Sunday, August 26, 2007

CPF annuity proposal a ploy

Media release: CPF annuity proposal a ploy, not solution
24 Aug 07

The latest move by the PAP Government to force Singaporeans to buy annuities is yet another despicable attempt to withhold the people’s hard-earned CPF savings.

Already the Minimum Sum Scheme allows the Government to retain the citizens' retirement funds. Now the PAP wants to compel Singaporeans to buy annuity, making it even harder for them to survive their retirement years.

The annuity proposal is not a solution. It is a ploy. A ploy thought up by the PAP Government to strengthen its hold on CPF funds – funds that it then uses for its business ventures which are not transparent or accountable.

Worse, the ministers then use these businesses to tout their commercial prowess and demand that they be paid million-dollar salaries.

Let us be absolutely clear: The fact that Singaporeans do not and will not have enough funds to retire on is not because they are bad managers of their money and therefore need yet more Government intervention and supervision.

The fact that study after study shows Singaporeans having the highest savings rate in the world and yet retire as paupers point to one and only one conclusion: That their plight is a result of willful mismanagement of this Government.

The problem of insufficient retirement funds stems from the glaring fact that HDB flats are vacuuming up CPF savings.

For the overwhelming majority of the people who cannot afford private property, the HDB is the only means of housing. With the prices of the flats at current levels Singaporeans have had no choice but to use their retirement savings to pay for the monthly leases.

Worse, like most other public matters in this country, the cost of building the flats are kept secret. Then when the PAP wants to upgrade the flats and use them as threats during elections, they make the people dip more into their CPF to pay for the refurbishment.

Is it a surprise then that Singaporeans have little to live on when they retire?

This is a recurring nightmare for Singaporeans. The people are forced to bear the brunt of “solutions” to problems created by the PAP Government, problems that are wholly avoidable if not for the greed and short-sightedness of this Government.

The Stop-At-Two policy is another example where for years the Government introduced draconian measures to curtail the reproductive rate of the population only to discover that Singaporeans were not replacing themselves adequately. The “solution”? The Foreign Talent Policy.

The measure has flooded society with foreign workers and forced locals to compete with them for unconscionably low wages.

Such Government-say-people-do-with-no-questions-asked nonsense must stop. And the only way to stop it is for Singaporeans to exercise their freedoms of speech and assembly to send an unmistakable message to the PAP that they refuse to be fleeced and milked any longer.

Singaporeans must remember that democracy makes good economic sense, that is, without our political rights, there can be no economic rights.

Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Initial thoughts on Compulsory Annuities

I dun intend to go into details. Instead I just want to look at the larger picture.

  1. The details are not well presented. Most layman and man on the street will be overwhelmed by the details, will tend to skip them and not understand the resulting implications.
  2. Sellers of annuities and insurance are doing what they do to make money.
  3. The gahmen is micro managing and tweaking the little things, giving itself more work to do in the process and more pay?.
  4. It is still our money being creatively manipulated, shaved off, and packaged and shoved back to us in nice sounding words.
  5. The gahmen is not coming out a single cent to help those above age 65 or 85.
  6. The gahmen is conducting more social engineering. It is more and more nanny state instead of less. Watever happened to vivian bala-kick-a-nun's "we are a mature society"?
Overall nothing has changed, the pie has not grown bigger but instead has diminished. They are making withdrawal of your own CPF money harder.

Going through so much trouble tweaking CPF, 1% more here, another % less there... it will be easier to just implement a pension scheme of $250 per month to take care of all Sgians above age 85, Sgians who have contributed in the nation building process and in their twilight yrs need subsistence or help. But no, to this gahmen giving a single cent from public funds is like shaving a pound of their own flesh! And guess what? While peasants struggle to understand the latest CPF changes, the ministers continue to receive pensions once after the age of 55 until they die!

CPF is no longer your savings. It has become a tool to extend the gahmen's hold on Sgians. National Slavery Service has never ended, it has simply taken another form.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I helped a blind man today

This evening on the bus home I dozed off listening to mp3 player. Then I was awakened by some noise. There was a blind man who was alone. He seemed to be asking for help and just talking out loud. No one answered him. The seat in front of him was an Indian foreign worker, and two Chinese women looking like mother and daughter were in the seat behind. The bus moved on and after awhile the blind man kept quiet.

Two bus stops later the blind man started up again in English. He wanted to know whether the bus has reached his destination. But again no one answered him. Passengers looked at him and kept quiet. They just stared and eye power only.

The bus is about half full. Half of the passengers were foreign Indians because it passed by Little India. Other than the mother and daughter, the rest are a mix of Sgians young and old and some Filipino maids.

* * * * * * *

What is so difficult to answer the blind man? Is it very hard to go find out what the trouble is? Why ignore him? Or worse look out of the window and pretend like cannot hear like that. If some one like me, dozing at the back of the bus with mp3 music blasting in my ears, can be awakened by the blind man, I wonder how the rest cannot hear a thing.

I wonder how long had the blind man been ignored before I went up to help. And how long more he has to go before someone finds out what his distress is.

This is the second time I saw something like this. The first time was a few months ago on another bus I helped a visually impaired person to locate his destination bus stop. That time I happened to be seated behind the person so I helped him out without delay.

I dunno... I just find society getting colder and colder with each passing year. All the heart warming caring tales on the Straits Times is just unreal to me. From what I can see everyone is just looking out for themselves. People rushing here and there. "If you are slow, please faster make way, dun block my 财路!" is the order of the day.

I am not bashing the foreign Indians. Becos on MRTs I have seen them giving up seats to elderly people but not the locals.

* * * * * * *

Anyway I later helped the blind man to alight from the bus stop and cross an overhead bridge. At the other side I helped him up another bus and informed the driver to look out for the blind man so that he will not miss his stop. I feel pretty good about myself actually hehe!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Is this man homophobic?

Justicius Law Corporation

Main areas of expertise include corporate and tax litigation, domestic and international arbitration, cross-border joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. He has advised Singapore corporations in connection with business ventures in the Philippines. Nicholas read law in the National University of Singapore and is admitted to practice in Singapore. He is also a graduate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He is an adjunct law lecturer in both Nanyang Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.

Oh btw he also happens to be a member of the Young PAP, and he has been saying some strange and illogical things on the internet.

Naturally this prompted many responses from bloggers. Here are just some of them...