Singaporeans have been under the control of the PAP for almost 5 decades. (PAP is the government) Without a doubt, the standard of living has fallen due to failed housing, transportation, healthcare and education policies.
The CPF Minimum Sum (MS) issue is but one of many wrong policies. It does not matter to the PAP that CPF retirement savings belong to citizens and many have been adversely affected during their supposedly golden years. To rub salt into the wound, the PAP’s solution is for CPF members to sell our assets. What about OUR assets in GIC? When citizens need help, the government says we need to help ourselves by incurring huge financial costs in moving to unfamiliar surroundings. People have rightly begun to question the kind of government we have.
The fact that tens of thousands of ordinary and low wage citizens have to sell their HDB flats during retirement is confirmation of the failure of the CPF MS policy. Instead of addressing an issue of policy failure, the PAP wants to continue with tweaks and destablise the system further.
Although one may not agree with Roy in every instance, there are valid points in Roy’s article, “Truth exposed: The dirty CPF-HDB scheme to trick Singaporeans”. Total control of the CPF and HDB has allowed the PAP to perennially tweak both systems without resolving any issue:
CPF issues – too complicated, too many schemes, retirement objective not met
HDB issues – too much CPF usage increases housing prices, housing still unaffordable, public housing funding totally reliant on retirement savings
The CPF MS issue has been simmering for years but PM Lee’s action to bankrupt an ordinary citizen through the courts has united the people against what is perceived to be an extremely high handed government.
Every fair-minded citizen regardless of political affiliation must stand up or risks being the next target. Politicians must not be allowed to take down another citizen. A comment on Yawning Bread perhaps best sums up our feelings of PAP: “I think as a nation we are tired of this tactic of bankrupting your opponents when you are morally and ethically bankrupt yourself.”
The hundreds of thousands of retirees are of course the biggest and worst-affected group; they have slogged their entire life only to be deprived of their retirement savings. Based on income statistics, the PAP should know the number of retirees who NEED their retirement savings. Because the PAP wields total power, it has simply ridden roughshod over retirees’ interests. If fact, it even has the audacity to slap them with an offer of a $5,000 minimum withdrawal of THEIR money.
Middle-aged ordinary citizens must voice their displeasure now as policy changes will take time to come into effect.
Those who have just started working should be aware of the detrimental effects of the CPF policy. Although the PAP has effectively stripped away the rights of older citizens, this has to be reversed. Policies are not cast in stone. By remaining silent, you will also be dealt the same CPF body blow when you retire.
Whenever the PAP loses an argument, it has always reframed issues, with support from the mainstream media, in the hope that all will soon be forgotten. The clearest example would be the issue on foreign workers; citizens want the government to reduce/pause but the PAP reframes it into one where foreign workers are not wanted/xenophobia.
The PAP is clearly not interested in listening to understand our problems. Case in point – Minister Tan Chuan Jin’s motherhood statements and a rehash of CPF propaganda in “CPF system not perfect, but valid: Tan Chuan-Jin”. In the CNA article, Tan supported the President’s Address which had “hinted at further tweaks”; but this will not address the MS policy failure. Tan conveniently overlooked the transparency issue. Tan seems to believer that CPF members do not have any right to know where our money is invested, remunerations of GIC board of directors and senior management, etc.
Taking his nonsense further, he advised on the need to maintain dignity through work, probably until one’s last breath. ( I would advise Tan to go take a look at 70/80 year old citizens working at food courts and toilets. Dignity? He should cease lecturing citizens on dignity unless of course this is acceptable to the parents of all MPs and ministers.)
The complacent PAP is still coasting along, oblivious to the mounting anger on the CPF issue which is only the tip of the iceberg. When politicians’ interests are not aligned with citizens’, the government loses power and falls. People’s power has already toppled many irresponsible governments around the world; we are no exception. A non violent revolution has already begun in the minds of thousands of citizens who reject tyranny.
The CPF issue is no longer one of PM Lee vs Roy but PM Lee vs CPF members and Singaporeans; the outcome of the court case is now irrelevant to the ongoing revolution. Judging from the outpouring of financial support for Roy, how Singaporeans view this issue should be obvious to the PAP. It is unfortunate that PM Lee has lost the opportunity to make amends by withdrawing the demand for monetary compensation.
PM Lee’s legal action has triggered a non-violent revolution. History suggests people’s power will triumph.