don’t get paid. On the second week of the job, I fell sick on one of the days. I came down with fever and a flu. I couldn’t go to work.

Imagine for someone who was earning only $3 an hour, every hour sick is every hour wasted which could help to earn even as little! They might also not have additional insurance from the company or not be able to afford to buy insurance. So, if they had to see the doctor or go to the hospital, each such decision is a very tedious one! A low-income person might choose not to spend $40 or $50 to see the doctor, because he would have to lose a day of earnings or two, just to see the doctor! And if you had to go to the hospital, you might have to lose half a month of what you earn just to go to the hospital. Already, $1,000 is barely enough to survive on. Thus a person might put off even seeing the doctor, and fall sicker and sicker.

Makes you wonder, if it’s right that the government continues to spend only 30% of total health expenditure when other countries with prices as high as Singapore would see their governments spend as much as 85% on total health expenditure.

Learning To Respect All Workers Because All Of Us Have Our Value

After two weeks of cleaning, I am so much more convinced that we need to pay our low-income workers well. If wages had caught up with inflation and has rose as fast as that of the highest-income, the minimum anyone in Singapore should earn today is $2,000. But today, there could still be as many as 40% of Singaporeans who earn less than $2,000.

After working as a cleaner, you realise every job has its value, every person has their worth and that no matter what job you do, it takes effort and skills. And it’s a job that requires your commitment and your passion to do well in. Commonly, we think that some jobs do not require skills but once you work in the job, you realise it requires a special set of skills which you never knew was needed, until you actually do the job yourself. Then, you learn to respect the job for what it is and the people who do the job for who they are.

I do appreciate taking up the job as a cleaner. It gave me a very valuable insight which you would not have, unless you take on the job by yourself. It gives you a new found respect for our cleaners, and our low-income workers. It gives you the realisation that they deserve our every respect. Some people look down on people who take on menial jobs but when you really work in these jobs, you realise that they are every way as equal as we are and deserve as much respect, if not more than we do.

And when you realise that, you will understand and be affirmed that we should pay everyone fair wages and appropriate wages, so that people can earn enough to live decently and with dignity. And by this, I mean at least $1,500 to $2,000, with Singapore’s current cost of living.

As I was working as a cleaner, I kept thinking to myself that the MPs and ministers need to work as a cleaner for at least 2 weeks or a month in their life. Once they do so, they will realise how it’s hard work. Then, they will stop telling us that the $1,000 that they are paying to cleaners on their ‘Progressive Wage Model’ is good enough. It is not, when $1,000 is not enough to live on in Singapore and when some cleaning companies are earning millions in profits and have more than enough to give back to their workers, and still earn millions.

Update On My Legal Case

Also, a quick update, my pre-trial conference will be held tomorrow, on 17 July, at 2.30pm at Chamber 4A at the Supreme Court. It will be a close-door session where the court will give both sides the timeline to submit our affidavit.

The prime minister has filed for a summary judgment, which means that he wants the court to pass the judgment without going through a court trial, and then go straight to asking the courts to award the damages. The court hearing will be held on 18 September at 10am. My lawyer, M Ravi, will fight the case for me and to resist the summary judgment.

2014-07-16 16.28.31

Yes, this is how I look when I clean. Explains why the hair is all over!

[VIDEO] My Speech At 12 July #ReturnOurCPF Protest: Be United And Be The Change We Wish To See

I gave a speech at the #ReturnOurCPF protest yesterday (12 July 2014). Someone has uploaded a video. You can watch my speech here:

This is another video taken by another person (CM Chen):

You can also read the English text of the speech here.

You can also read the Chinese translation of the speech here.

If anyone would be able to translate the speech into Malay and Tamil, I would be grateful for this! Please do let me know.

Hui Hui and I also sang the Do You Hear The People Sing song at the protest yesterday. You can watch the video here:

#ReturnOurCPF Poster Template@roy ngerng protest