Budget 2015: Which Policies for CPF, Education and Healthcare Would You Choose?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the Budget 2015 on Monday.

I took a look at the key items in CPF, education and healthcare and came out with alternative policies for them.

Take a look at the PAP’s policies and the alternatives and choose which policies you would prefer more.

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How Many Singaporeans are Willing to Acknowledge that There are Poor People in Singapore Who Need Help?

Singapore's Poor

Photo credit: The Borgen Project

I had a discussion on a Facebook thread and thought to share the commentary here:

How Many Rich Singaporeans are Willing to Acknowledge that There are Poor People in Singapore Who Need Help

I think at the end of the day, how many of us who have the opportunity to visit other countries and who have the luxury to come online to lavish praise on the PAP government actually earns $800 or $1,000 a month? How many of us can actually understand their plight and know how tough life it is for them?

Or how many of us know families who have to survive on a household income of less than $2,000?

Of course for many of us who are in the (ad)vantage point of earning high incomes, or being born into families with high incomes, who can then travel widely and talk about how we still think the PAP is good, but what about the 30% of the poor who cannot even earn enough to spend, or the next 30% who cannot earn enough to save and for the majority of Singaporeans who thus can never retire?

Of course it’s very easy for us who earn enough to shower praise on the PAP and think that Singapore is great, but what about the rest of us who cannot earn enough to have a decent living?

I used to earn $4,000 for just a while, even then I would have difficulty understanding the lives of those who are poor. But I’ve heard many, many stories, I’ve spoken to some of them and I know people who work with them. When I was working at the hospital, there were many who simply cannot afford to pay for their healthcare and choose to drop out of the system. Even if they were to apply for Medifund, they have to climb through so many hoops to get it and on top of that, when they are poor, they also have to apply for many other financial assistance. It is very demeaning and demoralising. It is not that they do not want to work. I know some of them work several jobs just to try to make ends meet, and they still don’t get paid enough.

For these people, do we blame them? Do we blame them for not getting a job that pays enough, when they have tried so hard but cannot find one? The government doesn’t want to define a poverty line or implement a minimum wage. The poor and lower middle income in Singapore simply do not have a chance. But how many of us are willing, or able to understand that?

It’s very easy for us to say things are good but of course, it is, if we earn enough and belong to the richer tier. But how many of us are willing to actually try to understand the lives of the poor around us, and how many us are willing to acknowledge their plight and not pretend that they don’t exist?

They are many of them in Singapore, many who cannot pay for their healthcare bills, their homes and some who have to sell their homes to pay for their healthcare bills?

I am in Norway now and even in Norway, they are of course things to critique. But in Singapore, we don’t have the luxury to critique the way Norwegians have. Also, we do not have the luxury of critiquing things which are of a more sophisticated level. Now, we are still fighting over survival, whereas in Norway, they have gone into deeper issues such as equality.

But didn’t we say that Singapore is a developed country? Then why do we still have to talk about the so many of the poor who cannot earn a decent living?

No, really, search our souls and ask ourselves – how many of us are willing to look at the lives of the poor in Singapore to understand them, to acknowledge that they exist and to reach out to them? How many of have the conscience to do that?

How many of us are willing to look beyond ourselves to realise the existence of the poor and their difficult lives and to the advocate to the government for change.

Yes, Singapore (could) have many things going for us but when the government cannot do the simple thing of taking care of the health, education and housing of the poorest in Singapore, I am very embarrassed.

But how many of us are willing to see that? You know, I don’t have to do this. There are much better things to do in life, like get a job I love and spend time with someone I love, I want to do that. But I don’t have a choice – I was thrust into the spotlight because the prime minister sued me. If he drops the suit, if I can get a job, do you think it’s so fun to do this?

Moreover, if none of us bother to speak up, then who will help the poor who have become so powerless?

No, really, you can critique me. You can even tear my reputation or character to bits. That is all fine.

But where there are many poor people in Singapore who are living difficult lives, how many of us are willing to see it? Only Singaporeans can help Singaporeans, but if even we turn a blind eye to it, then who will speak up for them? Who will acknowledge them and help them?

At the end of the day, for some of us, maybe a few of us, our lives are good, sure. But for the many whose lives are not, dare we acknowledge that they exist? Dare we speak up for them? Would we sympathise with them, empathise with them and do something about it?

This is not about me. If every Singaporean would speak up about it and do something about it, and ask the government to do something, I wouldn’t have to do this. I will be more than happy to stop doing what I am doing.

The question is – how many people are willing to look beyond ourselves? How many of us who are well-to-do would do so, and empathise with the poor and lower middle income in Singapore?

How many?

PAP Says WP’s Actions are Unlawful and Dishonest but the PAP’s Management of the CPF is Worse

The People’s Action Party (PAP) government has launched an attack on the Worker’s Party over the management of its funds at the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

The Today newspaper drew a chart and said that “AHPETC’s key officers had ownership interests in two companies engaged by the town council for estate services — FM Solutions & Integrated Services (FMSI) and FM Solutions & Services (FMSS)” and that there was no “proper disclosures of the interests of the related parties” and that there were “conflicts of interest”. It also said that there were “Lapses in governance of related party transactions”. AHPETC was also criticised for “Inadequacies in record management and accounting system”.

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However, when you look at the PAP’s government fund management of Singaporeans’  Central Provident Fund (CPF) pension funds and “ownership interests”, you see a somewhat similar structure.

PAP-GIC-Temasek Holdings-Web__

Below, I replaced what the PAP ministers and members of parliament had said about the AHPETC with what can also be said about the PAP’s management of our CPF. The hypocrisy of what the PAP has said will then be revealed. (The change of words are in italics.)

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan:

Khaw Boon Wan

GIC and Temasek Holding receive large sums of CPF monies from Singaporeans. These are all public monies. As stewards of public funds, GIC and Temasek Holdings must keep proper accounts and records, and maintain adequate control over their assets. Who has paid and who has not? How is the money spent? Is it properly used? Is anybody doing anything wrong? … These and many other questions directly affect the interests and safety of the Singaporeans. They are not trivial technical issues raised merely to satisfy the accountants or the auditors, or to meet financial regulations. Unfortunately, … (there are) serious questions about the reliability and accuracy of their financial and accounting systems.

There is always the temptation, when the GIC and Temasek Holdings are financially strapped, to postpone saving, and say it will make up the shortfall later, or worse, to put its hand into the cookie jar, to draw from the savings to satisfy immediate needs. Just spend, use the savings first. Sounds appealing, but the GIC and Temasek Holdings will then be simply running down the reserves and mortgaging the future of Singaporeans away.

GIC and Temasek Holdings did not adequately manage the conflicts of interests of related parties arising from ownership interests of their key officers”.”

The related parties were two companies, GIC and Temasek Holdings, engaged by the PAP government to invest Singaporeans’ CPF. GIC and Temasek Holdings are owned by the PAP government. The chairman and directors of the GIC are the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, ex-Ministers and members of parliament of the PAP government. The Chairman of GIC and CEO of Temasek Holdings are, by the way, husband and wife.

The key officers of the PAP government (i.e. Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, ex-Ministers and members of parliament) who have ownership interests in the GIC and at the same time performed a role (for the PAP government) in approving transfer of the CPF to GIC were in clear conflicts of interests.

“Taken in totality, the PAP government cannot possibly adequately manage the conflicts of interest involved in related party transactions”. This means that the PAP government may not have obtained the best value for the moneys paid to these related parties. Or worse, there could be opportunities of wrong-doing or unethical practices which the PAP government may not be able to detect or prevent.

Singaporeans and taxpayers need to know that their monies are properly spent and they are getting best value for money. When these contracts are awarded to parties related to the PAP government, the PAP government needs to be upfront with Singaporeans as well as with taxpayers at large, so that there is transparency and proper scrutiny.

Each year, the PAP government collects about $30 billion in CPF contributions from Singaporeans. The PAP government also manages a reserve of about $1 trillion, accumulated from Singaporeans’ CPF monies and government grants… There is also no assurance that the CPF monies, which are taxpayers’ monies disbursed to the GIC and Temasek Holdings, are being safeguarded and channelled to the purpose for which they are given. And most fundamental of all, there is no safeguard against potential mischief and loss of public monies.

The PAP government has no proper system to safeguard important documents, and had weak accounting procedures. It did not provide key information requested by President Ong Teng Cheong on the reserves. Without access to proper records, President Ong was unable to make a proper assessment of the GIC and Temasek Holding’s financial situation.

We do not know the exact state of the GIC and Temasek Holding’s financial position.

Something is seriously wrong with the PAP government. They paint a picture of financial mismanagement, incompetence and negligence in corporate governance.

If an auditor makes such a finding on a listed company, it will immediately cause consternation among the shareholders, and a call for the removal of the CEO and the Board of Directors. In Japan, the president or CEO will call a press conference and take a deep bow; in the good old days, they may even commit hara-kiri. Where there are breaches of the Companies Act, both the company as well as the individuals responsible could be charged, and if found guilty, punished with fines and/or jail terms for the individuals.

Even for charities, if their auditor makes such a damning finding, the Commissioner of Charities will haul up the Governing Board and key officers for a full inquiry. They will be suspended and eventually removed from their duties. If the findings are borne out, they can also be charged and punished for any breaches of the Charities Act.

Unfortunately, throughout this saga, we have found the PAP MPs running the PAP government to be evasive, unresponsive and misleading. In response to legitimate queries from Singaporeans, they stone-walled, deflected the queries, made false or dishonest claims, raised irrelevant excuses and sought to confuse the public with a flurry of red-herrings.

First, their lack of transparency – they failed to disclose things on time; they failed to submit reports they should be submitting. Every time we reminded them, again and again, they came up with yet another excuse.

The government need competent, honest people and proper systems to serve Singaporeans well. Good intentions and bland assurances alone are not sufficient. Elected MPs need to supervise the work of the government, GIC and Temasek Holdings. While they enjoy wide autonomy, they also have huge responsibility. And they are accountable to Singaporeans. They have statutory duties but they are also subject to national laws.

Running a government requires elected MPs to govern, not just politick. Compared to the sound and fury of politicking, governing is long, tedious and unglamorous work. But good government is what secures a good life for Singaporeans, on a long-term, sustainable basis. Conversely, neglect of government ultimately compromises Singaporeans’ well-being. It may not show up immediately, but it will eventually.

Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam:

Shanmugam

What concerns me is that the PAP government’s actions are clearly unlawful.

The rhetoric from the PAP is always about helping the poor man, the reality is that the PAP took CPF money from the man in the street to give to their friends in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

The PAP keep saying there’s been no loss (of CPF monies from the more than $100 billion that the GIC and Temasek Holdings lost in 2008). Maybe there was no one taking money through the back door in the dark of the night, there was no need because the money was taken from the front door in broad daylight through all this overcharging.

The second major problem arising from the facts is lack of transparency, lack of disclosure. First, the facts do not seem to have been fully disclosed to all Singaporeans. And second, there seems to have been no proper discussion of the conflicts at all.

Active, persistent non-disclosure. Obviously, deliberate. And the consequence of all of this? Of the billions that were paid to the GIC and Temasek Holdings, who knows how much was justifiable?

The PAP have been quick to say that despite all the problems, no CPF monies have been lost. Can the PAP honestly say that no CPF monies have been lost? When the PAP ministers and members of parliament act in breach of their fiduciary duties; and pay the GIC and Temasek Holdings billions of dollars? Overpayment to a related party is not a loss?

It is a really strange statement from the PAP. The House is burning – and they are standing in front of it and says – you know, there has been no “loss”. Is it possible that the PAP does not recognise loss even when it is staring before their face?

Let us put this in layman terms: You have a business, with cash, valuables belonging to other people. You don’t know exactly what you have. You put a friend in charge. They take what they want of the cash. You overpay them several billion dollars. You don’t check. Auditors say your accounts are in a mess, the accounts are unreliable. In fact you say yourself that you can’t produce the accounts. Auditors say you have no clear idea of what has happened to the cash.

And you come and you say: no money is lost. One can only wonder at such a statement.

And the money was lost not through accident. The structure was approved by at least some in the PAP government for your party to form a company and do all of this.

This is not just a question of negligence, or inexperience. You don’t need many years of experience to know that you shouldn’t let your friends do what they like with public funds.

The big questions remain unanswered. Why did you hide information from your own President, Ong Teng Cheong? What are you going to do to recover monies that have been lost? Those are questions, because these are people’s monies. There will have to be consequences; we have to see what they do to recover lost money.

So why set up the GIC and Temasek Holdings? It was a convenient vehicle to which billions of dollars went from the Town Council. And another obvious question: money that went to the GIC and Temasek Holdings – where did it actually go? What happened to it?

This process is unacceptable. It is also unlawful. In all these 25 years, in no other government except the PAP government are the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, ex-Ministers and members of parliament of the PAP government not just part of the GIC, but also directors of the GIC. Their ownership interest and control of the GIC is what distinguishes the PAP government from all other governments.

Why doesn’t the PAP government give proper answers instead of playing hide and seek? What are you hiding? This is not negligence. It is an active decision to suppress information. It raises the issue of integrity.

Any honest PAP member of parliament will admit that all this is unacceptable, and will want to set right what has gone wrong, which means coming clean on the facts, relooking at all the contracts and payments, and recovering all the excesses, the overpayments, and the payments made in breach of fiduciary duties. Which means taking legal action where necessary. Will the PAP members of parliament do that?

What concerns me is that the actions are clearly unlawful, … we were inundated with minutiae about how the safekeeping is going to be made better, how there are going to be two locks and so on. The big questions remain unanswered: Why did you hide info from Singaporeans? …What are you going to do to recover monies that have been lost?

If you were a listed company, by now your shareholders would have sued you. Because you collect public funds every month, and you have a duty to account to Singaporeans. Basically, the PAP government is in shambles. It is quite amazing to hear you stand up and say everything is okay. If you were a listed company, by now your shareholders would have sued you because you collect public funds every month and you have a duty to account to Singaporeans.

There has been a complete dereliction of duties and this is in addition to the gross breach of fiduciary duties, in relation to the GIC and Temasek Holdings. You made a conscious decision to appoint your ministers to run the GIC… What does this say of your integrity? In conclusion, I say this to the PAP government: Each of you appear to have seriously breached your fiduciary duties.

On behalf of the residents of Singaporeans, more than 3.5 million of them, hard-working, honest people, we have to ask the PAP to come clean and explain yourselves to the public. Singaporeans deserve some real, honest answers.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat:

Heng Swee Keat

I am concerned about the well-being and interests of all Singaporeans. Elected MPs are expected to be clean, honest and to act with integrity.

So I am sad to observe that the elected members of parliament of the PAP have betrayed the people’s trust. They betrayed the people’s trust in three ways:

  • One, they betrayed the people’s trust by failing to act in the best interests of the Singaporeans.
  • Two, they betrayed the people’s with a consistent pattern of evasive behaviour.
  • Third, they betrayed the people’s trust by promising one thing and doing another.

First, the PAP government have betrayed the trust of Singaporeans.

Singaporeans cannot trust the PAP on several counts.

For a start, Singaporeans cannot trust the PAP to get them a good deal – in fact, the PAP has gotten them a raw deal.

The GIC and Temasek Holdings charge the highest rate in the world for their services.

Till now, after all the debate…, the public doesn’t know, none of us knows, the reasons why the GIC and Temasek Holdings’s rates are higher than everywhere else.

And sadly, this is precisely what we are seeing – short-term, opportunistic behaviour.

What we have is a structure (of how the CPF is channelled into the GIC and Temasek Holdings) that is quite convoluted. There were other options that could have been pursued.

Singaporeans cannot trust the elected PAP members of parliament to account honestly for where their CPF money is.

I’m also very concerned about the second way in which the PAP has betrayed the people’s trust. The pattern of behaviour. A consistent pattern of denial, deflection and protection of their managing agent, which suggests a serious rot is happening.

Why did the elected PAP members of parliament allow such a deeply flawed structure to be set up in the very first place? We have not heard any good answer.

But the PAP government told us in this House that they are professional and experienced! So who is telling us the accurate version? And you are talking about experience. How much experience do you need to know that you cannot be handing money to the GIC and Temasek Holdings, at the expense of overcharging Singaporeans? How much experience do you need to truthfully disclose information to your President?

The elected PAP members of parliament have acted in the best interests of the GIC and Temasek Holdings. They have neglected the interests of Singaporeans. Can Singaporeans trust that the PAP is acting in their interests? Why are they so protective of the GIC and Temasek Holdings that messed up the CPF Board’s work?

The PAP rejected the suggestion that the arrangement was to benefit the GIC and Temasek Holdings. So may I ask: … Did they benefit? Yes, richly so. The structure that the PAP set up allowed this to happen – you awarded the contracts at these exorbitant rates and allowed them to get away with it. What other conclusions can be drawn?

All the PAP MPs have said that they would take collective responsibility… One would have expected:

  • That they will conduct a forensic audit;
  • That they will take legal action against the GIC and Temasek Holdings;
  • That they will file accounts immediately, on time, as required by the law, and any administrative action;
  • That they will put in the checks and balances where there is a severe conflict of interest.

And Singaporeans deserve to know what had happened. Is the PAP prepared to come clean, and explain, and answer all the questions that have been raised in this House? How exactly will you safeguard the interests of Singaporeans?

The third way that the PAP had betrayed the trust of our people is they promise one thing, and do another, quite the opposite. They said something in one forum, and in another forum, they said something else.

We have seen clearly how they have created a system where there is no check, no balance. You can’t even check yourselves! Or you are not willing to check yourself.

They have been entrusted with running a government. Where is the First World government that they should be delivering? Instead, we have a government which cannot account where the resources go to.

The PAP also spoke vigorously about accountability – but surely you would agree that the most basic aspect of accountability is to be able to keep proper accounts of the money that have been entrusted to you. I can understand if you are keeping accounts for the first time, but you are not – you have told Singaporeans of your experience in running Singapore. So till today, we do not know the true state of the accounts of the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

We saw a big wayang in this house. Ordinarily, such a wayang would have seemed comical. But in the context of how important integrity and trust is in how we govern our little red dot, I am so disappointed and so saddened by this entire sorry saga.

What we are seeing are not isolated lapses or behaviours. What we are seeing is a troubling pattern of dishonest and misleading behaviour – to say one thing but to do the opposite, to say one thing that suits them to Singaporeans, but to say a different thing in Parliament or elsewhere when it suits them better.

And these are very serious lapses. What has been troubling is the pattern of denial and the pattern of deflection of these very serious lapses. And therefore, it was necessary to have this debate in Parliament. So it is not about partisan politics. It is really about how we must work as elected Members of Parliament to serve Singaporeans and to serve Singaporeans sincerely, wholeheartedly.

Won’t answer President Ong Teng Cheong. Won’t answer Parliament. Won’t answer Singaporeans. Who is left in Singapore that the PAP think is worthy of an answer?

This is wrong. This is a serious problem of integrity.

It costs the PAP nothing to promise the world. But there is a real cost to Singaporeans – real lives are affected – when they break their promises.

We have seen how, in many countries, when elected officials engage in self-serving practices, when they put their own interests ahead of the public interest, when they do not act with integrity and when they put the interests of their cronies first, the country fails. And it is the man in the street, the young, and the future generation who suffer the most.

As a little red dot, good governance is critical to Singapore’s future. Elected public officials must act with integrity and a deep sense of responsibility, and serve our people whole-heartedly. In the many decisions we take, there may be errors – human or system, but what matters most is that elected officials act with integrity and do our very best to serve the public interest.

A government requires elected MPs to govern, and not just politick. It is easy to shout campaign slogans and make all sorts of promises. But do you really believe in what you say wholeheartedly, and walk the talk? Running a government in a clean, competent and accountable way is a test of the integrity of the MP and his sense of responsibility and accountability. In other words, can we trust him or her?

This is not about partisan politics – I have no joy pointing out the many failings and questionable practices of the PAP. This is important for all Singaporeans because it is about our long-term future. Unless elected MPs act with integrity and a deep sense of responsibility, and take the trust of the people seriously, we will not be able to maintain a system of good governance – clean, honest, accountable, competent, and pass this on to our future generations. We must not betray the trust of Singaporeans. Singaporean deserve better. Let us all honour the trust that Singaporeans have placed in us.

It is about integrity, trust, our conviction that as elected MPs, we are here to serve the people of Singapore, not our friends.

It is a broader issue of how elected MPs must act with integrity and act to serve the interests of Singaporeans so it is of greater interest than just a CPF issue.

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Hri Kumar Nair:

Hri Kumar Nair

That would not be a satisfactory solution or outcome because that means the CPF is deprived of funds and ultimately the people who suffer will be Singaporeans because their CPF would not have sufficient funds to allow them to retire.

So why should the PAP be let off easy just because they are the government? And why should Singaporeans be forced to accept anything less than full accountability? This cannot be the right way forward.

By any standard – any standard – of corporate governance, the engagement of GIC and Temasek Holdings involves a conflict of interest.

The PAP team should also procure an undertaking from the GIC and Temasek Holdings that they will make all their papers and staff available for investigation. That is the only way to put this matter to rest. And I really hope for the sake of Singaporeans, that the GIC and Temasek Holdings has suffered no loss or will be able to recover the loss. That is good for Singaporeans. But we need to do that investigation to find out. But if the PAP is not willing to do it, then that says everything.

The PAP has not answered all the questions that have been posed to them, and they are certainly not answering the questions they don’t want to answer.

That CPF money is not going to come back. This is something we still have not heard any explanation for.

Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office and for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Sam Tan:

Sam Tan

The PAP MPs and candidates sounded very eloquent and righteous over this matter.

Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa:

Liang Eng Hwa

These are practices that would not even find their place in a Third-World Parliament.

We must not let any errant practices erode the public confidence, trust and integrity of the finances of town councils.

Our politics must not be about accepting mediocre performance and substandard practices. Singaporeans deserve better.

What we are concerned about is public money and that the PAP is bullying Singaporeans.

Later, Mr Khaw concluded:

Institutions that collect and spend public money must always ensure a high standard of transparency and accountability. Institutions are not perfect and there is always scope to improve and occasionally, they may even make mistakes. Where there is criminal intent, the law will take its course. When mistakes are made, we expect the leaders in charge to take ownership and admit them and to promptly institute changes to avoid any repeat.

As MPs, we set the tone and the standard of corporate governance in Singapore. As the Chinese saying goes: “上梁不正下梁歪” (if the top beam is not straight, the lower beams are bound to be crooked). If the leader sets a bad example, or condones bad behaviour by his senior staff, the other subordinates will likely follow suit.

This consistent pattern of evasive behaviour gives us cause to doubt the sincerity of the PAP MPs.

I would urge that the PAP come out of denial and see the gravity of the situation for what it is… The lapses are symptomatic of a systemic failure: the failure to have proper controls and a reliable record and accounting system. This is the staple that every government must have in order to operate. How else can you safeguard public monies? The PAP government cannot safeguard public monies; its accounts are inaccurate and unreliable.

All political parties, we assume, must aspire to eventually run the Singapore Government. Now, if they cannot even run the GIC and Temasek Holdings well, how can they be entrusted with the even more critical responsibility of running the whole country?

At the core of this tragic saga is the incompetence of the GIC and Temasek Holdings, and the PAP government.

The PAP government, GIC and Temasek Holdings are very highly paid. It cannot even deliver a competent reliable system and administration of accounts and records. Without a reliable accounting and financial management system, there will be financial and accounting lapses, and opportunities for fraud, abuse and wrong-doing. And in such a setting, when wrong-doers dip their fingers into the pie, the acts may not be discovered for a long time. If I may quote another Chinese saying: “混水摸鱼” (when the water is murky, it is easier to fish). In other words, opacity creates opportunities for crooks to make money. Eventually the financial health of the government will be placed at risk. This can only be at the expense of Singaporeans.

I bet the GIC and Temasek Holdings are one of those rare companies which is profitable from year one. If my guess is correct, we can safely assume where the husband-and-wife team places their priority.

The structure is downright unlawful, and that it is a serious breach of fiduciary duties for any PAP member of parliament to have approved such a process. Inflated fees were paid to the GIC and Temasek Holdings, in return for gross incompetence, placing the government’s financial health at risk… In short, the GIC and Temasek Holdings and their board who de facto run the CPF have milked it, and Singaporeans’ money and public funds have in this manner been abused.

The systemic failure at the PAP government resides in the arrangement that they have allowed – the de facto management of the PAP government being also the board of the GIC, resulting in the adverse outcome of over-charging and the obvious ineffectiveness of any oversight by them. The result is the deteriorating financial health of the CPF, with all signs suggesting it is only going to get worse this year and the next.

If a listed company has such an auditor’s report, the Chairman of the company will be duty bound to investigate and to satisfy himself and his shareholders whether fraud or criminal conduct was involved. In this instance, the ball is in the PAP’s court.

Regardless, we must not allow the PAP to profiteer from their incompetence, all the more when it is at the expense of Singaporeans and public monies. Even if it was not illegal, it is morally wrong. The Prime Minister should not condone this. He should hold his government accountable. I expect him to take action against the GIC and Temasek Holdings for their monumental incompetence. That would be the right thing to do.

It cannot be just lip service, a convenient way of sliding past this debacle, to live and fight another day. Demonstrate your sincerity through real actions. There is another Chinese saying for this: “听其言,观其行” (watch his actions, even as you are listening to his words). How to show sincerity?

It is not about PAP versus the opposition. It is about Singaporeans. Let us do our very best to uphold high standards of governance, transparency and accountability so that we can protect their interests. Let us do our best to protect, safeguard all the public monies that have been entrusted to the government.

Mr Khaw said that the Ministry of National Development will censure the AHPETC in the following ways: 

Clearly, this state of affairs is unacceptable. MND will follow up in three ways.

  1. But MND expects them to submit an unqualified set of their FY2013 financial statements to MND by 30 Jun this year, and FY2014 financial reports by 31 Aug this year. These must be tabled to Parliament, just like the financial reports from all the other TCs.
  2. Second, because of these serious problems, MND has withheld this year, FY2014 S&CC grant from the AHPETC. The money has been put aside in a separate deposit account, and will be paid out after the problems are fixed… Anyway, the earlier the AHPETC cleans up the mess, the earlier we could resume payment of the S&CC grants. So the ball is in the TC’s court.
  3. Regardless of which party is running the TC, there is a need to ensure proper systems, accountability and governance, to safeguard residents’ interests… We will strengthen TCs’ corporate governance and financial accountability, to ensure that TCs plan and use their finances in a sustainable way. This will take reference from best practices in companies and other organisations, and include spelling out the duties and responsibilities of the town councillors and elected MPs, and the penalties if they fail to perform those duties.

If so, should Singaporeans also censure the PAP government on the use of our CPF funds in the following ways?

  1. The CPF Board, GIC and Temasek Holdings have to submit their full financial reports.
  2. Singaporeans should withhold their CPF monies from the CPF Board, GIC and Temasek Holdings until after the problems are fixed.
  3. We should ensure proper systems, accountability and government from the CPF Board, GIC and Temasek Holdings, and spell out penalties if they fail to perform their duties.

What the PAP is playing against the WP is severely hypocritical. As Mr Heng had said to the WP, will the PAP then take legal action against the GIC and Temasek Holdings? The PAP would attack the WP for the relatively minor lapses but which the WP has no choice of – if it trusts someone else who might be affiliated to the PAP to do the job for them, this might place them in a worse situation. 

However, the PAP has every opportunity to be transparent and accountable to Singaporeans on our CPF. Yet, the PAP has refused to provide full reports and would drag its feet instead of answer to Singaporeans on how the CPF monies have been used. The PAP would then attack the WP for the very lapses and dishonesty that it has done with our CPF.

If the PAP is to be as brazen as this to accuse the WP of wrongdoings, then isn’t what the PAP has done to our CPF of graver deeds? If so, should Singaporeans not take legal action against the PAP? Should the whole PAP government not be removed? And should the PAP not be charged, sentenced and jailed? 

Singaporeans, you know what to do. This is no joking matter. If the PAP has the awareness to understand what wrongdoing is but has continued to act in dishonest ways, then it is time we eradicate the PAP from government. It’s time to stand up and fight, to safeguard our own future. 

PAP Continues to Use State-Controlled Media to Paint Me Black Again

Hello everyone,

You would have read how I underwent the ordeal yesterday to pay the $29,000 to the Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s lawyers yesterday. I have written about it here and here.

Yesterday, I went to the prime minister’s lawyers, Drew and Napier, after I was threatened that if the $29,000 was not paid, they would file an application to court to ask me to pay additional costs.

The $29,000 is what the court has asked me to pay to the lawyers of the prime minister for the summary judgment last year. Please note that this is different from the damages that I would have to pay the prime minister. The hearing for this will be held in June. The prime minister has filed for the defamation suit in the high court, which oversees cases of more than $250,000, which means that this is the least the prime minister wants me to pay him.

Yesterday, I went down to Drew and Napier but their lawyers refused to see me. I had to sit at their reception for 3 hours and their lawyers would rather speak to me through their receptionist. At one point, I even had to write down notes on pieces of paper just to convey the message. Eventually, when I made a call to an Angela Cheng, she put down my call halfway through.

Eventually, I was able to pay the payment at 8pm in the evening, after having to wait 3 hours.

After all that, the PAP continued to use state-controlled media to change the version of the story.

Both Channel NewsAsia and Today reported that I only paid after missing two deadlines. When I received the letter from Drew and Napier to pay on 22 January 2015, I had given the money to my lawyer to make the payment on the same day. Later, I even called Drew and Napier on 3 February to tell them that I could go down to pay them directly. But for 3 days, Drew and Napier never got back to me and later threatened to ask me to pay additional costs.

Blogger Roy Ngerng pays PM Lee S$29,000 in legal costs after missing 2 deadlines

Blogger Roy Ngerng pays S$29,000 in costs to PM Lee after missing 2 deadlines

All this while, I acted quickly to try to hand the money over. However, the state-controlled media contorted the truth and make it look like I intentionally missed the deadlines.

The Straits Times also said that I tried to pin the blame. This is not true.

In my clarifications to the media, I had outlined clearly the steps that I had taken to try to get the money to to be paid to Drew and Napier. However, The Straits Times tried to twist the story.

Blogger pays PM suit costs after stand-off with lawyer

Singaporeans, I hope that you can see for yourself how the PAP is trying to use state-controlled media to twist the story around.

I have always maintained a righteous and upright position. I am disappointed with the PAP’s antics and behaviour. I have been writing about the CPF since 2012. However, after I made several exposes about the CPF (you can read it here, here and here), the PAP decided to come down on me.

My stance has always been clear – a government’s responsibility is to take care of the people and protect the people.

If the PAP does not want to do that, then get out of government. If the PAP cannot stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

If the PAP is willing to take care of Singaporeans, would there be so many grouses among Singaporeans today? Yet, the PAP would instead clamp down on what I say so that they can protect their own power and themselves.

I am sorely disappointed. I have always written because I want to see a fair, just and more equal Singapore. But as it is, Singapore’s income inequality and poverty is the worst among the developed countries and every time the PAP increased their own salaries in 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2007, income inequality was also increased.

Look, Singaporeans, at the end of the day, it is up to us to decide what kind of future we want and how we want to protect ourselves.

You and I know that the PAP are just businessmen who have taken over control of government to further their business interests. Of course we can keep pretending that we don’t see this and deny this, but at the end of the day, it is your lives and your children’s lives which will suffer.

So, we either decide to face up to it and fight or we give up on our lives. It’s really up to you now.

PAP Continues to Whitewash the Truth about the CPF

The Straits Times carried an article on the so-called “changes” to the CPF today. Let me explain how the PAP is trying to whitewash you, with a point-by-point rebuttal.

How CPF changes affect Retirement Account savings

(1) The PAP now claims that $650 to $700 is what they have calculated to be what lower-middle income Singaporeans need to retire on. Do you remember that just last year, the PAP kept saying that what they have calculated to be enough for lower-middle income Singaporeans is actually $1,200? So, why did the PAP suddenly change its stance? Now, they add in the caveat that “It assumes you own a home and do not pay rent.” The PAP has never said this before.

Now, even if this holds through, just think for a minute – how can $650 to $700 a month possibly be enough for anyone to use on a monthly basis, after you factor in for food, transport, public utilities bills etc? $650 to $700 is not even enough for a low-income family, let alone a lower-middle income family.

What trickery is the PAP trying to employ? Simple. Previously, the PAP came out with the “CPF Minimum Sum” of a $1,200 payout. When they needed to “justify” this $1,200, they tried to say that this is what they have “calculated” would be enough for lower-middle income families. But now that they have changed the name of the “CPF Minimum Sum” and introduced the “Basic Retirement Sum” with a payout of $650 to $700, they are trying to “justify” this again, so they came out with this erroneous excuse again.

But really, what is the actual way to calculate what is enough for each Singaporean to use? Well, define a poverty line and a minimum wage. But you see, the PAP has refused to do both of these. What a responsible government would do is to look at what a person in Singapore would need to use and spend on for basic necessities on a monthly basis, then factor in any other additional expenses the person might need. Accordingly, the government should then calculate how much this basket of goods would cost and set a poverty line, and then a minimum wage to that level. You can try doing this calculation for yourself. I have tried doing this in 2013 and my estimates are that the least that any Singaporean would need to earn on a monthly basis is $1,500 to $2,000 to survive in Singapore.

So, why does the PAP say that $650 to $700 is enough? Where are their calculations? How did they derive $650 to $700? Ask them to show us their calculations, if there is even any, and I can assure you we will be shocked by it. You will laugh at it.

(2) So, the PAP finally admits that the CPF Minimum Sum between July 2013 and July 2015 has gone up by as high as 10.4%. Why is there even a need to increase the CPF by 10.4% in one year? Has the PAP ever explained how they increased the CPF Minimum Sum? Previous explanations have relied on how the CPF Minimum Sum was also adjusted according to inflation but in which year did we see a 10.4% increase in inflation?

Not only that, do you know that in 2008, the PAP lost more than $100 billion – billions, mind you – from GIC and Temasek Holdings. It was also in 2008 that the CPF Minimum Sum was suddenly spiked up by 10.4%. A coincidence? You decide for yourself. Yet all this while, the PAP claims that that the spike in the CPF Minimum Sum is never to make up for the losses that the GIC and Temasek Holdings had made. You believe?

Yet, the PAP would increase the CPF Minimum Sum by as high as 10.4%, knowing that Singaporeans’ wages never increased by that much. In fact, our real wages have remained stagnant or even dropped for the past 20 years. Also, the CPF interest rates remained at a low of 2.5% to 4% – or the lowest among the pension funds in the world. This means that our wages and the CPF interest rates were growing much slower than the CPF Minimum Sum. How then would anyone be able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum when the real value of our CPF pretty much could not grow?

Effectively, the way that the PAP was increasing the CPF Minimum Sum meant that more and more Singaporeans would not be able to meet it and would have our CPF trapped inside.

(3) The PAP is now saying that the “Basic Retirement Sum” (renamed from the CPF Minimum Sum) rises so as to “keep pace with inflation”.

Let me tell you why this does not make sense. So what if the Basic Retirement Sum or the CPF Minimum Sum rises with inflation? Will your CPF increase? No, it will not. Then, what does the rise in the Retirement Sum do? It only means that more of your CPF will be trapped inside.

You see, if a responsible government really wants to help Singaporeans to save more, what would it do? It would ensure that it is the CPF “payouts”, or rather, our CPF itself, which keeps pace with inflation. It does not matter how the Retirement Sum keeps pace with inflation when our wages do not grow and the CPF interest rates do not grow – then our CPF will not grow, and the payouts will not grow.

Then, what game is the PAP playing? Well, the PAP is saying that since Singaporeans keep asking for their CPF to increase with inflation, right? They are not interested to help you do that. But they know that if they mention something somewhere about “inflation” they can pretend that they are doing something, so that talk about how the Retirement Sum is keeping pace with inflation. It’s a sham.

(4) The PAP is now saying that the CPF is invested in special Singapore Government Securities, but now they stopped short of mentioning that they actually take it to invest in the GIC, again.

Do you remember that in 2001 and 2006, Lee Kuan Yew denied that the CPF is invested in the GIC and in 2007, Ng Eng Hen also denied it? Then do you remember that after the PAP sued me last year, they were forced to reveal that the CPF was indeed invested in the GIC?

Is the PAP backpedalling now? Are they trying to make Singaporeans forget that they ever said that? Are they trying to make Singaporeans forget that the CPF is invested in the GIC, by not mentioning it anymore? Do they really believe that Singaporeans have such short term memories or that we will believe in their propaganda?

Do you know why the PAP does not want you to remember that the CPF is invested in the GIC? This is because the GIC earns an estimated annualised returns of 6% every year. Meanwhile, the PAP takes our CPF to invest in the GIC but returns only 2.5% to 4% to our CPF. This means that Singaporeans are losing as much as half of what we should be getting back on our CPF, because the PAP has siphoned it off.

Not only that, the PAP denies that the CPF is invested in the Temasek Holdings but do you know that since the 1970s, the PAP has been giving our CPF monies to Temasek Holdings to invest? Today, Temasek Holdings earn annualised returns of 16% every year. Do you know how much Singaporeans are losing from the money that is not returned to our CPF?

Now, do you know why so many of our elderly Singaporeans are unable to save enough inside their CPF to retire? Now, do you know why the PAP wants Singaporeans to forget that the CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings? They want to keep taking your money to earn.

(5) So, the PAP is now saying that you can set aside between $40,000 and $241,500 inside your CPF. Where did the $40,000 suddenly appear from? It is not the Basic Retirement Sum, neither is it the Full Retirement Sum or the Enhanced Retirement Sum.

Plus, there are many things that are amiss. Some commenters have already pointed out that last year, when the CPF Minimum Sum was $151,000, Singaporeans were told that they would receive a payout of $1,200. Now that the CPF Minimum Sum has been renamed as the “Full Retirement Sum” and is increased to $161,000, then why is that Singaporeans are still going to receive only a payout of $1,200? Did the PAP eat our money?

Not only that, do you know that half of Singaporeans actually have less than $55,000 inside their CPF in cash? This means that half of Singaporeans will only be able to receive less than $400 in payouts every month.

Then what’s with all these fanciful “Retirement Sums” and the so-called payouts of $650, $1,200 or $1,750 that Singaporeans can receive? The fact of the matter is that the majority of Singaporeans won’t even be able to get $650 in monthly payouts.

Do you remember that Tan Chuan-Jin said last year that the PAP would look into how to let Singaporeans know information about how much we have inside our CPF etc? Where is this information? The PAP conveniently forgot about it. Why? If the PAP has to let you know how much Singaporeans have in cash inside our CPF, their whole CPF Minimum Sum or “Retirement Sum”, whatever they want to call it or rename it to be, will fall apart.

You see, once they reveal this information, it will be revealed that three quarters of Singaporeans won’t even be able to meet the new “Basic Retirement Sum”. Then, what’s the point to all these “Sums” and so-called “enhancements” to the CPF? Nothing. The PAP never wanted to increase your CPF at all. They only want to be trap your CPF inside for their own use.

As I have mentioned countless times, if a responsible government wants to increase your CPF, what would it do? It will increase your wages, the CPF interest rates and reduce housing prices, so that your CPF will grow.

But has the PAP done any of that? Nothing.

Let’s Face It, You Either Help Yourselves or the PAP will Help Themselves to Your Money

Look, let’s put it simply. The PAP see themselves as businessmen. They only want more of your CPF so that they can earn from it. They think as businessmen, who want to make profit and earn money.

So, forget about the thinking that the PAP will ever want to take care of you. They do not want to and it is not in their business interests to take care of you.

Then why are they in government? Well, they have hijacked it and thing is, you allowed them to be there because election after election, you kept putting them there, even though you know that they are not taking care of Singaporeans.

Why then do you keep voting the PAP in? I also don’t know why.

Meanwhile, we gave them the past 50 years to solidify their power in government and they would have changed much of the structures and institutions in Singapore to benefit themselves, and what happens to the lives of Singaporeans? Well, poverty has increased from 15% in 2000 to 30% today.

Whose fault? I leave it to you now to decide if you want to keep putting our lives at risk or if you want to do something about it now and get rid of the PAP.

Also, some people think that by not voting for the PAP and giving a spoilt vote, they can stop the PAP. No, if you do that, it just means that the PAP will still win and your lives will still suffer. So, let’s stop being in denial and let’s stop not facing up to the truth. If we want to save ourselves and we want to make our lives better, then vote for the opposition. If we spoil our votes or if we waver, then we are doing ourselves in.

I leave it up to you now. The PAP will get me any moment now. When that happens, you stand up for yourselves, or you lose your chance.

The $29,000 has been Paid to Lee Hsien Loong’s Lawyers from Drew & Napier

Hello everyone,

I just left Drew & Napier’s office a while ago.

I got to their office at 5pm today and sat there for nearly 3 hours.

The court had asked me to pay $29,000 to the lawyers of the Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, from Drew & Napier, for the summary judgment last year, for his lawyers’ costs.

However, no one from Drew & Napier wanted to see me just now for nearly 3 hours. I sat at their waiting area for 3 hours while Drew & Napier would only speak to me via their receptionist. I even had to write down my queries on a piece of paper so that the receptionist could convey the message.

When I made a call to an Angela Cheng from Drew & Napier, she hanged up my call halfway and did not want to speak to me.

Later, I found out that the prime minister’s press secretary, Ms Chang Li Lin, once again issued a statement for him.

She said that, “under the lawyers’ professional rules, a lawyer cannot, without the consent of the opposite party’s lawyer, deal directly with the opposite party”.

So, Drew & Napier refused to accept my payment and Ms Chang went ahead to say that Drew & Napier can file an application in court “to compel payment and for costs”.

“If that order is granted and payment is still not made, Mr Lee will avail himself of his legal remedies,” she also said.

The prime minister wants to apply to the court to make me pay for most costs, if I don’t make the payment. But I was actually sitting in Drew & Napier’s office for 3 hours, waiting to make payment.

I was initially unable to contact my lawyer earlier as he had a court case to attend to. Eventually, I managed to contact him and he was able to inform Drew & Napier to collect the payment of $29,000 from me.

You can see the receipt below.

Please note that this $29,000 is not what I have to pay to the prime minister in damages. This is only for his lawyers’ costs for the summary judgment.

There will still be another hearing in June to determine how much I would have to pay the prime minister in damages. The prime minister has filed for the defamation suit in the high court, which oversees cases of more than $250,000, so this is the least that the prime minister wants me to pay to him.

I am appalled that the prime minister’s press secretary has once again issued a statement on his behalf. The prime minister is not allowed to sue me in his position as a prime minister. As such, he is not allowed to use state resources, such as his press secretary, to release statements or act on his behalf.

The payment to the prime minister’s lawyers has now been made. I will have to pay even more when the hearing on the damages is heard in June.

On Wednesday, the CPF Advisory Panel released their recommendations. But I have explained yesterday that nothing has changed about the CPF. Singaporeans’ CPF will still be trapped inside and Singaporeans will still not be able to earn more in our CPF. The PAP businessmen will not help Singaporeans. The PAP businessmen will not protect Singaporeans.

What happened today has caused much distress. But it’s settled. If you want your CPF to be returned to you, the only way you will get it back if you stand up and fight for it.

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Lee Hsien Loong’s Lawyers, Drew & Napier, are Not Allowing Me to Pay the $29,000 to Them

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Hello everyone,

I am sitting in Drew and Napier’s office now as I am writing this. I am here to make payment for the $29,000 that I have been asked to pay the prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s lawyers for the summary judgment for the defamation suit.

But Drew and Napier does not want to accept the money.

Let me clarify on the payment of the $29,000 in costs to the prime minister’s lawyers.

(1) On 12 January 2015, the court ruled that I have to pay $29,000 to the prime minister’s lawyers from Drew and Napier for costs and filing fees for the summary judgement that was held last year:

http://thehearttruths.com/2015/01/12/judge-ruled-that-i-have-to-pay-prime-ministers-lawyers-20000-hearing-on-damages-not-yet-fixed/

(2) On 22 January 2015, Ravi forwarded me the letter from Drew and Napier which requested for the $29,000 to be paid by 29 January 2015.

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(3) On the very same day, on 22 January 2015, I brought $29,000 in cash to Ravi’s firm and received a receipt for it. The payment would be made by Ravi’s firm to Drew and Napier:

http://thehearttruths.com/2015/01/29/my-receipts-for-the-funds-used-for-the-defamation-suit-now-will-the-pap-be-transparent-about-the-cpf/

(4) On the evening of 2 February 2015, I met with Ravi to check on the payment. Ravi explained that he is in the midst of setting up his new firm and hasn’t been able to process the payment to Drew and Napier yet. He handed me back the money and asked me to make the payment directly to Drew and Napier.

(5) The very next day, on 3 February 2015, I gave a call to Drew and Napier to make an appointment to go down to Drew and Napier to make the payment. Davinder Singh’s secretary, Angel, told me that she would call me back on the appointment. However, Angel still did not call me back after 3 days.

(6) This morning, on 6 February 2015, I called Drew & Napier again to ask when I could go down to Drew and Napier to make the payment. However, a staff at Drew & Napier said that I could not go down to Drew and Napier directly. She said that Drew and Napier had sent a letter to Ravi to ask if I could go down to make payment personally and she said that she was awaiting Ravi’s response. I then asked Ravi to respond to Drew and Napier.

(7) However, I just received a letter that Drew and Napier had sent a letter to Ravi’s firm today to ask me to make payment. Drew and Napier also said that they have sent letters on 22 January 2015, 30 January 2015 and 3 February 2015. I am not aware of the letters sent on 30 January 2015 and 3 February 2015.

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(8) Drew and Napier also said in the latest letter that payment has to be made by 9 February 2015, which otherwise they will serve an application to ask for further costs. No where in the letter did it indicate that Drew and Napier was checking with Ravi if I could make payment directly, as Angel had claimed.

(9) I am still awaiting confirmation from Drew and Napier as to when I can go down personally to make payment to them for the $29,000. As yet, Drew and Napier has not wanted to make an appointment with me.

(10) So, at 5pm today, I decided to go down to Drew & Napier’s office to make the payment. I am now sitting at Drew & Napier’s office for more than an hour now. No one from Davinder Singh’s office has yet to have the courtesy to come down to meet me even though I have been sitting at their reception for the past one hour. Instead, they kept passing messages to the receptionist to speak to me.

(11) Drew & Napier has refused to meet me face-to-face. Instead, the prime minister’s press secretary, Ms Chang Li Lin, has again taken to the state-controlled media to issue a statement. Ms Chang said that, “under the lawyers’ professional rules, a lawyer cannot, without the consent of the opposite party’s lawyer, deal directly with the opposite party”. The Straits Times also reported that, “If this deadline is missed, the law firm will file an application in court “to compel payment and for costs”, Ms Chang said.”

“If that order is granted and payment is still not made, Mr Lee will avail himself of his legal remedies,” Ms Chang said.

(12) Now, I have been sitting at Drew & Napier’s office for more than an hour but no one from Davinder Singh’s office has come to see me. They asked their receptionist to speak to me if I have any questions. I then had to write down my questions on a piece of paper to ask Drew & Napier.

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I said that I have brought along the $29,000 but it is Drew & Napier which does not want to accept the cash. I also asked if I can have written confirmation that Drew & Napier will not file an application for additional costs if the payment is still not made by Monday.

Obviously, I have the cash in hand but it is Drew & Napier which does not want to accept it.

I do not know what game Drew & Napier and the PAP are playing again. None of their lawyers have the courtesy to come down to speak to me even though I am sitting in their office for 1 1/2 hours. Instead, the prime minister’s press secretary took to using the state-controlled media to issue a statement.

Once again, the prime minister’s press secretary crossed the boundaries and replied on the defamation suit, even though she is not allowed to do so.

I do not know what to do now. Drew & Napier does not want to take the money and is threatening to sue me to ask for more costs.

But I am sitting here with the money! It is Drew & Napier which does not want to accept it.

Finally, I called Angela from Drew & Napier again. I was given this number from the receptionist. Angela took the call. I told Angela that I am at Drew & Napier waiting to make payment. I asked Angela what recourse I would have since Drew & Napier is refusing to take my money.

Angela slammed down my call. An employee from Drew & Napier slammed down my call.

What am I to do now? I am here with the money to give to Drew & Napier but they refused to take it. They won’t come down to meet me even though I am at their office, and when I called them, they slammed down my call. And now, they are threatening to sue me to ask for additional costs because I didn’t pay, when I have already bought the money to make payment.

What game is Drew & Napier trying to play? What game is the PAP trying to play?

Are they trying to set me up again? Why is the PAP trying to using their bullying tactics against me again?

The Truth about the CPF Advisory Panel’s Recommendations: PAP Never Wanted to Increase Our CPF at All

The recommendations from the CPF Advisory Panel are a sham.

But you most probably knew it anyway. I will share my interpretation here. This article might be a bit long. If we agree that the CPF is the most important thing that the PAP government needs to answer to, then we need to make sense of these “recommendations” so that you will know what the PAP is really doing.

After you go through the article, please take part in the poll at the end of the article on what you think about the recommendations from the CPF Advisory Panel.

Background: Singaporeans Want to Change the CPF because We Cannot Save Enough to Retire

Before we continue, let’s revisit the background again. First, the CPF of Singaporeans is the least adequate pension fund in the world, according to the OECD, which explains why many of our elderly Singaporeans are unable to retire today. Second, the CPF has the lowest returns among all pension funds in the world as well. Third, Singaporeans have to pay the most out of our wages into CPF or social security in the world – Singaporeans have to pay 37% of our wages into the CPF.

So, here is what it is. The PAP government businessmen makes Singaporeans pay the highest proportion out of our wages in the world into the CPF, so by right we should be able to save the highest pension funds in the world as well too, right? But why is this not happening?

Here’s why. First, the CPF earns the lowest returns in the world and so the CPF grows the most slowly of all the pension fund systems in the world. Second, Singaporeans have to pay for the most expensive public housing in the world – we actually use 55% of our CPF Ordinary Account to pay for the housing mortgage, as such this depletes a large proportion of our pension funds. Finally, the PAP businessmen have been taking Singaporeans’ CPF to give the GIC and Temasek Holdings to invest and because of this, the GIC and Temasek Holdings take away a large amount of our CPF earnings. The PAP businessmen refused to admit to this and even denied that they took our CPF to invest in the GIC in 2001, 2006 and 2007. They only finally admitted that they took our CPF to invest in May last year, after they sued me and were forced to admit to the truth. But even then, the PAP businessmen continued to deny that they have ever taken our CPF to invest in the Temasek Holdings when it has been proven that they have. Today, the GIC earns an annualised 6% returns and Temasek Holdings earn an annualised 16% since inception but the PAP businessmen only return 2.5% to 4% back to our CPF, or an average of between 3% to 4%. You can see that we are losing as much as half of our CPF.

So, this is the background – the reason why Singaporeans are not able to earn enough inside our CPF is because the PAP businessmen have been taking Singaporeans’ CPF to give to the GIC and Temasek Holdings to earn but have not been giving back the full returns. In fact, because the PAP businessmen has been taking Singaporeans’ CPF to earn, the GIC and Temasek Holdings today rank as the top 10 sovereign wealth funds in the world, but Singaporeans have the least adequate retirement funds with the lowest returns in the world.

No surprises how this happened – the PAP businessmen has been siphoning off Singaporeans’ CPF to enrich themselves legally.

Solutions: To Grow the CPF, a Responsible Government would have Increased Wages, Reduce CPF Interest Rates and Reduce Housing Prices

Now that we have established the background, let us ask – how then should the CPF be changed?

If we follow the explanation above, then the solutions to increase the CPF are clear.

First, increase the CPF interest rates to at least the level that the GIC is earning, or 6%. Second, reduce housing prices (by pegging flat prices to near construction costs).

In addition, the one reason why Singaporeans’ CPF have not been growing is also because the real wages of Singaporeans have remained stagnant or even declined for the past 20 years. Today, 30% of Singaporeans are not able to earn enough to even spend on basic necessities and have to spend 105% to 151% of what they earn. What this means is that already a significant portion of Singaporeans are not paid enough to survive, so whatever they set aside for CPF will not be enough for retirement as well. As such, the third solution to increasing the CPF would be to increase the wages of Singaporeans.

As it is, because both wages and the CPF interest rates have been growing much slower than inflation, this means the real value of our CPF is actually declining.

Thus as Leong Sze Hian and I have written about this last year, to truly increase the CPF, we need to:

  1. Increase wages by implementing a minimum wage of at least $1,500
  2. Increase CPF interest rates to 6%
  3. Remove land costs from HDB flats to reduce housing prices, so that lesser CPF will need to be paid to housing loans

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So far, so good.

Now, let’s take a look at the recommendations by the CPF Advisory Panel and see if they satisfy these solutions.

Before I proceed, I am going to use a cup of tea to illustrate the next part of the story.

Imagine that your cup of tea is only half-full now – the tea represents your CPF. Currently, we do not have enough tea inside the cup and do not have enough in our CPF to retire on. To have enough to retire on, we will need to fill up the cup with more tea, and so we need to increase wages, increase the CPF interest rates and reduce housing prices, so that we can fill the cup with more tea.

Preferably what we want is for the tea to be filled up to the brim so that we will have enough CPF to retire on.

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The CPF Advisory Panel Changed the Name of the “CPF Minimum Sum” but Singaporeans will Still Not Have Enough to Retire On

Now, let’s look at the CPF Advisory Panel’s recommendations.

The panel said that it will rename the “CPF Minimum Sum” to “Retirement Sum”. This “Retirement Sum” comprises three levels: Basic, Full and Enhanced. If someone is able to meet the Basic Retirement Sum of $80,500, he/she would get a payout of $650 to $700. If someone is able to meet the Full Retirement Sum of $161,000 or twice the Basic Sum, he/she would get a payout of $1,200 to $1,300. If someone is able to meet the Enhanced Retirement Sum of $241,500 or three times the Basic Sum, he/she would get a payout of $1,750 to $1,900.

But you see, nothing changes. The “Full Retirement Sum” is basically the current CPF Minimum Sum dressed up in a new name. The “Basic Retirement Sum” is basically what happens when people currently pledge their property to meet half the CPF Minimum Sum – no change again. Thus there is nothing new about the “Retirement Sum” except for a name change.

The only new thing is the “Enhanced Retirement Sum” of $241,500 which as many Singaporeans have observed, only means that the PAP businessmen want to trap more of your CPF inside the CPF.

Bur more importantly, regardless of which “Retirement Sums” you come under, it is not these “Sums” that matter. What really matters is whether you have enough CPF inside to meet these “Sums” in order to receive the payouts.

What we need to realise is that these “Retirement Sums” are only “levels” that the PAP businessmen want to keep Singaporeans’ CPF inside. If you cannot meet these “Retirement Sums”, the PAP businessmen do not mention at all how they will help to increase Singaporeans’ CPF to meet these “Retirement Sums”. Your CPF will still be trapped inside.

So, if you do not have the amount of CPF to meet the “Retirement Sums”, then you cannot receive the level of payouts.

What is so different about this as compared to the old system? Nothing.

Let’s use the cup of tea for illustration.

You see, what the PAP businessmen have done is this – they are now saying that they will give you three cups – a Basic, Full and Enhanced cup, or small, medium, large.

But you see, the amount of tea you have inside the cup is still the same – it doesn’t change.

But what were Singaporeans asking the government to do? Singaporeans wanted the government to increase the amount of tea in the cup. Instead, the PAP businessmen have refused to increase the tea but only provided different cups. Then, what’s the use?

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Then so what? So what if the PAP businessmen now tell us that we can have three different cups, or “Retirement Sums”? It doesn’t matter. Even if we go under the Enhanced Retirement Sum of $241,500, if we only have $60,000 inside our CPF, we would still be able to withdraw only about $550 every month to use and not the $1,900 proclaimed.

In short, the “Retirement Sums” do not change a thing – in effect, what the PAP businessmen has done is to simply have three levels of the CPF Minimum Sums and Singaporeans will still not be able to meet the Minimum Sum anyway – nothing changes.

The PAP businessmen are not going to and to not want to help you earn more CPF.

You see, I have previously estimated that 73.5% of Singaporeans have less than $77,500 inside our CPF. Thus even with the “Basic Retirement Sum” of $80,500, it still does not change a thing. Previously, 73.5% of Singaporeans cannot meet half the CPF Minimum Sum. Now, 73.5% still cannot meet the “Basic Retirement Sum”. And nearly 90% still won’t be able to meet the “Full Retirement Sum”.

Singaporeans are still not able to withdraw enough to use.

Do you also remember that prime minister Lee Hsien Loong had said in the National Day Rally last year that, “Beyond (increasing the CPF Minimum Sum to $161,000), I do not see the need for any more major increases in the (Minimum Sum)” but the CPF Advisory Panel is now saying that the Basic Retirement Sum will be increased every year by 3% from 2017 to 2020. If already 73.5% cannot even meet this Basic Retirement Sum, then if the PAP businessmen keep increasing this Retirement Sum, doesn’t this mean that more Singaporeans will not be able to meet this Retirement Sum and will still have their CPF trapped inside.

Previously, it was also estimated that only 11.5% of Singaporeans have more than $155,000 inside their CPF. Then how many Singaporeans would have enough inside their CPF to meet the “Enhanced Retirement Sum” of $241,500? Most likely less than 5%, or only the most well-to-do. This means that the large proportion of Singaporeans will still not benefit.

A Government which Really Wants to Help Singaporeans will Help Increase Our CPF

But back to our cup of tea.

You see, all these “Retirement Sums”, by it Basic, Full or Enhanced are all useless.

If a government truly wants to increase the CPF of Singaporeans, it will not give you different cups but yet only pour the same amount of tea into the cups. If a government really want to help you, it will pour more tea into your cup.

And what is the way that will allow you to have more tea? As we have said, it is to increase your wages, increase the CPF interest rates and reduce housing prices.

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But the PAP businessmen do not want to do this.

The PAP Businessmen Do Not Want to Help Grow Singaporeans’ CPF but Want to Make Our Family Members Pay More

Yet the PAP businessmen said that if you want to increase your tea, sure you can do so – ask your spouse or family member to pour the tea from their cups into your cup. They are asking Singaporeans to top up the CPF of their family members.

First, 30% of Singaporeans already do not earn enough and have to spend more than what they earn, even on basic necessities. Also, the next 30% of Singaporeans only earn enough to pay for basic necessities and nothing else. So, you can see that at least 60% of Singaporeans barely earn enough to make ends meet and can barely save. Essentially, the majority of Singaporeans would have to work for the rest of their lives and never be able to retire.

And what are the PAP businessmen asking Singaporeans to do? To top up the CPF of their family members.  But where at least 60% of Singaporeans already have difficulty even saving enough inside their own CPF and around 75% of Singaporeans cannot even meet the “Basic Retirement Sum”, then how exactly are Singaporeans even able to have the excess money to top up their family members’ CPF?

Again, so let’s go back to the cup of tea.

When we said that we want more tea to be poured into our cups, we are not asking for another family member of ours to do so because either way, all of us inside the family will still not have enough tea inside our cup, no matter how we move it around.

Slide9

Already, the PAP businessmen has taken a lot of our tea and poured into the GIC and Temasek Holdings cups, or teapots. What we are saying is for the government to pour the tea from the GIC and Temasek Holdings pots back into our cups – by returning the interest earned on our CPF back to us.

Slide5

But the PAP businessmen do not want to do this.

A Just Government would Return the Money They Took from Singaporeans Back and Increase Our Wages

The problem now is that Singaporeans already do not earn enough wages so a responsible government would increase our wages. However, the PAP businessmen have instead ignored the low wages that Singaporeans are earning – one of the lowest among the developed countries, mind you. But the PAP businessmen have the cheek to ask low-income and lower-middle income Singaporeans to stretch the little money they have and share it with one another by topping up each other’s CPF, while the PAP businessmen continue to take Singaporeans’ money to earn for themselves.

Rightfully, a responsible and just government would return the money taken from the people back to the people, right? But not the PAP businessmen – they only want to take Singaporeans’ money to earn. Giving back your money means lesser for them, why would they want to do that?

Yet Mr Lee still had the cheek to say that, “How much you need in retirement depends on how much you have been earning, depends on your family circumstances,” when he was asked to comment on the CPF Advisory Panel’s recommendations. If Mr Lee would so much as to acknowledge that whether Singaporeans will have enough to retire on depends how much we earn, then he would know that Singaporeans do not earn enough wages and that the government should rightfully increase the wages of Singaporeans. But the PAP businessmen refuse to do so.

Also, Mr Lee would acknowledge that whether Singaporeans are able to save enough for retirement depends on our “family circumstances”, then he would know that a significant portion of Singaporeans lead difficult lives and would have difficulties topping up their family members’ CPF, then why would the PAP businessmen not return the money that GIC and Temasek Holdings have taken from Singaporeans’ CPF back to us? The PAP businessmen simply do not want to do so.

The PAP Businessmen Do Not Want to Increase Our CPF and Do Not Want to Let Us Take Out Our CPF

Not only that, Singaporeans have been asking the government to return their CPF to them when they reach 55 years old.

The PAP businessmen said, you want you money returned? Fine, we will do so. But we will only return 20% of your CPF and we will only return it to you when you are 65 years old.

But what’s the problem? You see, already half of Singaporeans do not even have $55,000 inside their CPF. After withdrawing 20% of their CPF, half of Singaporeans would have less than $44,000 inside their CPF. This means that with what is left inside, half of Singaporeans would only be able to receive less than $400 in payouts every month.

Again, what then should the solution have been?

Back to the cup of tea, if wages and CPF interest rates are increased and housing prices are reduced, there would be more tea inside our cups, right?

As I had written before, because the PAP businessmen takes our CPF to earn in the GIC and Temasek Holdings, Singaporeans are losing as much as half of their CPF. The average Singaporean will actually lose between $750,000 to $3 million of their CPF.

Now, if Singaporeans are able to rightfully get back their CPF and what is earned, the average Singaporean would be able to save as much as nearly $2 million inside their CPF. If you take into perspective that Singaporeans are already paying 37% of our wages into the CPF, this amount is not far-fetched. In fact, this is pretty much how much we should be actually be able to save inside our CPF.

Then, why is it that more than half of Singaporeans do not even have $55,000 inside their CPF today?

Even if Singaporeans have $1 million inside their CPF, you can even let a person take out 50% or 80% of their CPF and they would still have enough to take out in monthly payouts and be able to retire adequately.

Then, what is the problem here?

If the tea in our cup is properly filled, we would have enough to be able to both withdraw in lump sum when we want to retire and still have enough in monthly payouts for the rest of our lives – we already pay 37% of our wages into the CPF, so we should have saved a lot of CPF by the time we want to retire.

Slide6

And if the experience of other countries follow through, when the CPF interest rates are high, Singaporeans would in fact want to keep the CPF inside our accounts to let our CPF earn interest and grow.

But it is in fact that because CPF interest rates are so low today – and the lowest in the world, which is why Singaporeans cannot earn enough on our CPF and would rather take our CPF out so that our CPF will not get trapped inside.

The PAP Businessmen Still Want to Trap Singaporeans’ CPF Inside

When you put everything together, you will realise that the PAP businessmen still want to trap Singaporeans’ CPF inside for their own use. First, the PAP businessmen refused to increase wages and the CPF interest rates, or reduce housing prices – in other words, the PAP businessmen do not want your CPF to grow. Next, the PAP businessmen do not want to return to Singaporeans the money they took from us, instead they want poor Singaporeans to take from whatever meagre savings they have to pay for their family members – the PAP businessmen wants to keep taking Singaporeans’ monies to earn and does not want to return it. Finally, the PAP businessmen is only allowing Singaporeans to withdraw 20% lump sum from their CPF, and only at 65 years old, so after taking away Singaporeans’ CPF and leaving very little for Singaporeans, the PAP businessmen still want to prevent us from taking our CPF out so that they can keep our CPF inside for themselves.

Singaporeans, as I have said many times, Singapore no longer has a government. The PAP businessmen are raiding our CPF to let themselves get richer, while Singaporeans have to suffer.

The CPF Advisory Panel Pretends to Change the CPF but Nothing Changes

So, do you see now that the recommendations from the CPF Advisory Panel is pretty much useless and is in fact, a sham?

If the above was confusing, all you need to know is this – currently our cup of tea is only half-filled, we do not have enough inside our CPF to retire on.

What a responsible government should have done is to pour back the tea that they have taken from our CPF into our cups so that our cups will be filled with enough tea and we would have enough to retire on.

Instead, what the PAP businessmen have decided to do is to give us bigger cups without putting back the tea. They hope that when they give us bigger cups, they can make us believe that there is more tea. But you can see for yourselves whether there is more tea or not.

Clearly, what this means is that we still won’t have enough tea, or CPF to retire on.

Slide7

There is no point in giving bigger cups when there isn’t more tea, or to help Singaporeans have more tea.

In fact, by giving Singaporeans bigger cups and then telling Singaporeans that if there is not enough tea, we won’t be able to drink it still, this still means that our CPF will still continue to be trapped inside the CPF.

And as mentioned, the only way that the tea will be returned, and for our CPF to be returned, is to increase our wages, the CPF interest rates and to reduce housing prices so that we do not pay so much from our CPF into housing loans.

But the PAP businessmen do not want to do this.

Instead, Mr Lee chooses to turn a blind eye to Singaporeans and said, “In fact, even today, quite a number of people leave their money in their CPF instead of withdrawing it all when it comes to their withdrawal age. They don’t get a lot of publicity, and they don’t jump around at Hong Lim Green, but they quietly know that this is a good deal.

However, what Mr Lee said does not sync with reality. A Blackbox survey showed that 51% of Singaporeans thought that the CPF is unfair and only 37% thought it is fair and of the low and middle-income, 60% felt that the CPF is unfair.

The PAP Businessmen Still Want to Take Singaporeans’ CPF to Earn for Themselves

What can you surmise from this whole “exercise” by the PAP businessmen to “enhance” the CPF? It is another “wayang”, as many Singaporeans have put.

You see, the PAP businessmen never meant to increase your CPF at all. Why should they? If they increase your CPF, they would have lesser money to use for GIC and Temasek Holdings. Why should they let you have the money when they can take it for themselves?

We all know it was all along a sideshow and that the PAP would never increase our CPF. Some of us might have held on to some semblance of hope but I hope that what the PAP businessmen have done this time round have shown very clearly to you that they will not change and never meant to change the CPF to protect the interests of Singaporeans at all.

For the PAP businessmen, their monetary interests and their want for profit will always be more important than Singaporeans, if it is not clear by now.

The PAP businessmen still wants to keep your CPF stuck inside for them to use, they still want to depress wages to profit, they still want to keep the CPF interest rates low to let them earn the excess returns and they still want to keep housing prices high to earn from them.

This is How the PAP Businessmen Wanted to Trick You into Believing that They Want to “Enhance” Your CPF

Before I end off, let me show you what tricks the PAP had tried to use to “convince” you that they are trying to “enhance” the CPF.

When most people first read about the recommendations, they remarked that the recommendations were “complicated”. This is the PAP’s first trick – make the recommendations look so complicated that Singaporeans will believe that the CPF is being enhanced.

Second, the PAP said that they will give higher payouts of $1,750 to $1,900 if someone goes under the “Enhanced Retirement Sum”. A casual glance at this will make people believe that they will be able to get higher CPF payouts. But the PAP businessmen know that only the richest 5% among them will be able to get this payout. 73.5% of Singaporeans cannot even meet the Basic Retirement Sum and will not even be get monthly payouts of $650. 90% cannot even meet the Full Retirement Sum (or previously known as the CPF Minimum Sum).

Third, the PAP changed the name of the CPF Minimum Sum. Many Singaporeans have become very angry with the CPF Minimum Sum. The PAP businessmen hoped that by having a brand name change to the “Retirement Sum”, it can work in two ways. First, they would have hoped that people will forget about the bad reputation that the CPF Minimum Sum has and second, they would have hoped that the change would be so confusing that people will forget about how lousy the CPF Minimum Sum/Retirement Sum is. Well, don’t let the PAP get away easy on this one.

Slide8

By using these tactics, the PAP businessmen believed that they can choose not to increase the CPF and hope to get away with it. Well, will you let the PAP get away with this?

You see, the PAP knows that they need to increase wages and return the interest earned that they took from our CPF, in order to grow the CPF. The PAP also knows that they need to reduce housing prices as well (and housing prices are in their control because National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had said that the government controls the housing programme and sets the prices).

But the PAP businessmen won’t do it. They still want to continue making money off Singaporeans.

The CPF Advisory Panel’s Recommendations can Trap Singaporeans Further

But what is worse is not that the PAP still does not want to increase the CPF of Singaporeans. What is worse is how even in the new “recommendations”, there are minefields that can potentially trap Singaporeans.

First, if someone chooses to go on the Enhance Retirement Sum, in the belief that they would be able to get higher payouts, but if they still do not have enough inside their CPF, this means that they whole CPF savings become completely stuck inside the CPF. Second, if someone agrees to defer the Payout Eligibility Age (previously known as the Draw Down Age) to 70 years old, or to only start receiving payouts at 70, this means that their CPF will be stuck inside for a longer time and if they pass away before 70, then they would never have been able to withdraw their CPF.

The PAP Businessmen Still Refused to Answer the Real Questions about the CPF

At the end of the day, after all the sideshow, the PAP businessmen still evaded answering the real questions.

Singaporeans have been asking the PAP businessmen to release the full reports of the GIC and Temasek Holdings, so that we can see for ourselves what the PAP businessmen are taking our CPF to use.

The PAP kept saying that the government does not interfere in the GIC and the GIC claims that it does not know if it uses Singaporeans’ CPF to invest. However, the PAP ministers, ex-ministers and members of parliament are also the GIC’s board of directors, as such it is impossible that the PAP businessmen do not meddle in the GIC and the GIC cannot feign ignorance about not knowing that it uses Singaporeans’ CPF. The PAP businessmen have still not dealt with this clear conflict of interest and continued to pretend that this issue does not exist.

Finally, the PAP businessmen still has not answered how they have kept changing the CPF system to suit their own needs and why they stopped telling Singaporeans how our CPF is being invested by them, until forced to do so after they sued me last year. I have also exposed how the PAP has kept changing the information on the government websites after I managed to trace information on these websites on how our CPF was really invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

Slide10

Should we allow businessmen from the PAP to meddle in our national affairs and take Singaporeans’ CPF monies to use as if it is their own money? Should we let businessmen take control over our money while not explaining to Singaporeans how they have siphoned it away to use?

The PAP Businessmen will Never Help Singaporeans, It is Time to Help Ourselves

You know, you really have to ask yourself if the PAP wants to help you at all.

It is really easy to increase the CPF if a sincere and responsible government truly wants to – implement a minimum wage and increase wages, return and increase the CPF interest rates and reduce housing prices, so that all in, our CPF will grow.

Why did the government not want to do this – and not even do a single one of these solutions?

Instead, why have the PAP businessmen choose to come out with recommendations that are so complicated to confuse Singaporeans? It is clear that the PAP simply does not want Singaporeans’ CPF to grow, isn’t it? And all they are hoping to do is that by making the CPF even more complicated and by giving the illusion that you might be able to get more from your CPF, that they can trick you to believe that they are trying to “enhance” the CPF, by actually doing nothing.

The PAP businessmen want to continue to earn money off your CPF. Your CPF is cheap money for them.

Well, question is, will you let the PAP businessmen trick you again? Will you let them pull wool over your eyes yet again?

It is clear that the PAP businessmen do not want to help Singaporeans. The PAP businessmen do not want to increase the CPF and they do not want to protect Singaporeans. The PAP businessmen are only interested to continue to confuse Singaporeans further, so that they can make off with Singaporeans’ money to earn for themselves.

Question now is, will you let the PAP businessmen get away with this?

The PAP businessmen have hijacked government to allow themselves to make use of your labour to let themselves get rich, by letting you remain poor and have such squeezed lives. Will you continue to let them?

Or will you do what is right to protect yourself? You gave them a chance to fix the CPF but they have not done so. Instead, they tried to trick you to make you believe that they want to help.

But they only want to continue making money off you.

Well, it’s up to you now. I have never voted for the PAP and I am now even more determined to vote them out of government. I am also pretty sure that more than 50% of Singaporeans, or even 60% of Singaporeans today are very angry with the PAP, if you chart the trends.

Then, let’s make the next general election worth our while. Let’s vote the PAP out and bring in a new government, so that Singaporeans can once again be protected.

It’s all in your hands now. Protect our children. Protect our future.

The PAP Businessmen will Not Help Singaporeans, Only We can Help Ourselves

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I wrote this post on my Facebook and thought to share it here.

What Singaporeans need to know is that we are not competing with just the 5.3 million people in Singapore for jobs here. We are actually competing with the 7 billion people in the world – billion, mind you.

If a government truly cares for Singaporeans, it will implement a minimum wage so that we will be able to earn enough to survive in Singapore, it will reduce prices for basic necessities like healthcare, education and transport, and it will also ensure that elderly Singaporeans will be able to retire with enough to use. The government will also protect the jobs of Singaporeans so that we will be able to provide for ourselves.

But the PAP has done none of that.

Instead, the PAP businessmen have created possibly the most open door policy in the world which allows them to be able to source for the cheapest labour in the world, so that they can maximise their profits, and this is what will allow them to have the economic growth they want.

But this economic growth will never benefit Singaporeans because the PAP has refused to define a poverty level and then implement a minimum wage to that level. In other words, the profit that Singapore earns will not go back to Singaporeans.

The money that Singapore makes will always only go back to the PAP and enrich themselves.

You have to understand that behind all those fanciful words of wanting to help Singaporeans that the PAP keeps saying, it is all only a show. Have our lives actually improve? Are we actually able to lead better lives? Can we afford healthcare? And are our children able to study in the childcare centres and universities with ease?

Add to this, the problem is that the PAP businessmen have put themselves in government, so they can fudge the statistics any way they want and make things look good, even if they are not, and we would be none the wiser.

Truth is, in Singapore, we no longer have a government. The PAP has styled itself as the government but it is really only using government as a front for its business. This explains why it will never take care of Singaporeans anymore because the PAP businessmen’s goal is to always maximise its own profits at the expense of the workers and thus Singaporeans will always earn depressed wages and have minimal welfare and social assistance from the PAP businessmen.

Some of us might hold on to the blind faith that the PAP businessmen will one day have a change of heart and decide to spend more to protect Singaporeans. But the PAP businessmen have been taking away your money for the past 30 years. Why would they suddenly decide to take care of us?

If the PAP businessmen have stopped taking care of Singaporeans for the past 30 years and we have been hoping and waiting for the past 30 years that they might one day do so, but they haven’t done so, what makes us imagine that they would actually decide to turn around suddenly?

What the PAP will do is to keep taking your money but put up a show to pretend that it’s returning the money to you. But we know the PAP will not do so. It has not done so with the Pioneer Generation Package, it has not done so with the MediShield Life and in the recommendations released today by the CPF Advisory Panel, the PAP businessmen will still not return you your money.

So forget about the PAP, forget that they will ever help you. If anything, the PAP businessmen have helped themselves with your money and each of them have become millionaires.

Meanwhile, have your lives improved? Or has it started going downhill?

So, it’s all up to you now. We can keep pretending that things are well and that the PAP businessmen will suddenly take care of us or we can wake up to the reality that the PAP businessmen will only keep squeezing more money out of us, while making us to do the hard work for them, while they take our money and get rich.

I’ve lost complete faith in the PAP businessmen to be able to protect Singaporeans. I’m now waiting for you to decide to do what’s right so that we can protect our own lives, our children’s lives and their children’s as well.

So, help us.