Why contribute beyond Medisave limit? The CPF Scam Revealed.
- Comments: Mellanie Hewlitt
5 December 2004
Below is a recent article from Ronald Ng concerning the Medisave Scam. Ronald's
questions echo the thoughts of a growing silent majority of Singaporeans who
are increasingly aware of the scam behind the scheme. Many have been able to
see beyond the masquerade painted by Singapore Policy Makers and the local
government owned media.
What is left unsaid by the local government owned media is the fact that the
Medisave policies actually create a monopoly market for Singapore Health Care
This is done by restricting the use of Medisave funds to only medical
and health care insitutions within Singapore. A patient will not be
able to seek a cheaper and more effective form of treatment overseas
if he wishes to use his Medisave reserves.
The picture becomes even more bleak if a patient has a terminal illness which
has no known treatment within Singapore. What happens if there is a safe and
effective treatment available elsewhere/overseas? What happens if the
patient needs his medisave reserves for this treatment overseas? Under the
current Medisave policies, such a patient is faced with a virtual death
warrant. These are questions which Singapore's policy makers and million dollar
ministers usually avoid and remain willfully blind to. Afterall, ignorance is
But such bliss do not extend to the average Singaporean. It is no secret that
the end losers are average Singaporeans who are held ransom to the services and
escalating costs of the local health care providers.
The direct beneficiaries are the GLCs and Singapore's government owned
hospitals and local health care providers as the policy creates a virtual
monopoly by setting up barriers of entry and artificially inflating
the cost of health care in Singapore.
This also works in a vicious circle as the Singapore Government then
uses the excuse of escalating health care costs to further increase
the mandatory contributions limits under the Medisave scheme.
Many Singaporeans have resigned themselves to such a fate and there is
much truth in the local saying: "In Singapore you can afford to die but you
cannot afford to fall ill."
Read-on and find out more on the Medisave and CPF Scam.
This message was forwarded to you from Straits Times Interactive (http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg) by Ronald.Ng@...
Comments from sender:
From: Ronald Ng
To: Singapore Review
Dear Ms Hewlitt
Below is an article I wrote concerning Medisafe Reseverves which I hope you can also publish in your newsgroup.
I am an avid reader of your newsgroup and would like to see more of your frank commentary on management of public funds in Singapore.
Dec 3, 2004
Why contribute beyond Medisave limit?
THE self-employed are required to contribute to their Medisave Account annually - depending on their income for the year - up to a maximum of $30,500. Thereafter, any excess amount will be credited to the member's Ordinary Account.
I am over 56 years old and can withdraw any CPF money from the Ordinary Account in excess of the Minimum Sum of $80,000 required to be retained by the CPF Board till I am 62 years old. I have not done so as I have no need for the funds.
I do not understand the logic of forcing self-employed people like me to contribute more money to my Medisave Account when the maximum amount has been reached and contributions are then channelled to my Ordinary Account.
This message was forwarded to you from Straits Times Interactive
(http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg) by MellanieHewlitt@...
Comments By Mellanie Hewlitt
1 Oct 2004
With an obscene amout of surplus in Medisave Reserves, huge hidden fiscal
surpluses enrich the Singapore government and state enterprises but impoverish
the private sector and tax payers.
Lack of Transparency is a common issue with the CPF Board and State Owned
Enterprises. The ST article (in 1 Oct 2004 issue) below is vaguely
reminiscient of similiar revelations of the huge hidden reserves which the
National Kidney Foundation had stashed away, even as it sort more charitable
funding from the general public. Indeed the common theme in both CPF and NKF
exercises is that they have the central objective of siphoning even more funds
from tax-payers into the already fat coffers of many state owned vehicles. All
this is cleverly done under the guise of schemes and policies which are
supposedly designed to look after the welfare of Singapore Citizens.
But the abuse is quite glaring since money only flows one way:- into the
pockets of the state administrators. There is no outflow from the state to the
public. What happens to the billions of dollars in reserves is also a total
The high-surplus strategy lowers Singapore's standard of living. Deprived of
disposable income by numerous taxes, Singaporeans consistently consume a share
of GDP 10-20 percentage points below Hong Kong levels, while Hong Kong
maintains a higher per-capita income. It was only recently that the CPF Board
has also stepped up measures to sue "Medisave Laggards" who fail to top-up on
their own Medisave accounts.
These Big structural surpluses most benefit the ruling party, to the detriment
of the private sector. Unconstrained by tight finances, the government pays
cabinet members and civil servants some of the world's highest public-sector
A variety of analytical shields obscures the embarrassing size of government
surpluses. Accounting principles differ from global standards. A bewildering
array of statutory boards, government-linked companies, investment corporations
and holding companies transact among themselves at undisclosed prices. Key data
such as the government's share of national savings and the profits of holding
companies and investment corporations are kept secret. One analyst calls the
national accounts a "masterpiece of obfuscation." See:
The other troubling issue which is tactfully avoided by the government is the
fact that CPF investments (and returns/profitability of State Owned Companies
as wells as GLCs and TLCs) are under performers and laggards well behind
private sector standards. Is this is an intended result of figures manupulated
to obscure huge returns, or are State Owned Entities really so appalingly bad
at earning decent returns on investments? No one will ever know the answers.
It is indeed cruel irony that State Organisations and Government Linked
Companies are ripping-off the very individuals which they are established to
protect. So blatant is the abuse of public funds that such occurences have now
been institutionalised and formalised, with the Constitution re-written to
allow the state and State Owned Enterprises direct access to state/public
reserves. All this has happened with the blessing of the Auditors General
office and Finance Ministry. See:
Legitimisation of Corruption and Nepotism has been tansformed into a art-form
by Singapore's Ruling Bureucracy, all at the expense of the man on the street.