Asset enhancement? More like financial slavery

The Rhetoric

“I have developed a deep aversion to welfarism and social security…What we have attempted in Singapore is asset enhancement, not subsidies. This has kept the people self-reliant, keen and strong…Most have hoarded their growing wealth and have lived better on the interests and dividends they earn.”
SM Lee Kuan Yew, ‘The Man and His Ideas’, 1997

The Reality

“I don’t even have enough money for the water bill. I’m very scared the PUB will cut the water next year.”
Mdm Mathiah Rajamani, 48, on not having $50 to top up her CPF account to qualify for ERS cash handouts, Straits Times, Dec 14, 2002

“…The average Singaporean worker would have a staggering 75% of his assets locked in housing upon retirement, compared with only 20% in the U.S. By the age of 62, the average Singapore worker would be classically cash-poor and asset-rich. His CPF savings would generate a paltry income worth a quarter of his pre-retirement pay, barely enough to cover subsistence.”
Straits Times, Feb 5, 2003

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