Lee Kuan Yew on CPF

LKY_CPF
Standard

1. LEE KUAN YEW on CPF:

“This is your wealth, the savings of people in individual accounts are not government reserves.”

LKY_CPF_speech

Screenshot: LKY’s Speech | Page 13

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.”

GIC_accountability

Screenshot: GIC Corporate Governance (1 Aug 2015)

The page goes on to list the GIC’s Board of Directors.

GIC_BoardDirectors

Some of GIC’s Board of Directors | Source: GIC

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?

(Source: Leong Sze Hian – What are Roy’s Questions about the CPF?)

b) Roy Ngerng / CPF Blogger

RoyNgerng_Sword

Roy Painting | Source: SG Daily / FB

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.”

Article: Truth Exposed: The Dirty CPF-HDB Scheme To Trick Singaporeans

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.”

Article: What PAP Has Done to Your CPF (The Real History)

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.”

Article: How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s

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)

Advertisements

Importance of History

importance_history
Standard

Thought I’d collate some excerpts on “The Importance of History” for my 50th (socio-political) blog post :)

* * *

Importance of History / Why History Matters

1) Our view of history shapes the way we view the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer for existing problems.

2) What is history? [A] simple definition: “History is a story about the past that is significant and true.”

3) History is important because it helps us to understand the present. If we listen to what history has to say, we can come to a sound understanding of the past that will tell us much about the problems we now face.

4) If we refuse to listen to history, we will find ourselves fabricating a past that reinforces our understanding of current problems.

5) History teaches values. If it is true history, it teaches true values; if it is pseudo-history, it teaches false values. The history taught to our children is playing a role in shaping their values and beliefs—a much greater role than we may suspect.

Source: Gutenberg College

+ + +

6) The past causes the present, and so the future.

7) Any time we try to know why something happened—[we] have to look for factors that took shape earlier. Only through studying history can we grasp how things change; only through history can we begin to comprehend the factors that cause change; and only through history can we understand what elements of an institution or a society persist despite change.

8) History also provides a terrain for moral contemplation and helps provide identity, including a commitment to national loyalty.

9) Historical study is crucial to the promotion of [the] well-informed citizen. It provides basic factual information about the background of our political institutions and about the values and problems that affect our social well-being.

Source: American Historical Association

+ + +

10) Far from being a ‘dead’ subject, history connects things through time.

11) The study of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people in time. And why should that matter? The answer is that people who feel themselves to be rootless live rootless lives, often causing a lot of damage to themselves and others in the process.

12) Humans do not learn from the past, people sometimes say. An extraordinary remark! People certainly do not learn from the future. Of course humans learn from the past—and that is why it is studied.

Source: The Institute of Historical Research

+ + +

13) Every authoritarian government worth its salt understands the importance of commanding the national historical narrative. It is a concept that was perhaps best encapsulated by George Orwell in his classic dystopian novel 1984:

“Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.”

14) Countless one-party states and banana republics have banned books, banished professors and pumped propaganda into the education system. But few have managed so successfully to stamp their imprint on their nation’s history as Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and his ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

15) Many Singaporeans perceive their own history to be little more than the Lee Kuan Yew story, with a bit of Sir Stamford Raffles thrown in for good measure. Given the government’s hegemonic control over the school curriculum, universities and the mass media—and its belief that these institutions must perform a “nation-building” function—this [well-rehearsed official narrative] has become deeply entrenched and gone largely unchallenged.

Source: Asian Correspondent | Global Asia