CPF squeezing money from people

July 20, 2005
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

The purpose of this letter is to convey my perceptions on our CPF system based on a recent article in your Website. My perceptions are judgmental as they consist both the favourable and unfavourable aspects of the system. I wish to thank the SDP for taking the time to read my letter.

The CPF has always been under the silent scrutiny from the working class people of Singapore. Surprise or no surprise, many people are unhappy with the system. Spending time with the public, I got several different opinions on how the CPF has affected the lives of many. For instance, one individual can believe that the CPF is our savior as it controls our spending and helps us save up for our future. From a certain perspective that individual is right as I know a few people who have the skilled ability of squandering money. Housing, investments, medical, education and retirement are the things the CPF promises. Surely one can see that the government has provided us a savior for our finances. Or have they?

I believe that the only way the CPF becomes an aid is when we have enough food on our tables. I wonder how many people are financially struggling with their lives when part of their hard earned money is in their CPF account. “Poor but asset rich”, is a sure way of describing many Singaporeans here, as read from the article in your Website.

Recently, I got to know a Romanian editor of the newspaper for her country. She is an editor for “anti-corruption”. During our conversation, we had a discussion on political issues such as freedom of speech and other policies. She told me that I should write my views on social matters to the newspaper. When I told her how the people in my country are limited in freedom of speech, she became disgusted. In her country, any one who has got something to say is allowed to use the media. She refused to acknowledge us as a democratic republic when I told her that we were “so-called” a republic.

When I spoke on our CPF system, she started giving me words that I feel should be omitted from this letter. She suggested using the Internet as a political tool and even getting foreign organizations to intervene. Her suggestion would of course be suitable for the higher authorities and not to me since I am just a citizen who loves his country. From her statements as an Eastern European, I am guessing that people around the world perceive us to be backward.

In conclusion, the CPF is neither bad nor good. Maybe lowering the contributions from employees would be a reasonable thing to do. After all, the job of a political party is to the people. Squeezing the people for money and making them poorer is not a democratic way of running a country. It seems more dictatorial to me. I thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

HARRY