Return CPF money, Singapore told
- Singaporeans are not the only victims of the CPF scam. Malaysians are also on
Return CPF money, Singapore told
JOHOR BARU: The national airspace should not be traded for the
release of the RM2bil in pensions belonging to Malaysians which is
now locked in Singapore's Central Provident Fund (CPF), Johor Umno
deputy chief Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said.
He said the nation's airspace involved the country's sovereignty and
security and should not be used as a trading tool.
Mohamed Khaled, who is also Pasir Gudang Umno chief, said Singapore
should release the money because it belonged to Malaysians.
"The money was contributed by Malaysians to the CPF and it is
rightly theirs. They should not be stopped from taking back what is
theirs," he said after opening an entrepreneurship carnival for
university students here yesterday.
Mohamed Khaled said Johor Umno also felt that the matter should not
be included in the negotiations to resolve problems between the two
Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said after a meeting with
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Putrajaya on Dec
13 that the Malaysian Government would consider allowing Singapore
Air Force (SAF) jets to use Malaysian airspace for training.
Goh had said that if it could be done, he would have no hesitation
in releasing the CPF funds of Malaysians and would consider the
joint development of Keretapi Tanah Melayu's land in Singapore.
The island republic only allowed Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak
to withdraw their savings in the CPF.
When winding up the debate on the 2005 Budget at the state assembly
on Tuesday, Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had said that the
Johor Government was concerned that the SAF might be allowed to
train in Malaysian airspace.
He had said that there had been many complaints from residents in
the Gelang Patah area about the nuisance caused by the low-flying
Malaysia closed its airspace to the SAF in 1998 after considering
national and public interests and the demand of residents in the
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 mystery.
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 packages. See:
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
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