The CPF Saga Timeline: How The Government Started Admitting To The Truth

CPF Interest Rates Over the Decades @ The Heart Truths ROC

2012: I wrote an article that traced specific evidence about how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

2013: I wrote another article that traced also specific evidence about how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

Between 2013 and May 2014: The Singapore government deleted and edited away the evidence from their websites that our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

Until May 2014: GIC claimed that they do not know if they are investing our CPF, as it is “not made explicit” to them.

Until May 2014: The government has never want to admit that they use our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings

By mid-May 2014, the Singapore government has erased all traces and evidence of how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings that I had written about.

The government has never wanted to admit that our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

*****

GIC manages reserves but not made explicit to us 1@The Heart Truths ROC

Suddenly from June this year, the government bowed down to public pressure and admitted to many, many things for the first time ever.

Early June 2014: The government finally admitted for the first time that our CPF is invested in the GIC.

Early June 2014: GIC amended information on their website to finally admit for the first time that they invest our CPF

4 June 2014: Temasek Holdings finally reveals that they do not invest our CPF today (but a book reveals that they had used to, so when exactly did they stop? May this year?)

7 June 2014: I spoke at the #ReturnOurCPF protest and exposed the evidence of how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings and how the government erased the evidence

10 June 2014: I was fired from my job

Temasek does not invest CPF @ The Heart Truths with lines ROC

*****

In July 2014, the government finally admitted to information that allows us to finally better estimate that:

  • 85% of Singaporeans are unable to meet the CPF Minimum Sum, or have less than $155,000 in our CPF
  • 70% of Singaporeans have less than $77,500 in our CPF
  • 50% of Singaporeans have less than $60,000 in our CPF
  • Singaporeans have to use more than half of our CPF to pay for housing

*****

The current government claims that our CPF is not a “cheap source of funds” for the government but it was revealed that in 1983, the government had admitted that our CPF is a “cheap source of financing for the government”.

CPF not cheap source of funding ROC

President Ong Teng Cheong asked the government in 1996 to know how much our reserves are. The government did not want to answer and told him it would take 56-man years for them to let him know. He never knew.

56 man years to know @ The Heart Truths 1 ROC

Singaporeans have always suspected that our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings but the Singapore government has never wanted to admit to this. Finally, the government had no choice but admitted in June this year that they do invest our CPF in the GIC.

  • Why did the government not want to tell us the truth for decades?
  • Why is it that by May this year, the government tried to hide information that our CPF is invested in GIC and Temasek Holdings?
  • Why did the government suddenly then made an about turn and finally admit that they do invest our CPF in the GIC by June this year?

Temasek invest CPF 1970s GIC invest CPF 2014 ROC

The government is also on the Board of Directors of the GIC. It cannot be possible that the government doesn’t know that our CPF is invested in the GIC.

Government does not interfere @ The Heart Truths ROC

Why did not government not want to admit to the truth until June this year?

Why?

GIC Temasek Private ROC

*****

But the government still doesn’t want to reveal the truth the some of our questions:

  1. When did the Temasek Holdings stop investing our CPF?
  2. Is there a conflict of interest with the government on the board of directors of the GIC? Is the government’s priorities to Singaporeans or to the GIC?
  3. How much has the GIC and Temasek Holdings taken from Singaporeans’ CPF to invest since Temasek Holdings started in 1974 and GIC in 1981?
  4. How much interest has the GIC and Temasek Holdings earned on Singaporeans’ CPF which have not been returned?
  5. How many tens and hundreds of billions of dollars have the GIC and Temasek Holdings earned on Singaporeans’ CPF which have not been returned?
  6. Why did the government turn the GIC and Temasek Holdings into private limited companies so that Singaporeans now cannot know what they do, when the GIC and Temasek Holdings are using public funds and Singaporeans’ CPF retirement funds for their investments?
  7. Why did the government claim that the CPF is not a cheap source of funding for them when they have made our CPF a very cheap source of funding for them to use?
  8. What does the current president really know about our CPF and what is he exactly doing to protect our CPF from the government?
  9. Why did the government want to hide the information about how they use our CPF to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings by May this year but suddenly finally admitted to the truth in June this year?
  10. Why did the GIC pretend not to know that they use our CPF to invest up to May this year but suddenly finally admitted to the truth in June this year?
  11. Why did the Temasek Holdings claim not to use our CPF to invest in June this year when it is known that they have invested our CPF up to as late as the 2000s?
  12. Without our CPF, will the government ever be able to earn $400 billion in the GIC and $223 billion in the Temasek Holdings?

*****

It is clear that something is amiss. There are still loopholes and discrepancies which the government have not addressed. These are important loopholes that the government has to acknowledge and speak up on, especially so since this concerns the retirement funds of Singaporeans.

What exactly is going on with Singaporeans’ CPF!

Tomorrow, on 12 July 2014, an event will be held to discuss the CPF issues and the lack of transparency and accountability from the government and for Singaporeans to demand to the government to #ReturnOurCPF.

It is time to stop taking a backseat. It is time we demand for answers. It is time we stand up to protect and fight for ourselves, for if we won’t do it, who will?

You can join the Facebook event page here.

#ReturnOurCPF Poster@pink final

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40 comments

  1. The Oracle

    I actually agree with having more transparency but most of the facts above are highly selective. For example, CPF actually started with 2.5% interest in 1955 for the first 7 years – missing from the cartoon above. Interest paid is partly dependent on market returns which are also linked to inflation (much lower now than the 70s, etc.).

    Maybe Roy thinks his audience can’t read and check facts for themselves, hence the use of more cartoons than before?

    • Deaf Frog's toothpick

      @ The Orcale

      i don’t think you want more transparency, every time i called for more transparency, you have disagreed with me.

      you are just posturing to gain some credibility to trick the casual unsuspecting reader.

      • The Oracle

        Not true DFt. I have agreed with you on transparency points before and you know it. I already stated I would like to see not just GIC/Temasek board salaries published but actually all MPs should have to declare all their income sources every year.

        Where I’ve disagreed with you is on almost everything else!

      • The Oracle

        Roy and his minions are the tricksters here – presenting half truths to suit their purposes.

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        your actions speaker louder than your claims, your are posturing to hide the fact that your are a PAP fan.

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        after i apply pressure here, you are not disagreeing with me on Tianjin Eco City anymore, now you are feigning ignorance.

        how convenient for someone who can google and come back with a reply in less than 15mins for some stupid stat, now you “I don’t know about some of these” (Tianjin Eco City).

        its is inconvenient for you to disagree with me now?

        come on, at least put on a act to show that you agree with me on transparency.

      • The Oracle

        @DFt – no act:
        I’m really not sure what your problem is with the Tianjin project. By most accounts it is on track and Singapore companies are involved and developing/learning new green skill sets – skills they will bring back to Singapore and/or sell around the world. Maybe it needs to be more transparent about the funding as I haven’t seen much public info on this aspect…

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        Tianjin Eco City cites the involvement of HDB, BCA, MND, MAS, NEA, URA & etc, theses are a lot of government agencies, how does these agencies fund their involvement there?

        using the money allocated for them in the budget? is the money intended to to used for this purpose?

        we allocate money to government agencies to build our own nation or go china and help them built their city?

        is there a separately allocated funding for the project, if yes, where? i cannot find it in the budget.

        if the above is true, why are we having expenditure which is not accounted for?

        Don’t we have a transparency problem? Corruption in china officials is chronic, don’t we have to be worried?

        Such a big project, no minister is in charge? when something happens who is accountable?

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        we can fund developments else where while still self righteously saying, simple cheap lift upgrading have to queues here queue there?

        will u ask where does the government’s priority lie?

    • Eddie

      @The Oracle

      How come you are not asking this question: Why is the Government not replying to the questions posed by Roy? The government can sue him, jail him as under ISD or do something.

      The government replied to the newspapers, to Catherine Ng but has elected to stay silent. I would expect a point by point rebuttal.

      I think some of questions about the government erasing information published on their own website are very serious allegations..and no wonder Roy is demanding explanations.

      Unless Roy is made ineligible for standing as a Candidate, it is likely he will stand as an Independent Candidate and continue to raise these questions.

      Also why is the elected Opposition not asking the Government to answer? We do not wish to have a Parliament outside the Parliament. I hope Hong Lim Park does not become the Alternate Parliament. Refut Roy with facts. We want to read what the government’s response.

      • The Oracle

        I don’t represent the government and I’ve already refuted Roy in previous posts.

        As for the website BEFORE and EDITED examples Roy gave, he sees a conspiracy when in fact he highlighted 1 correction and 1 clarification. Don’t you think websites should be updated when errors or omissions are spotted? I really wish Roy would update his “facts” when they are pointed out to be incorrect rather than reposting the same thing again and again – in the hope that saying it enough times will make it true!

  2. Elaine

    @The Oral,
    The PAP government says our CPF interest rate is low because it is “risk free”.
    The PAP government also says GIC and TH returns are high because they take on higher risks.

    If the GIC and TH were to lose 90% of its total investment, whose money did they lose?
    How would they swallow the losses without passing their losses to us?
    Would MAS start printing money to bail them out?
    Wouldn’t the consequential inflation affect all Singaporeans?

    So is Tharman lying through his teeth when he mention our CPF is “risk free”?
    Can the PAP supporters or Anti-Royers enlighten me?

    • Reality checker

      Nothing is free unfortunately. Not only is that, we are being denied of our rights to have a fair go in life since birth.

    • The Oracle

      @Elaine from an Anti-Royer

      Even if GIC loses money – and in some bad years it has – the government has always paid the CPF interest and can draw on deep reserves to do so. As a last resort, the government could even print money to make this happen – so CPF is as close to risk free as it is possible to get in this world (also, Singapore’s government has one of the highest credit ratings in the world so again it is the closest to risk free out there).

      The scenario of GIC losing 90% is far-fetched as GIC follows a diversified long-term investment strategy – readers can read about it on the GIC website and elsewhere.

      Roy’s supporters though will essentially say it is all smoke and mirrors and there is a huge conspiracy across the whole government that must encompass not just the PAP but all senior civil servants, employees at GIC, Temasek, etc. I suggest you read more for yourself if you want real truths and not Roy’s “heart” (that should be “half”!) truths.

      • Xmen

        Why are you repeating the same misinformation? How is the following risk-free?

        “As a last resort, the government could even print money to make this happen – so CPF is as close to risk free as it is possible to get in this world”

        Zimbabwe printed a lot of money and do you consider that risk free?

        If you substitute GIC with AIG, you will see the holes in your assumptions. How does the following sound to you?

        “The scenario of AIG losing 90% is far-fetched as AIG follows a diversified long-term investment strategy – readers can read about it on the AIG website and elsewhere.”

        Please remember that AIG was once AAA-rated, Madoff’s fund was once the best performing fund, Enron was once the high flyer. The commonality among them is OPACITY. GIC/Temasek/MAS is as OPAQUE as it gets. Are you so trusting? Good for you!

      • jasmine

        What a whimsy explanation.

        As a last resort, the government could even print money to make this happen – so CPF is as close to risk free as it is possible to get in this world.

        Did you even read what was asked by Elaine?

        Would MAS start printing money to bail them out?
        Wouldn’t the consequential inflation affect all Singaporeans?

        If government double the money printed, then instead of $3, on plate of mixed rice will cost $6. Which means $1000 in bank would effectively worth $500. Hey Oracle, use your brain can anot? Looks like you have none.

      • The Oracle

        @Jasmine.

        I can use my brain just fine and thanks for showing what kind of person you are with your insults.

        First of all, CPF has never not lost 90% and is highly unlikely to ever do so. Even if it did, Singapore’s government has deep reserves and one of the highest credit ratings in the world. As a LAST resort and EXTREMELY UNLIKELY it could print money but yes that would probably cause inflation. BOTTOM LINE: The Singapore government is one of the most credit-worthy in the world and your money is safer invested through CPF than any alternative.

  3. How To Discern The Truth

    @ The Anal Orifice in the Prime Minister’s Group of Orifices:
    /// I suggest you read more for yourself if you want real truths and not Roy’s “heart” (that should be “half”!) truths. ///

    Dear Singaporeans.
    No need to spend so much time reading PAP’s propaganda to discern the truth.
    Just vote in Opposition MPs and an Opposition Government to do the necessary investigation.

    • The Oracle

      More half truths (and the usual insults) from Roy’s gang… I suggested checking the GIC website and ELSEWHERE – people can look for independent verification of the facts and discern the truth for themselves. Why are you telling people not to read? I think it is because the facts out there show just how wrong Roy is on so many points!

      • Xmen

        Dear Oracle,

        We are now finally given GIC’s past 5 year return. Are you curious why they release 5-year return but not 7-year or 10-year return? I’ll tell you that many US mutual funds required by the SEC to report 5 years returns are happy that they no longer have to report their miseries in the depth of the Great Recession. Can you find out the 7-year and 10-year return since somehow you “can read about it on the GIC website and elsewhere”? Hmm… maybe they are too embarrassed to release that information!

      • Eddie

        @ The Oracle,
        Since you are the “spokesman” for the Government it seems, why not give a point by point rebuttal to Roy’s questions?

        You are also making sweeping statements …”more half truths.” Which are the half truths? Even if 50% true (i.e. half truths), Roy has done an excellent debate as he does not the government machinery to assist him. I presume some of Roy’s questions are 100% truths then. Cannot be that all his questions are only 50% truths.

        As for you? What % of the truths are you writing?

      • GIC - World Class Standard in Transparency

        //// I suggested checking the GIC website and ELSEWHERE – people can look for independent verification of the facts and discern the truth for themselves. ////
        @ The Anal Orifice

        Yeah right.
        GIC’s website is the world standard in transparency … ROFL.
        If really the case, then why Singapore’s auditor general tell President Ong Teng Cheong it will take 56 man-years to come up with a list of reserves?
        – why not just direct Ong Teng Cheong to the relevant website & webpage?

  4. Deaf Frog's toothpick

    How much money did we lose at Suzhou Industrial Park?

    How much money did we lose for Shin Corp?

    Tianjin Eco City, where did the funds come from, if its’ the taxpayers money, how much?

    Tianjin Eco City for example, cites the involvement of HDB, BCA, MND, MAS, NEA, URA & etc, theses are a lot of government agencies, how does these agencies fund their involvement there?

    using the money allocated for them in the budget? is the money intended to to used for this purpose?

    we allocate money to government agencies to build our own nation or go china and help them built their city?

    is there a separately allocated funding for the project, if yes, where? i cannot find it in the budget.

    if the above is true, why are we having expenditure which is not accounted for?

    • jasmine

      Yes, I think these are very good questions that we need answers from. Why on earth are our GLCs like Surbana, HDB, PUB, Sembcorp spending money to build HDB flats at Tianjin Ecocity? Whose money did they actually spend? And for whose benefits? Is it part and parcel of building “guanxi” in China? Why are Singaporeans paying $300,000 for a flat when the PRC could get theirs at 10% of what we paid for? Isn’t it ridiculous? Are the government officials hoarding these properties as an exit strategy for themselves? What if corruption is involved over the investments there? How would people find out?

    • The Oracle

      I don’t know about some of these but Shin Corp is publicly traded. Profit over 8 years appears to be about 75% plus whatever dividends have been paid. It may have been controversial but has turned out to be an OK investment.

      • jasmine

        Is corruption involved? Did the Thai citizens benefit from Shin Corp’s gain? Why were Thaksin and his sister ousted?

      • Sure Or Not?

        /// Profit over 8 years appears to be about 75% plus whatever dividends have been paid. ////
        @ The Anal Orifice

        Which webpage and website gave you this ridiculous idea?

        PS:
        – I did not call you penile orifice or vaginal orifice because I wanted to be gender neutral.
        – but seriously … are you a PAP dick-head or a PAP cunt-face?

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        no nation in it’s right frame of mind would allow another nation’s SWF to take over it’s strategic assets like telecommunications.

        it’s as rude as a guest of your house going to your wife’s wardrobe and flipping through the underwear and helping himself to what he fancy.

        Shin corp is the stupidest investment i have ever seen, even their Prime Minster have to run road and go into exile, and you still want to put a spin on it?

      • The Oracle

        Keep the insults coming – it just keeps showing your real face to the wider Singapore audience!

        And go check the share price chart of Intouch Holdings (Shin Corp’s name now) as reported on Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal websites, etc.

      • The Oracle

        @DFt
        It is easy to criticize in hindsight. At the time, Temasek bought a 49% stake in a Thai company which was allowed under Thai law. What happened after that could hardly be called predictable. Where’s the “spin” in correcting the fact that the investment is profitable rather than a loss as claimed??? I’m the one telling the truth and you’re the one painting false pictures to support your arguments.

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        @ The Oracle

        you have a history of quoting fake data here, even when you do quote official literature, you quoted contradictory information, i know, you cannot remember now, your practise selective memory loss.

        if Shin Corp is really that good why does Temasek keep trying to sell it? who dares to buy it? it’s a illiquid investment subjected to political forces.

        whats the point of whatever capital appreciation and dividend if the capital gain cannot be realised? pure theoretical paper gain.

        if ppl are not happy they simply make it difficult for you just like what happened to Suzhou Industrial Park, then you own-self volunteer to cut down your own shareholdings.

      • The Oracle

        Again and again I’ve quoted actual data and again and again I’ve shown how selective or downright wrong data presented by Roy and his fans has been. Show me the history of quoting fake data – you won’t be able to! With Roy it is about every second sentence!

        And so now you admit that at least on paper Shin Corp is a profitable trade – thank you for contradicting your fellow raving Roy fan.

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        @ The Oracle

        it saddens me to see your arguments become increasingly desperate, what i am saying is even if there is a paper profit, it’s not worth the trouble, it is the stupidest investment i have ever seen because the capital cannot be retrieved.

        if i believe that Shin Corp made money, why is my initial question: How much money did we lose for Shin Corp?

        you have to prove that there is a profit since u claim it, after accounting for forex risk, inflation over the years, corporate actions taken, and when they pared down the shareholding did they make a loss/profit, please prove that it has made a profit.

        are your trying muddy the water now, because you cannot back up your claim?

      • Deaf Frog's toothpick

        @ The Oracle

        as for your history, do i get a prize for spending 1 hour digging it up and putting it here, then you pretend nothing happened?

        i”ll just quote a few recent cases,

        1. u said Leong Sze Hian’s numbers are wrong, then u plonked a gibberish of calculations, after i challenged u to come down on 12 July to challenge Leong Sze Hian face to face if u think u r right, u backed out with some stupid excuse.

        if you are not quoting fake data, why don’t u back it up?

        2. u blatantly keep repeating the public transport is cheaper, after i show u the PTC data to prove u wrong. your reason for lying was “No I just enjoy winding you up as you are so blinkered in your thinking”.

        it’s all on the record. the audience can read.

  5. Eddie

    For the government to guarantee the CPF’s return is easy. They collect ample tax revenues and other income.

    Key issues:
    – What should be a fair CPF interest.
    – Why must so much be retained and should the CPF’s role be examined again?

    It is an emotional issue and if this continues, it can only damage the PAP’s credibility if it has not done so already. Roy is not afraid and has stepped up the pressure via his blog and the Speaker’s Corner. And he has lined up well-known Singaporeans to speak. So, it implies the speakers support the questioning of the CPF scheme.

    The government is probably aware the unlike the past, the social media now forms a powerful opinion bloc. The best way forward is an open and candid discussion. And invite suggestions on how to modify the system.

    The CPF has taken centre-stage in National Affairs all because of the persistence of Singapore’s Roy “Mandela”.

    I hope wisdom prevails.

    • Vote Wisely For Singapore 2.0

      ” And invite suggestions on how to modify the system. ”
      @ Eddie

      – the system is beyond repair or salvage
      – vote out PAP
      – and we have a complete system reboot with Singapore 2.0
      – the coming demise of LKY is a good finish line demarcating the end of Singapore 1.0 …. also known as LKY’s Singapore

  6. 90s & 00s CPF Trends- A layman view

    The trends in the 90s and early 2000s pointed to the narrowing of contributions over withdrawals in CPF. It will be a natural progression as it go along, a very near point where withdrawals will exceed contributions with ever greater numbers of contributors reaching 55. This would have happened already if nothing is done. For CPF it will be a devastating; most assets are ill liquid and to raise cash, they have to be sold at a discount. We are talking about tens of billions every year. Coupled with mega losses by GIC and Temasek where they lost about 30% of their value of assets during the GFC; G had no choice but to accelerate against time to recover the losses. Assets inflation is the result. Who benefit from asset inflation? Even if you change the G. the CPF minimum sum will still remain, though it can be adjusted lower. We are too deep into the hole.

    • mata mata

      Its is better late than never. First step is to change government and uncover the truth. Second step is to sort out the mess PAP created for us. Third step is to hold these people accountable or hunt them down if they run.

  7. truth seeker

    Keep asking! Continue the great work, Roy and team.

    Our CPF and collective future depend on brave people like you!

    We salute u!

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