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Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From City Harvest

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May 21st, 2014
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  1. The Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong decided to play his usual scheme by suing opinionated citizens, who can't afford expensive court fees, in order to force them to shut up and retract their statements; often when parts of the statement are spot-on and hit a raw nerve.
  3. It's an elaborate trap that will shut any citizen up - nobody can afford to pay for prolonged court cases, especially when up against the coffers of the ONLY-ONE-in-the-WORLD THREE-FREAKING-MILLION-dollar prime minister.
  4. (Flourine uranium carbon potassium - Bismuth technetium helium sulfur - Germanium thulium - Molybdenum neon yttrium - Yttrium oxygen)
  6. As a bystander, this is too much even for me.
  8. So here's a - Flourine uranium carbon potassium - Yttrium oxygen uranium - to that silly scheme. The writing by Roy Ngerng raises important issues for everyone and it will stay for all to read. Permanently.
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  11. Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial: The Heart Truths
  13. Internet Archive of the blog post, with all original full-res images.
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  17. Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial: The Heart Truths
  19. This is Google's cache of­your­cpf­money­is­going­learning­from­ the­city­harvest­trial/ (­your­cpf­money­is­going­learning­from­the­ city­harvest­trial/). It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 19 May 2014 13:56:16 GMT. The current page (­your­cpf­money­is­going­learning­from­the­city­harvest­trial/) could have changed in the meantime. Learn more ( hl=en&p=cached&answer=1687222)
  21. Text­only version (­your­cpf­money­is­going­learning­from­the­city­ harvest­trial/&hl=en&gl=sg&strip=1)
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  24. The Heart Truths (
  25. To Keep Singaporeans Thinking by Roy Ngerng 鄞义林
  26. (
  28. May 15, 2014
  29. Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial
  31. Last week, Channel NewsAsia reported about how, “The founder of City Harvest Church Kong Hee and his five deputies (are) accused of misusing millions of church building funds.”
  32. (
  34. According to Channel NewsAsia, “The court accepted that there is evidence to show that the monies were moved from the church to the various firms to generate a false appearance that the church’s investments were redeemed. The judge said the six had been dishonest in the use of the money.”
  35. It was also reported that, “Judge See said the auditors’ opinions were “only as good as the information they were given”.”
  36. Below is the chart that Channel NewsAsia had created to show the relations of Kong Hee and his five deputies, and the funds that they have misappropriated.
  37. ----> Trial of City Harvest Church Leaders ----> Source: Channel NewsAsia
  38. (
  39. (
  41. Meanwhile, something bears an uncanny resemblance to how the money is being misappropriated.
  42. ----> PAP-CPF-MAS-Temasek-GIC cropped
  43. (
  45. Channel NewsAsia had reported that, “The court accepted that there is evidence to show that the monies were moved from the church to the various firms to generate a false appearance that the church’s investments were redeemed. The judge said the six had been dishonest in the use of the money.”
  46. “Judge See said the auditors’ opinions were “only as good as the information they were given”.”
  48. Meanwhile, the GIC claims that the “GIC manages the Government’s reserves, but as to how the funds from CPF monies flow into reserves which could then be managed by either MAS, GIC or Temasek, this is not made explicit to us.”
  49. (
  51. The GIC also claims that, “The Government, which is represented by the Ministry of Finance in its dealings with GIC, neither directs nor interferes in the company’s investment decisions. It holds the board accountable for the overall portfolio performance.”
  52. (
  54. However, the PAP prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers and the ministers for Trade and Industry and Education also sit on the board of directors. Lee Hsien Loong is the Chairman and Lee Kuan Yew is the Senior Advisor.
  57. Here are some things for you consider:
  58. Do you know that apparently the CPF is now the 8th largest pension fund in the world?
  59. ----> Singapore 8th Largest Retirement Fund ----> Chart: P&I/Towers Watson World 300: The largest retirement funds
  60. (
  61. (
  63. And do you know that the GIC and Temasek have used our CPF to become the 8th and 9th largest sovereign
  64. wealth funds in the world? ----> Slide40 ----> Chart: Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Fund Rankings
  65. (
  66. (
  68. Yet why do Singaporeans have the least adequate retirement funds in the world?
  69. ----> Slide54 ----> Chart: Pensions at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2011
  70. (
  71. (
  72. ----> Slide53 ----> Chart: Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index
  73. (
  74. (
  75. ----> Slide52 ----> Chart: Developing Asia’s Pension Systems and Old-Age Income Support
  76. (
  77. (
  79. And why are nearly 90% of Singaporeans not able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum, are unable to take our
  80. money out and are unable to retire?
  81. ----> Slide76
  82. (
  84. How did the government make us set aside $253 billion in the CPF to let them earn $1 trillion for the reserves?
  85. And why is it that Singaporeans have saved a massive $253 billion in the CPF but nearly 90% of us are unable to meet the CPF Minimum Sum, are unable to take our money out and are unable to retire?
  87. Do you see something amiss? You are not the only one.
  89. Perhaps Prof Christoper Balding best explained this: (
  90. The financial effect is this: SMRT profit is entirely attributable to subsidies given to it by the Singaporean tax payer and not high quality management at Temasek. Put another way, Temasek and its senior executive are only able to declare a profit for SMRT because the Singapore government gives it money.
  91. SMRT is socializing the risk and privatizing the profits. When losses are incurred it is the Singapore tax payer that suffers but when profits received, it is the executive of Temasek that enjoys the benefit. SMRT is placing the risk on the tax payer but capturing the benefit for itself. While individuals or firms taking individual or corporate risk should be allowed to keep those profits private or socialize risk and profits, it is truly objectionable to socialize the risk but privatize the profits.
  92. Third, the true financial and economic cost of SMRT and related infrastructure is not being recognized. As one economist noted, if something cannot go on forever it will stop. Singapore, SMRT, and Temasek cannot maintain a loss making firm dependent on regular bail outs to report profits or eventually it will stop. By hiding the true cost of ownership, maintenance, and investment, the government is attempting to protect its Temasek owned asset rather than the tax payer.
  93. Mass and public transport is a notoriously difficult and generally loss making industry. It is however, morally reprehensible to pretend that a company is making money and use tax payer money to create profits for the investments of family members. The people of Singapore are being defrauded by bearing the risk of investment but seeing none of the profits.
  95. Professor Balding also said: (
  96. If the average Singaporean had earned the average Singaporean wage since 1980 and saved the amount required by law but earned the GIC long term average rather than CPF interest, the average Singaporean would have approximately $850,000 SGD in the bank. This is approximately $300,000 more than they would have earned with the same amount of savings in a CPF account. To put this number in perspective, Singaporeans pay higher fees than what the typical hedge fund would charge. The Singaporean government is directly harming everyday Singaporeans by mandating savings into a seriously underperforming asset for the governments benefit.
  97. Third, Singapore operates a one sided model where the tax payer assumes the risk but the government gets the benefit. If the investments do well, the government keeps everything above the 2.5-4% CPF interest payment; if the investments do poorly, and let’s assume, the CPF collapses, the tax payer will guarantee the payment to CPF holders. In other words, risks are socialized while benefits are privatized.
  98. The assets of Temasek, GIC, and the CPF are the assets of the people of Singapore. Only in certain people’s imagination are Temasek and GIC assets private and separate from the people of Singapore. The earnings in excess of 2.5-4% that the government keeps for itself that it does not return to CPF savers are directly harming Singaporeans who are on average $300,000 poorer. GIC and Temasek assets that the government insists are private despite all evidence to the contrary demonstrate the governments disdain for the blessing of the financial bounty it has received from the Singaporean taxpayer.
  99. In view of the unreasonable increase in the CPF Minimum Sum, we will be organising an event on 7 June at 5pm to call for Singaporeans’ CPF to be returned to us.
  100. The PAP has used government to pursue their own hidden agenda, while forcing Singaporeans to live more difficult lives. The PAP has taken our retirement for themselves to earn high interests on it, while devaluing our CPF and our ability to retire.
  101. This is wrong. We have to stand up and speak up against this scourge. It’s time to stand up and come together to speak up against such wrongdoings.
  102. You can join the Facebook event page here. (
  103. ----> Return Our CPF Poster 1 (
  105. We have also started a petition to the Singapore government to honour our contributions to our CPF and return our CPF to Singaporeans. You can sign the petition here. (
  106. ----> Return Our CPF Colour Demands 3 (
  107. ----> Video: How The PAP Started Cutting Down On Singaporeans From 1984
  109. Written by Roy Ngerng Posted in Uncategorized
  110. (
  112. 8 comments
  114. • Comment 1 - May 16, 2014 - 12:51 am Winking Doll
  115. Wow! Singapore’s CPF at US$188,430mil (ranked at number 8) is larger than Canada’s CPP at US$188,425mil (ranked at number 9).
  116. Canadians “aged 65 and over was estimated at 5,186,800, representing 14.9% of the Canadian population”.
  118. Singapore not only has few elderly aged 65 and over, but also a lower percentage of them (10% of the Singapore population).
  120. Canada’s CPP payout is average CAD633.46/month, with a maximum capped at CAD1,038.33/month in 2014.
  122. Unfortunately I cannot find similar statistical data from Singapore’s CPF website.
  124. Already Canadians question about the future of CPP given that CAD633.46/month is probably insufficient to live on. [Note: That said, Canadians have another scheme called Old Age Supplement whereby the federal government tops-up the retirement payout for the elderly such that their payout is just above poverty levels.]
  126. I hope Singaporeans do not remain “diam-diam” and accept their CPF situation.
  127. Thanks, Roy, for sharing the data!
  128. p.s. Chanced upon this IMF presentation when I Googled for data. Interesting!
  129. “Singapore’s CPF: A Sustainable and Fair Solution to the Country’s Pension Challenge?” by Mukul G. Asher, LKY School of Public Policy, NUS, dated Jan-2013
  132. Reply
  133. May 16, 2014 - 8:25 am Roy Ngerng
  134. Hello,
  135. Officially, the government claimed that:
  136. ” Payouts will range from about $350 per month at the entry level to $1,100 per month for those with the full MS.”
  139. But in 2011, the government revealed that the median CPF Life payout is only $260.
  141. And from anecdotal sources, the CPF Life payout is even lower than the stated $350.
  142. This is hardly enough for even the most basic living in Singapore.
  144. Reply
  145. May 16, 2014 - 8:27 am Roy Ngerng
  146. Anyway, you can read about the truth about our CPF here:
  151. • Comment 2 - May 19, 2014 - 1:21 pm Jason lim
  152. Wait, something doesnt make sense. Japan’s Governtment Pension Investment is the largest in the world, according to your data, while Singapore is 8th. But their adequacy of minimum pension is only at 4.7, while we are at 4.5, not much of a difference. All according to your data. So doesnt that mean Japan is in an even worser condition? Or that we are on par with Japan? If we are on par with mighty Japan, I would pretty much say good job CPF.
  154. I too agree with an increase in CPF returns. An increase to 4% is just nice. It leaves some money left for GIC/TH to pay their employees and also keep some extra in case of an economic crisis.
  156. • Comment 3 - May 19, 2014 - 2:05 pm Pingback: pinky send letter of demand to blogger,did he send letter to viet to ask compensation -
  157. (
  159. • Comment 4 - May 19, 2014 - 5:59 pm Pingback: Immediately you hear halfwits crying, "no freedom of speech!" "no democracy!" - Page 2 -
  160. (
  162. • Comment 5 - May 19, 2014 - 6:44 pm Patriot Tan
  163. Thank you for the efforts. I salute your courage and love for your country man. Don’t worry I believe many Singaporean stand with you – probably the majority if not 50%. You just need to keep us informed of your situation and shout for help when they come after you and be wise as a serpent.
  165. • Comment 6 - May 19, 2014 - 7:19 pm truth
  166. no system is perfect, but what we have in relative to the rest of the world is something we should be content of and proud of. you want freedom of speech and democracy? go look at the us, is there really democracy? look around us as while all the “modern democratic” countries are declining wile we are still here with better living standards. Those who really feel the system is against them should try living overseas, and have a reality check. government and their hidden agenda… idk … if u consider national interest a hidden agenda
  169. • Petition To Singapore Government To Return Our CPF
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  171. • I Have Just Been Sued By The Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
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