1. LEE KUAN YEW on CPF:
“This is your wealth, the savings of people in individual accounts are not government reserves.”
Source: Speech by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, at The Fullerton Square Rally on 19 December 1984 (NAS)
2. BOARD OF DIRECTORS on GIC:
GIC is a sovereign wealth fund (i.e. government-owned investment fund) established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. GIC and Temasek Holdings are the soverign wealth funds owned by the Government of Singapore.
GIC’s Corporate Gorvernance page states that “the government holds the GIC board accountable for portfolio performance, but does not interfere in the company’s investment decisions.”
The page goes on to list the GIC’s Board of Directors.
How is the government supposed to “not interfere in GIC’s investment decisions” when government members such as the Prime Minister and several Ministers are on the GIC’s Board of Directors?
Is the Prime Minister not supposed to discuss GIC and Temasek Holdings with his wife, Ms. Ho Ching, who has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2004 and is the world’s 59th most powerful female according to Forbes?
As Roy Ngerng says in a recent blog post:
“Can the GIC claim not to have any regard to the sources of funds it receives if the government also sits on the GIC’s board of directors?
Can the GIC claim not to know if it is using Singaporeans’ CPF to invest?”
(Source: Roy Ngerng / The Mysterious Circumstances of How GIC was Formed)
3. OTHER PERSPECTIVES:
A modest selection of commentaries on CPF.
a) Leong Sze Hian
I thought it may be in the public interest, to try to summarise some of the questions on CPF that Roy Ngerng and others have been asking.
- Is there any other country in the world that keeps so much of the returns from the national pension fund – from the people?
- Is it true that since 1999, the CPF had the lowest real rate of return amongst all national pension schemes in the world?
- . . .Does it mean that we may have lost [about] 84 per cent of our total CPF funds of $151.3 billion in 2008 (CPF Trends, October 2013) in just one year?
b) Roy Ngerng / CPF Blogger
i) “DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENCY: What are the losses that GIC and Temasek Holdings have made since their inception? What have they done to manage the losses? How much “capital” has the government injected into the GIC and Temasek Holdings since their inception? Where does this additional “capital” come from?”
(Source: Roy Ngerng / 30 June 2014)
ii) As most Singaporeans would know by now, our CPF is being taken by the PAP to be invested in the Temasek Holdings and GIC. In 2008, Temasek Holdings lost $58 billion, which is equal to 40% of the value of our CPF (Chart 76). When this money is lost, who has to pay off the loss and the debt? It’s not them.
Short Version: When The PAP Started Turning Against Singaporeans
Video Version: When The PAP (Video)
iii) “This is the top viewed article on my blog and has been viewed more than 550,000 times. Many Singaporeans are angry because: the government said that since we borrowed our own pension funds to buy housing and they cannot pay us the interest on the money withdrawn, when we sell our homes, we will have to pay back this interest into the pension funds. This is possibly the article which started the government watching me.”
Video Version: Truth Exposed (Video)
iv) “This is my second attempt after I got sued, to trace how the government has been taking our pension funds to earn and use since the 1980s.”
v) “The Rothschild family used to control large swaths of the banking industry in Europe and effectively controlled their governments. In 1982, the PAP started working with them.”
c) Phillip Ang
i) PM Lee’s famous words which I think Singaporeans will now find them hard to believe: “Never forget that we are servants of the people. Always maintain a sense of humility and service.”
(Phillip Ang, 1 July 2015)
ii) “The total balance of our CPF is not $282 million but $282 BILLION. GIC should not be allowed to continue managing our CPF without providing a proper set of accounts as it would be logical to suspect something’s not right.”
(Phillip Ang, 30 June 2015)
iii) “There wasn’t a whisper heard in Parliament on the CPF issue until Roy came along. And what’s more outrageous – PM Lee did nothing because he had probably assumed zero transparency and zero accountability did not matter, as during his father’s time.”
(Phillip Ang, 4 July 2015)
d) Christopher Balding
i) “The claimed 17% earned by Temasek in SGD belongs to the people of Singapore who provided the public surpluses and capital investment to build companies.”
(Christopher Balding, The Real CPF Scam)
ii) “I have said many times that if I am wrong, it is easy to prove me wrong with very simple and data that should have no reason to be secret. They could easily prove me wrong if the truth was on their side. It isn’t. I know it and they know it.”
(Christopher Balding, In Singapore: Truth is No Defense)
e) Kenneth Jeyaretnam
“GIC has confirmed what I wrote that in fact GIC’s funding comes from CPF. They say so here: GIC, along with MAS, manages the proceeds from the Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) that are issued and guaranteed by the government which CPF board has invested in with the CPF monies.”
(Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Exposing the Problems with CPF / March 2015)
f) Chee Soon Juan
“PM LHL’s proposal to return retirees 20 percent of their savings upon retirement does nothing to resolve the problem of inadequate CPF funds. This move is symptomatic of Mr Lee’s leadership – trying to appease the public while sticking to unjustified, and unjustifiable, policies.”
(Chee Soon Juan / SDP / February 2015)
g) Martyn See
“There are over 450 comments to this open letter titled DEAR CPF: GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!, virtually all of which support the writer’s plea. Many also describe their personal stories of financial struggle. There is no better way to understand the lives of the working class Singaporean than to start here.”
Excerpts: Compiled by Martyn See (FB)