Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Funeral Parlour Service in Sengkang West? HDB Please Come Clean!

First of all, HDB lacks basic ethics in trying to hide the fact that a columbarium will be built in the new HDB Town at Sengkang West. As pointed out by REDWIRE Times, HDB has only put that information of possible columbarium in ULTRA FINE PRINT in the sales brochure to buyers. This is the usual UNETHICAL and DISHONEST tactic used by many unscrupulous businesses but it is a big surprise that a government statutory board would do such a thing. 

Some Singaporeans may think that this is a small matter but it is not. For most Singaporeans who decide to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a HDB flat, this would probably be the most expensive thing they will ever buy in their whole life! It is only FAIR and JUST for HDB to make a PROPER FULL disclosure of what they are buying into.

PAP government should learn a thing or two from Hong Kong government. Hong Kong government has not only come up with legislation to safeguard general consumers' rights and interest via its Misleading Omission Ordinance but it has put up a law and a statutory board, Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority specially for supervising and scrutinizing developers' sales procedures as well as marketing materials.

A whole set of comprehensive law was enacted in April 2013 as in "The Residential Properties (First-hand) Ordinance". Such law has basically made the sales process of any first hand properties transparent and open. It helps to level up the playing field and protects consumers' rights and interests.

The Ordinance sets out detailed requirements in relation to sales brochures, price lists, show flats, disclosure of transaction information, advertisements, sales arrangements, and the mandatory provisions for the Preliminary Agreement for Sale and Purchase and Agreement for Sale and Purchase for the sales of first-hand residential properties. 

It also provides for prohibitions against misrepresentation and the dissemination of false or misleading information.

Offences are created for the contravention of the provisions in the Ordinance.
This is what a First World Government should do to protect its own citizens from unscrupulous businesses, especially so when a large amount of money is transacted. Can PAP do it? Yes but no. It chose not to do it but instead, learned all the dirty, scheming and despicable tricks from all those unscrupulous businesses.

While you may think that is all HDB tried to hide: a columbarium in a Chinese Temple but no. That is not all. This "Chinese Temple" isn't going to be just a simple Chinese Temple with a columbarium.

HDB issued a tender for that parcel of land meant for the said "Chinese Temple" in July. However, it was awarded to the highest bidder of $5,200,988, a supposedly "Australian company" Life Corporation. The first thing you must wonder why a land meant for a RELIGIOUS purpose is awarded to a NON-religious FOREIGN entity! I believe there are quite a number of religious groups and organizations in Singapore which are actively looking for a parcel of land to build their temples! (Personally, I have known quite a number of such Chinese religious groups.)

If this parcel of land is meant for "Chinese Temple", isn't logical for HDB to set the criteria straight that only REGISTERED Singapore religious groups are eligible? Why allow a FOREIGN company to bid for it? Can a company without any RELIGIOUS background really make good use of the land which is supposedly intended for Chinese Temple?

Sensing something very wrong with HDB's sneaky actions, I did a special check on this Australian company. This company used to deal with Stem Cell research but it sold its business to a Singapore public listed company and changed its name. It actually wholly owned a Singapore company dealing with funeral services! According Life Corporation's website, its Chairman is a Chinese who have graduated from Beijing in the 1980s. He is also the Chairman of a public listed company in Hong Kong, Golden Meditech Holdings. Apparently Golden Meditech Holdings has bought over this Australian company.

Life Corporation's only core business is funeral services via its ownership of Singapore Funeral Services Care Pte Ltd.

Now it all makes sense. "Chinese Temple" is just a decoy, to fool buyers of those BTO flats surrounding it. It was never meant to be just "Chinese Temple" or a columbarium. It was meant to be a land for funeral parlour/casket services and columbarium! Who would want to buy a flat next to a business entity that runs funeral services? That is why HDB has to try so hard, using all despicable and unethical means to hide such information!

Of course, Life Corporation was just restructured and turned into Funeral Services in Singapore last year. Although it has a full subsidiary in Singapore running funeral services, it did not use Singapore Funeral Services Care Ptd Ltd to bid for that parcel of land meant for "Chinese Temple". Why didn't it use it? That would be just too obvious, isn't it?

Please take note that although its SFS has experiences in funeral services, but it has zero experience in running a columbarium, least a religious entity like a Chinese Temple! But HDB still allows it to bid and eventually, awarded the land to it!

Obviously, Life Corporation won't just build and run only a Chinese Temple and a columbarium on that piece of land. It bid for that land for its core business, SFS which is Funeral Services! And it is not surprising that it claims it is not only to build a columbarium but also facilities to run its funeral services via SFS! This is all stated in ST reports here.

"Life Corp, the parent company of Singapore Funeral Services, said the space will be used to run funeral services, columbarium space and associated services."
Now having a columbarium next to a HDB estate is one thing, but to have a business entity running "funeral services and associated services" will be totally another thing! Residents will have to face endless funeral wakes and processions being carried out at the premises whole year round.

It is very clear now that "Chinese Temple" was just a decoy and an excuse. The real intent is for HDB to bring casket/funeral parlour services right into HDB heartland! Isn't that totally despicable and unethical for HDB to do such thing?

Let me ask HDB a few questions before they really start building a whole facility for casket services:

1) Why isn't land slated for religious purposes be restricted to religious organizations registered in Singapore?

2) If Life Corporation has no experience in running a religious organization, why was the tender awarded to it?

3) Is HDB allowing Life Corporation to carry out funeral services other than columbarium storage of ashes?

4) Will there be any cremation facility allowed to be built on that parcel of land?

5) If there isn't any cremation facility allowed and funeral services are allowed there, would it mean that there will be endless funeral wakes, rites and processions carried out at that premises?

6) Is this "Chinese Temple" allowed to carry out funeral services for other religions?

I believe for those who have been fooled into buying those expensive BTO flats there, they would have lot more questions to ask HDB.

I am totally appalled and disgusted by HDB's unscrupulous act. It is really unbecoming of PAP government to use such dishonest tactic to fool Singaporeans. As the government, PAP should be thinking of ways to enhance Singaporeans' life, safeguard and protect Singaporeans' interests. But instead, it has just gone too far in its greedy ways so much so that it becomes the main culprit in damaging Singaporeans' interests. It becomes the very entity that use dirty tricks and scheming tactic to misrepresent and mis-sell HDB flats to Singaporeans.

Singaporeans should stop trusting PAP as an upright government that would defend your rights and interests.It would already be a blessing if the PAP government don't come after your interests and rights, least expecting them to defend it for you.

It has changed from bad to worse. There is only greed in PAP government now. It has lost its moral compass totally. How could PAP self proclaim itself as "World Class" when its actions are so low class? Singaporeans, we have only ourselves to depend on to defend ourselves against such unscrupulous government.

Goh Meng Seng


Apparently PAP MP Lam of Sengkang West has gone into panicky mode after ST reported on this columbarium saga. Rightfully so.

He has went on to ask HDB, URA and even Life Corporation questions but I guess, not specific enough. As far as I know, tender and bids for land meant for religious purposes are quite stringent and there were religious groups REFUSED the award of land by HDB for many other reasons. Read his report on Facebook here.

The fundamental question to ask HDB is why the tender didn't restrict to Religious Groups or Organizations registered in Singapore only?

There is a whole list of questions should be asked, including those listed in this blog article.

On top of that, there are CONTRADICTING statements made by Life Corporation on the columbarium plan. It was reported by ST that it will have funeral services in this building but now, it says there will not be any funeral services:

" I have also been reassured by the developer that there will NOT be crematorium or funeral parlour services at the new temple."

But on top of this, MP Lam has revealed the following:

"According to the presentation, the services include:
1) promotion of cultural and Buddhism activities and value system
2) communal activities like spaces for other religious group for small group activities, nominated non-profit group beneficiaries, private spaces for self and group cultural and religious development
3) automated columbarium"

What does number 2, " communal activities like spaces for other religious group for small group activities, nominated non-profit group beneficiaries, private spaces for self and group cultural and religious development" means? Funeral service?

This is the first time we are seeing Profit-Oriented Public Listed company allowed to run their business on land slated for RELIGIOUS purpose. I am really skeptical about such move.

Of course, HDB claims that they have stated "columbarium" in their brochures but buyers of the BTO has claimed otherwise. In fact, Redwire Times has revealed that it was put in ULTRA Fine Print! HDB has to answer to that.

There will be a dialogue session to be conducted this coming Sunday 4 Jan by PAP MP Lam. If you are one of the stakeholders, be it BTO buyer or residents there, please attend the session and shoot your way off.

"The development plan of the Chinese Temple is still being finalised and we will be organising a dialogue session with LifeCorp, URA and HDB on 4th January 2015, 10am (Sunday) at Anchorvale CC multipurpose hall for them to share their plans with residents. Residents are most welcome to attend to share your feedback and concerns."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Singaporeans, I believe.

Sometimes, it is really depressing to be Singaporeans if you are not one of the Elites within PAP or its cronies and organizations.

Singaporeans have been told by PAP that we need "Foreign Talents", as if only Foreigners are Talents while there is none among us, other than the million dollar Ministers and their PAP MPs plus cronies.

Singaporeans are told that they are basically useless and they need millions of Foreign Talents to "create jobs" for them. But in the end, many Singaporeans have found out that the so call "jobs" created for them are "taxi-drivers" and "security guards". We start to see taxi drivers with Master degree and even PHD. We start to see colonies of migrants were brought in by their own people to replace Singaporeans at work place, be it Filipino, Indians, PRCs or otherwise. We are made or forced to believe these people, from third world country, many of them with dubious and fake degrees or qualifications, are some TALENTS who are BETTER than Singaporeans.

Some people and yes, some Singaporeans as well, will start to scold me "Xenophobic" by now but I am determined to say it as it is. I am not against Foreigners or Foreign workers and in fact, I have been employing the services of foreigners in other countries and places as well, along with the Singaporeans who work with me. Whatever others or PAP may say about Singaporeans, but I believe among the regional "Third World" countries, Singaporeans are relatively more trustworthy, reliable and hardworking. The PRCs may say Singaporeans are dumb or stupid, but I see that as a compliment as compared to the many unscrupulous things PRCs will do just to make more money or even cheat.

Singaporeans are among the best co-workers I have met over time. They are efficient and quick in learning. Unlike the many "Third World countries" people whom I have worked for, they have the right attitude towards work. In fact, Singapore has provided a platform to "educate" or "cultivate" many foreigners form third world countries the correct working attitude. For example, comparing a Vietnamese in Vietnam and a Vietnamese working in Singapore, you can experience a vast difference between their attitude towards efficiency, morals and work ethics.

Singaporeans may lack certain Global exposures but I do not think that is a critical handicap at all. If given the right opportunities, I believe most Singaporeans will be a quick learner and adapt very well to new situation and environment. In fact, Singaporeans are fairly well regarded as a people for their honesty, hardworking and efficiency in many parts of the world. The REAL problem with Singaporeans is its choice of PAP as its ruling party.

No where in the world could I find a government as sadistic as PAP government which has constantly thumbing down on Singaporeans as "inferior" to their "Foreign Talents". Even Malaysian Government will come up with "Malaysia Boleh" or "Satu Malaysia" (Malaysia Number One). Even China, with a massive population of uncultured citizenry which irk so many people around the world with their barbaric and uncivilized behavior, would come up with a strong rhetoric of "China Dream", drumming up Nationalism as its core message. Even the Filipinos are whipping up their Nationalism in foreign land like Singapore!

It is no wonder, foreigners in Singapore, especially those from the "Third World Countries", are starting to snarl and mock at Singaporeans, calling them names and pride themselves in superiority over Singaporeans, citing the "FACT" that even our PAP government wanted them so much because they are "TALENTS" which Singaporeans are not!

Well, we may be angry against these rude and ungrateful people from the "Third World Countries" but they are not wrong at all. The fault lies with PAP which has repeated talked down on Singaporeans. eg. Singaporeans commit more crimes than Foreigners.

But my fellow Singaporeans, most of these so call "Foreign Talents" from the "Third World Countries" are just cheap substitutes brought in to displace you. Logically speaking, how could somebody who graduated from "Third World Countries" be more "superior" than Singaporeans who have gone through the First World education in Singapore? We should not feel any bit INFERIOR as compared to these people. We are the HOSTS of this country which provides the platform to give them jobs and money to feed their families in their Third World Countries.

Many people from first world countries have mistaken that Singaporeans are Xenophobic but we are not. Most Singaporeans are people with big heart, tolerant and well behaved. If you have met anyone from USA or European countries who talk down to you about being Xenophobic, tell them off by suggesting filling up their own countries with 40% foreigners and see whether they will be MORE or less angry and intolerant as Singaporeans.

All countries will have foreign population or migrant workers. But at most, most of the First World Countries have less than 25% of their population as foreigners. They do not understand what Singaporeans are unhappy about. Just tell them that we have 40% and PAP intends to increase to 50% or even 60% of our population to be foreigners. That is exactly what they are trying to do, else how do you think they can increase our population to 6.9million within such a short time?

The truth is, even the REAL Talents from First World Countries like US or Britain, are shocked at what PAP is doing. A friend of mine told me about a conversation which he had with a British who has worked in Singapore but leaving.

The British told him, PAP is stupid. Yes, you hear it right, a British FT telling PAP off. He said Singaporeans are actually very good people, highly intelligent, hardworking and highly competent. But PAP prefers to get people like him, to be paid 3 or 4 times more than Singaporeans to do exactly the same thing and hold the same amount of responsibility which Singaporeans could do with great proficiency! Yes, this is a FRANK comment from the British 'FT'.

PAP is stupid because it doesn't believe in its own people, Singaporeans. It doesn't believe Singaporeans can be as good as, if not better than most of the foreigners; even if they are from some First World Countries, least, Third World.

Such policy mindset will deprive Singaporeans from earning their rightful salaries but also neglect the grooming of Singaporeans by depriving them the opportunities to get exposures from the many important positions which were taken up by foreigners.

PAP is not only spending millions in scholarship to groom foreigners from Third World Countries in our colleges and universities but they are also grooming them in their working lives by allowing them to displace local Singaporeans. The irony is that, while foreigners get free education in Singapore and displace Singaporeans in important positions, many local Singaporeans who have paid a hefty price (university fees have been increasing over time) for their tertiary education, were unable to find any job!

No matter how hard Singaporeans try to upgrade their skills, qualifications etc, they eventually find themselves being displaced by foreigners at ALL LEVELS of jobs.

Singaporeans in Singapore may be talked down by PAP in all aspects, but when it comes to international job markets, Singaporeans are well sort after. Why? It is because Singaporeans are trustworthy, law abiding, intelligent and efficient.

Many people, especially those from the very Third World Countries which PAP has tried to court their "talents", regard Singaporeans as good people, trustworthy people to do business with, in comparison with their own people.

Over these few years, I have met Singaporeans working and doing business overseas. They have given me one simple impression: back in Singapore, PAP and its system, regard them as dirt, unworthy people. They have to leave Singapore to prove their worth in other countries and places like Hong Kong. They made it in their life, because they believe in themselves, not PAP's nonsense about "Foreign Talents".

(Some of you may feel that I am exaggerating and may use the Sim Lim Square lemon retailers as example of how "bad" Singaporean businessmen were. There will always be bad apples among the millions but while we make so much noise over these few bad apples, splashing over local headlines and such, but can you imagine there are many millions more of such cheats in the Third World Countries like China? It has become a NORM there and that is why you will never see headlines over such "trivial" things in these countries!)

PAP is the root of the problems Singaporeans are facing a people, as a Nation. A Nation of People who have low esteem will not do us good and PAP is the one who is constantly causing our people to become so.

Singaporeans should rebuild their own self-esteem and there is nothing Xenophobic about that. PAP Ministers and their cronies are not the only "Talents" in Singapore. The truth is, every Singaporeans can be a talent in his or her own field, in their own right. Every Singaporeans should be worth as much as their skill set and not only PAP Ministers have the rightful claim to the over-exaggerated million dollar salary. We should not allow PAP to continue thumbing us down as a people and depressing our wages and quality of life.

Singaporeans, I believe, could really be a World Class people, World Class workforce, if given the proper opportunities, grooming and recognition. Our Singapore Brand as a people, is Trustworthiness, quick learners, law abiding, no nonsense, intelligent, well educated and efficient people. Singaporeans should start to believe in themselves and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. STOP believing in PAP's nonsense about only Foreigners and their cronies, are Talents and nobody else.

While I encourage Singaporeans to walk out of Singapore into the World, but you can't be a good fighter without confidence and self esteem. I believe that Singaporeans do not need PAP's degrading rhetoric on their FT policy but what they need is to get more World exposures.

Singaporeans, I also believe, should fight and strive to retain the high standards we have set for ourselves and future generations. While our system has provided a good platform to educate those foreign workers from Third World Countries on efficiency, reliability and such, we should not allow many of these foreigners to skewed, change or lower the standards we expect from our system.

Working attitude is one important factor in determining success of an organization or even a country. I know many Singaporeans are just suffering in silence from the incompetency of their foreign counterparts but you should not be so. You should be voicing out in firm assertion to demand the best from everyone, foreign or otherwise.

I believe part of the problems we face in Singapore's MRT system is the lax working attitude of foreign engineers (from Third World Countries) which causes constant breakdowns in the system. They do not have the Singapore mindset and culture of no-nonsense when it comes to such important work. I have heard enough of retired SMRT Singaporean engineers complaining about cheapo materials being used as well as the quality of foreign engineers and technicians employed. But my dear Singaporeans, they are so, because we allow them to be so. It is because we have allowed the Third World mentality to invade our work place and replace the good work ethics we used to have in our system. We have not voiced out in firm assertion to maintain the high standards we used to uphold. We should not allow them to erode our culture, our belief in high standards and our identity as Singapore Brand.

Singaporeans, I believe, cannot depend on PAP and its cronies to do the right thing at all. They are more concerned about how much profits they can make and how much salary and bonuses they can get, rather than the more important Singapore Culture we have cultivated over the decades of Nation Building. This Singapore Culture which defines us as a Singapore Brand, is facing its greatest challenge at the largest scale ever.

Singaporeans, I believe, united as one, we can overcome all these nonsense PAP has installed in this system. We have only ourselves to depend on for the sake of our future generations. We should not allow PAP's flawed Population Policy to dictate and deteriorate our Nation to Third World standards. We should hold our future firmly in our own hands. I believe.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, December 20, 2014

PAP's "Affordable Demon"

It is really getting absurd everyday with PAP and its cronies to chant the Devilish Word "Affordable".

For every thing PAP wants to increase prices in order to feed its army of cronies of million dollar salary, they do not need to JUSTIFY the need to increase the prices but just chant, "It is affordable to Singaporeans!" Does it mean that as long as you can afford, it is perfectly alright for PAP to squeeze every bits from you by raising prices?

Whether it is HDB flats (MBT famous rant about affordability) or electricity tariffs or basic needs like public transport fares, the only thing they need to do is to shout it all out loud, "Don't be stingy! You can afford the price increase! It is AFFORDABLE to you!".

Whenever you have salary increase (true or false or just some imagination), they will shout it out loud," Hey you have 4% increase in salary! We just increase 2.8%!", never mind about how many percentage increase in their own CEO or top management remuneration and the profit increase they enjoy despite of POOR SERVICE Quality (historical high MRT breakdown) and now, drastic decrease in cost due to drop in oil prices. What they want to do is to MAKE SURE whatever you have earned, MUST be SQUEEZED out from you eventually!

Never mind if this claim of 4% increase in salary is SKEWED as this include the OBSCENE increase in salaries like those Top management in these public transport companies! The overall salary increase may be 4% but what about the salary increase of those who take public transport? Do they enjoy as much as 4% increase in their salaries?

Never mind about such things as they are not interested in justifying their GREED but only throw the "Affordable Demon" at everybody.

That is the sad state of affairs in Singapore. PTC is all filled up with PAP and its cronies, worse, the representatives from the transport companies. What checks and balances are there, except the Affordable Demon guarding the interests of these greedy fat pigs?

My dear fellow Singaporeans, if you do not want to be suck dry of every drops of your blood, you will have to do something about it when you go to the polls in next GE. Think before you vote. And be warned. The 10% GST is coming and they will release their Affordable Demon at you again.

Goh Meng Seng

Friday, December 19, 2014

PAP's Core Value --- Greed

Greed has no boundary. Oil prices dropped by 40% since June this year but look what Singaporeans get:

1) Pathetic "token" decrease of pump prices by the cartel and neither CASE nor PAP government say anything or do anything about it.

2) Well, as if that is not enough, electricity tariff controlled by government didn't decrease accordingly as well, giving crap reason that our power station run on gas, not oil. But the last time we heard when oil price increased and gas price was stagnant, they increase the electricity tariff anyway, giving crap reason that the gas price is pegged and hedged to oil prices! Win liao lor!

3) As if all these are not enough to squeeze every bits from Singaporeans, now they want to increase public transport fares! Last time they increase fares citing increasing fuel cost due to high oil prices but now, when oil prices plunge, they give other excuses to increase fare despite having very healthy and high profits...

Guess it is not difficult for anyone to conclude that Greed is PAP's core value from all these happenings.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, December 15, 2014

CPF Life Annuity is a Money Making Machine for PAP government!

I have prepared a spreadsheet for anyone to calculate the age that he needs to live in order to "exhaust" his Minimum Sum he puts into CPF Life Annuity. (You can Private Message me to ask me for this spreadsheet if you want to).

Based on the typical Minimum Sum of $155K paid at age 55 years old, interests @ 4% (this is the PAP's claim of "Risk Free Interests" from them) with a monthly payout of $1200 (or $14400 per year) starting at age 65 years old, the BREAK EVEN age is 90!

It means that only when you can live BEYOND 90 years old, then you can get MORE than what you have put in. However, please bear in mind that if you died at 85 years old or after, there will be no bequest. Even if you die at age 65, your family will get only slightly more than $155K which is FAR lesser than the amount if you earn 4% per annum. If you die at age 75 (which most people do), your family will get only about 13% of the amount which is rightfully yours at 4% compounding rate! (This is based on the example given for CPF Life Plus).

 (paid @
 55 yrs old)
Interest Monthly
65 yrs old)
  155000 4.00% 1200 -14400
Age Starting Balace Amount after
Adding Interest
Total Yearly
65 229437.86 238615.37 -14400 224215.37
66 224215.37 233183.98 -14400 218783.98
67 218783.98 227535.34 -14400 213135.34
68 213135.34 221660.75 -14400 207260.75
69 207260.75 215551.18 -14400 201151.18
70 201151.18 209197.23 -14400 194797.23
71 194797.23 202589.12 -14400 188189.12
72 188189.12 195716.68 -14400 181316.68
73 181316.68 188569.35 -14400 174169.35
74 174169.35 181136.12 -14400 166736.12
75 166736.12 173405.56 -14400 159005.56
76 159005.56 165365.78 -14400 150965.78
77 150965.78 157004.41 -14400 142604.41
78 142604.41 148308.59 -14400 133908.59
79 133908.59 139264.93 -14400 124864.93
80 124864.93 129859.53 -14400 115459.53
81 115459.53 120077.91 -14400 105677.91
82 105677.91 109905.03 -14400 95505.03
83 95505.03 99325.23 -14400 84925.23
84 84925.23 88322.24 -14400 73922.24
85 73922.24 76879.13 -14400 62479.13
86 62479.13 64978.3 -14400 50578.3
87 50578.3 52601.43 -14400 38201.43
88 38201.43 39729.49 -14400 25329.49
89 25329.49 26342.67 -14400 11942.67
90 11942.67 12420.38 -14400 -1979.62
91 -1979.62 -2058.8 -14400 -16458.8
92 -16458.8 -17117.15 -14400 -31517.15
93 -31517.15 -32777.84 -14400 -47177.84
94 -47177.84 -49064.95 -14400 -63464.95
95 -63464.95 -66003.55 -14400 -80403.55
96 -80403.55 -83619.69 -14400 -98019.69
97 -98019.69 -101940.48 -14400 -116340.48
98 -116340.48 -120994.1 -14400 -135394.1
99 -135394.1 -140809.86 -14400 -155209.86
100 -155209.86 -161418.25 -14400 -175818.25

Thus, my conclusion is that CPF Life Annuity is just a money making machine for PAP government! It will end like the Medishield whereby the payout is pathetic and it will accumulate huge amount of surpluses ever year. The payout and bequest is designed to make MOST Singaporeans to forgo most of their hard earned CPF money and given to the government.

The implication of this finding is that PAP could have set up this system WITHOUT the need of CONFISCATING your money when you die. If a person has $155K in his CPF account, he can just put this money in CPF to further grow his retirement nest (at PAP's "risk free" 4% return) and then get  $1200 per month until 90 years old. If he died before reaching 90 years old, his family will get the balance of his money in CPF. If he lived beyond 90 years old (very few could reach that age), then I do not think it will bankrupt PAP government by showing these elders a little respect by providing them the necessary funding for the rest of their life.

If PAP is really stingy, then the alternative way is to get provide the retirees INDEFINITE payout from the interests earn throughout this period. i.e. give them $764 every month if they have the initial $155K in their CPF account until they die. When they die, the seed money of $229437 will be given back to their family. They can live up to 100 years old if they want and they won't burden the government at all.

Such arrangement is fully in Singaporeans' interests without risking their money which naturally, they would want to let their family member inherit them.

If insurance companies refused to give coverage to anyone who is 65 years old or above, why should we be forced to gamble with our hard earn money of $155K to put into CPF Life Annuity when we are 55 years old and risk losing it all by betting that we can live beyond 90 years old?

A good government will not be constantly thinking of ways in sucking off the citizens' hard earn money even when they die! They should be thinking of a more viable options for the sake of everyone's interests. A good government will not PUSH the responsibility of feeding the elders (over 90 years old) to other Singaporeans. Worse of all, this CPF Life Annuity scheme will become yet another tool for PAP to milk Singaporeans out as it will definitely have earned excess funds indefinitely as most people will only live till 75 years old and the government would have creamed off huge amount of money from these people.

If Singaporeans do not stop PAP government from such scheme, they will eventually find themselves being reaped off totally and their children and future generation will never be able to enjoy a kick start with more accumulated wealth.

All these funny schemes put up by PAP are the very reasons that I do not trust PAP at all. A government is here to serve the interests of Singaporeans, not trying with every means to EARN or cream off Singaporeans' money while shying away from its responsibilities.

Goh Meng Seng

Afternote: If you are really stuck with PAP and its CPF Life scheme, then I would advise my readers to choose CPF Life BASIC instead of CPF Life PLUS. According to the brochure posted by CPF (here), CPF Life PLUS is really a reap off and it doesn't give you a FAIR deal at all. (Read Pg 29-30). The CPF Life BASIC plan is a better deal although it still "earns" a few thousands of dollars when you die from the fund you left.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Responses to Media Enquiry on Mr Lee Hsien Loong's Criticisms of Opposition

My responses as follow:

Do you agree that the PAP should set the standard and the opposition held accountable to it?

Why should PAP be the player, the organizer who set the rules and standards as well as the referee or judge at the same time? Let the Voters be the judge and I believe they have their own standards set out for opposition parties as well as PAP. As the ruling party, whether it likes it or not, voters' expectation and standards will be set at very much higher level. Rightfully so because PAP has the power and resources to do what it is supposed to do as a ruling party.

2. Has the role of the opposition evolved post-2011? Is it perhaps too old to use the "check and balance" function as a platform to run a campaign on?

Whether the role of opposition has evolved in post-2011 depends very much on voters' expectation. But one interesting sign I have observed is the rising of civil activism which is non-partisan in nature. The non-partisan social-political activists have been leading the charge on social-political issues like the 6.9m Population White Paper issue as well the Return-Our-CPF protests. These activism may have unintentionally put pressure on political parties to step up to reclaim their rightful role as political opinion leader in articulating more coherent policy views rather than sitting on the sideline as passive political free-riders. If they fail to do so, they would be seen as ineffective even as an agent for effecting the "check and balance" function and it will be very unconvincing for them to sell this idea of "check and balance" function as their front running campaigning theme.

My view is that, "check and balance" is the inherent rightful role of any opposition party all around the world in any democracy. In Singapore's context, it is still a relevant campaigning theme as the result of the GRC system, the highly disproportionate number of opposition MPs in parliament vs the total percentage of votes opposition has garnered will always be a critical imbalance which Singaporeans need to address. This will inevitably falls on the urgent need to correct this insufficient and inadequacy of check and balance function in our system. However, the contrast cast by non-partisan social-political players have put serious doubts on opposition parties' effectiveness as a player to provide such function. If opposition parties don't buck up to show that they could lead the charge at the front of check and balance function, they might lose their legitimacy as the important component or element to effect the function of check and balance. Voters will be disillusioned by their passiveness in comparison.

3. As a check, how well do you think the major opposition in Parliament, the WP, has done?

No comment. I will leave it to voters to make the judgment. But as I have expressed in my answer to your previous question, all opposition parties including WP will have to buck up to play a more pro-active role as a check to the PAP government if they do not want to be considered irrelevant by voters.

4. What challenges do you see besetting a centrist party like the WP in the upcoming election?

IMHO, there are three challenges WP has to address in order to convince voters that it is still the BEST Choice of opposition parties to be voted into parliament:

a) WP has to address and provide immediate remedy to the erosion of its most important CORE COMPETENCY aka Political Capital in Town Council management.

b) WP has to demonstrate its ability to keep its promise to achieve its last GE aim of "First World Parliament". Up till now, the mediocre parliamentary performance of WP's MPs will inevitably make its past GE Manifesto of "First World Parliament" to come back and bite it. This is made worst by the contrast provided by those non-partisan social political activists.

c) Economics is always WP's weakest link in its policy deliberation but in Singapore's context, Economics precedes every other policy matters. WP will have to find ways to improve its economics learning and articulate its economic policy views more coherently and effectively.

5. Opposition parties like the SDP have responded by saying they do have alternative visions. Do you think the SDP's manifesto in particular is workable? Can all parties say they have alternative visions?

I do believe most political parties have their own alternative Visions, whether it is based on Democratic Values, Economics logic, Social Welfare perspective or otherwise. Apparently, PAP is more focused in its attack on opposition parties' Economic Visions.

On the surface, opposition parties may express their own Visions based on their core beliefs and values. However, it would not be fair for PAP to attack opposition parties' inability to deliberate on the finer details on such vision because they do not have the privilege of the ruling party in getting vital information as well as civil servants to help them in researching and formulating their full policy details.

I reserve my comments on SDP or any other opposition parties' manifesto as it will take a long debate to articulate the plausibility of their plans.

6. Mr Lee is framing the upcoming general election as a national one, not just a local one, and one that will be a "deadly serious fight." How do you think this message will wash with voters?

I would say that with due respect, Mr Lee is already a LATE COMER in realizing that past GE2011 as well as the two by-elections we had since 2011 were already fought on National issues instead of local ones. eg. HDB and transport issue in GE2011. I believe voters will not only vote according to what they feel about National issues but will also consider who are the candidates put forward by the various parties. I do not believe PAP will lose power totally, even though it may lose more seats.

Even if PAP is to lose over 50% of seats, it will still remain as the dominant party with the most seats because at this moment, all opposition parties won't be able to contest more than half of the seats alone, least all the seats. The Constitution will require the President to call upon the Dominant party to form the government, be it a coalition or a minority government.

Thus, I do not think voters in this era, with more knowledge of how politics work, would be intimidated by such exaggeration by Mr. Lee.

Goh Meng Seng