PM Lee’s National Day message confirms the PAP is out of touch with our issues and prefers more wayangs and tweaks as ‘solutions’.
PM Lee: “We are working together to improve our lives, build a better home, and hand to our children a better Singapore than what we inherited”.
At the current rate of immigration, more locals will lose their jobs to foreigners and end up as taxi drivers and security guards despite having years of relevant experience. Will their lives be improved? Does PM Lee consider unaffordable public housing and healthcare as well as congested roads and regular train breakdowns a “better Singapore”? How is it better for our children when tertiary education is provided free for thousands of foreigners when an equal number of Singaporeans are forced to study overseas and pay for their own expenses?
PM Lee: “The Pioneer Generation Package is our way of saying ‘thank you’.
The PGP is all about “scoring political points without resolving real issues”. In every other country, the government doesn’t need to publicise its basic responsibility to elderly citizens. But in our unique little red dot, our mainstream media regularly remind the public of the belated care showered on elderly citizens by the PAP. The PGP is merely a wayang.
PM Lee: “We are improving our social safety nets, most recently with MediShield Life”.
The PAP is actually improving its profit making nets because each time citizens are being helped, more money comes out from our own pockets. The opaque Medishield Life has been pre calculated for citizens to cross subsidise other citizens’ healthcare needs. Like the revenue generating COE, ERP, HDB, etc, Medishield Life is PAP’s latest pot of gold.
The responsibility of the state then becomes a burden to citizens.
Medishield Life is a national healthcare insurance plan with much higher insurance premiums. It is one of the ways of tapping into our Medisave accounts before we are six feet under. The insurance premiums are recycled within the government.
Medishield premiums have been steadily increasing at a faster rate every year. (table below) In 2013, premiums surged to almost $400 million while claims rose by only $129 million.
Ten years ago, Medishield had reserves of $524 million and the PAP told Singaporeans this was “to meet future obligations”, as if we will live outlive the Japanese soon. If these reserves have been well managed and earning decent returns, why are premiums increasing? Again “to meet future obligations”?
When implemented, total Medishield Life premiums will in the billions. It will again be another profitable business for Singapore Inc.
PM Lee: “For most of you, your HDB flat and CPF savings are key ways to fund your retirement….. to grow a valuable nest egg for old age….an asset which appreciates as Singapore prospers…more convenient for retirees to get cash out of your flats”.
There are dangerous and flawed assumptions. It is conditional upon Singapore’s prosperity which is an unknown. Our HDB flats, which we don’t even own them, will depreciate as they age and has ZERO value at the end of their 99-year lease.
At an IPS Forum on CPF and retirement adequacy, Professor Joseph Cherian illustrated the hypothetical value of a HDB apartment which peaks at around the 66th year. (below)
Common sense also tells us there has to be a peak (could be any year) in the value of a 99-year leasehold property. Even if Singapore remains prosperous in 40 years’ time, a property with a remaining 20 year lease will never appreciate. What PM Lee has said is not only misleading but also defies common sense.
PM Lee seems to have forgotten the property market goes through cycles. So depending on one’s retirement timing, there may be huge shortfalls in our retirement funds.
Eg. Singaporeans who had relied on their HDB to fund their retirement between 1998 and 2004 would have been screwed big time by inflation. (see chart below)
CPF members have been responsibly saving for our retirement needs but they will never be enough because 60% (OA 23%) is channeled into our unaffordable housing needs. CPF balances had doubled from $57 billion in 1994 to $118 billion in 2004 and more than doubled from 2004 to $259 billion in 2014. So why are there still huge retirement shortfalls?
Roy highlighted the following CPF facts: link
– 90% of Singaporeans cannot meet the CPF MS
– 50% of Singaporeans have less than $55,000 in our CPF
– Half of Singaporeans will get less than $425 CPF payout every month.
Why is it still not clear to an intelligent man like PM Lee that our CPF pension system has failed?
PM Lee: “ Let us dedicate ourselves to working together, and building a brighter future for us all.”
Can all Singaporeans work together when innocent fellow citizens had been detained/imprisoned and the state prefers silence to an open inquiry? link link How can Singaporeans work together with a government that is opaque and unaccountable to citizens? How can Singaporeans work together when the PAP controls the mainstream media and pit it against citizens for its political agenda? How can right-minded citizens work together with a government that keeps recycling failures (ministers and civil servants) into a system which prioritises, and rewards, political affiliation above citizens’ needs? Can any country progress when citizens do not speak up due to the fear of lawsuits?
Singapore urgently needs strong leadership, a leader who acknowledges and revamps systems which have failed. Instead, PM Lee tells citizens his team is studying more ways to squeeze more money from our HDB retirement egg. The outcome of all this talk about helping citizens is always the same – citizens cross subsidising each other eg Medishield Life, public transport concessions, etc. In short, PM Lee’s message is this – Singapore Inc will continue to be Singapore Inc.
The PAP and civil servants have been out of touch with the reality of ordinary citizens. PM Lee’s National Day message confirms the disconnect.