Thursday, 19 June 2014

That Old Lady And Her CPF

Give Me Back My Money

The 76 year old spinster must have been frugal enough to set aside a portion of her teacher salary to pay for her terrace house, assuming she owns the property. Decades ago, such units could have been selling at a fraction of present day prices. A friend sold off her father's spacious house at the old teacher's estate after he passed on, and could only afford a tiny condominium unit with the proceeds.

She's not the only one who is asset rich, cash poor. Plaintively, the senior citizen had begged, "“What I want is my money back and I want to arrange for my funeral and I want to arrange for my rice and I want to arrange for a nice settlement." She articulated what we now see as a truism, the three letters for our retirement money spell Coffin Provision Fund.

“That’s all I want. Give me back my money. CPF, give me back my money. And make it as soon as possible. Because 76, I won’t be able to live (too long),” she added. If we are in her shoes, we too would like to spend the final hours on our own bed, rather than the tented facilities of our overcrowded public hospitals.

76 years old lady begged Hri Kumar to help her get CPF money back

This is not a reality show. This is the tears of a spinster born in the year of 1938 who was devastated when she discovered the G took her savings to pay off her land tax @Bt Brown. I don't think "they" dare to upload this video to the public. But I do! This is my recording of the truth, nothing but the truth & in tears! Can u feel her sorrows?

Allow me to air my anger about the lady in "sexy Cheong Sum" here bcoz I am seriously very put off by her attitude. Until now I still cannot get her off my mind....sue me if she's unhappy with what I'm going to say and I am a woman who will honor my words. I cannot believe that the MP allows such a crazy lady to "call the shots" as u can see in this video, that she kept signaling the coordinators to send off that 76yr old senior citizen. She gave me a very bad impression as I witness her using unpleasant hand-signs & gestures to "instruct" her ppl to take action on the poor old lady -- even when MP Hri Kumar himself did not hv the heart to cut her off from the mic. Who is she? She wasn't even a representative from the CPF Board yet she abused senior citizen like that!

To my knowledge, her name card clearly shows that she is just a Financial Consultant from NTUC Income only! So how can this person be giving instructions without permission from the MP? Or unless she is a "family member" of.......WTH! 狗眼看人

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Will CPF Min Sum be enough to cover inflation at 65?
Will the CPF Minimum Sum be enough to help CPF Members’ future needs?

The CPF Minimum Sum will be locked when you reach 55 for the next 10 years in the Retirement Account(RA) and earned 4% interest p.a. On reaching 65, you are allowed to withdraw on a monthly basis till the amount is depleted.

Why does our Govt not shoulder responsibility for their Citizens to maintain the Minimum Sum at future value on reaching drawdown age of 65 but keep changing the Minimum Sum every year?

What are all our reserves for?

Amy Khor clears air on retiree's CPF claim
The CPF Board said it is in contact with Ms Irene Yap (above) to help her withdraw her Retirement Account savings if she wants to

Public concern over a retiree's claim at a recent public dialogue that she could not withdraw her Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings has prompted Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health Amy Khor to issue a statement to clear the air.

The retiree in question is Ms Irene Yap, 76, a resident of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, who took part in a dialogue last Saturday on CPF savings, organised by her Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair.

Ms Yap had pleaded for help during the dialogue, saying she had been unable to withdraw money from her CPF Retirement Account (RA) and that she wanted to take her money out as soon as possible because at age 76, she did not have long to live.

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The Old Lady and The Pension Fund

The recent heated conversation about CPF seems to be missing the point that we should all be talking about retirement planning instead of who's got control over our money.

Since last weekend, a video of a 76 year old retired teacher pleading her MP for the return of her CPF money at a CPF oriented dialog has gone viral since it was first posted last Saturday. The video has caused people on both ends of the political spectrum to engage in inflammatory conversations online. To me, the simple truth of this episode currently gripping the entire nation is basically a discussion between the head and the heart.

Heart: OMG!!! That poor aunty!!! How can we as a society allow this to happen?! What is wrong with the Zeng Hu?! Why does it refuse to return HER money to her so she can put her affairs in order?! For god's sake she's 76!!! Dun have much time left liao, why let her continue to suffer?!

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Teh-Bing Auntie & CPF

You know the recent CPF protests at Hong Lim Park have struck a chord when you see a 60+ year old blue collar worker auntie watching it on her mobile while eating her 菜饭 during her 30-minute lunch break.

I was at one of those modern chains where you can get toast, soft-boiled eggs and a good cup of teh-bing, when I saw the auntie watching Han Hui Hui speaking in high pitched Mandarin, Hokkien and English.

Later, I asked the Auntie about what she thought of Han Hui Hui, CPF, and her work.

This pioneer has no CPF money left

To start with, he didn’t have much in his CPF when he retired 15 years ago; he had barely $10,000. All of it was spent in the last 15 years, with most of the money going to his children’s education.

This is the story of a seemingly lucky man, Teoh Kun Chen. The 70-year-old could withdraw all his savings in one lump sum at 55 because he belonged to a generation that did not have to grapple with the ordinary account, retirement account, and Medisave.

“My CPF saving was very small because I wasn’t very educated when I was young. I didn’t earn much. I worked as a cleaner. There were times I worked as a road sweeper.

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Government Should Do What is Best for Singaporeans

After watching this video of a Singaporean 76 years old aunty begging MP Hri Kumar to help her to get her CPF saving back, I feel sad for her. When she retired, she did not take out her CPF saving as she thought that leaving her money with the government was the safest route. Being a devoted PAP supporter, she declared her love for Lee Kuan Yew. Alas, after decades, when she wanted to take back her saving, she could not get her saving from the RA account even though the new policy only apply to Singaporeans born after 1958.

I remember my colleagues told me, back then when the government was implementing the CPF scheme, they tried to persuade those in the pension scheme to switch to the CPF scheme extolling the benefits of CPF scheme compared to the pension scheme. Fortunately my colleague was smart and did not trust the government and stick to the pension scheme. Many civil servants who switched to the CPF scheme regretted their decision and many tried to revert to the pension scheme, citing that they were young and under 21 years old. So really, trust the government at your own risk since leadership always change and policies always change. Just like our CPF scheme is always changing. This aunty was right. Since this was a talk on the CPF issues, why wasn't there any CPF representatives?

By the way the condescending aunty in white cheongsam making rude gestures at the end of the video (5.35) is really irritating and screaming for attention with her high slits. She should be empathizing with the 76 years old aunty instead of thinking that she was wasting everybody time. Isn't this CPF talk a platform for citizens to voice their concerns. I hope she is not a civil servant or grassroots leader else she is a shame to the public service. Public servants and grassroots leaders must remember they are in the service to help people.

The desperate cries of a pathetic 76 year old aunty

Hri Kumar did not bargain for it. He did not invite non constituent residents to his honest conversation on the CPF. But his resident, a 76 year old aunty, was there with a plate of genuine misgivings. At 76 year old, she belongs to the generation that should have withdrawn all her CPF savings when she reached 55 and has nothing more to do with the CPF. I think she chose to leave some savings in the CPF for safe keeping.

She did not know that once left inside the CPF, her savings would be subject to the changes in CPF rulings, and now her money is treated just like other younger CPF members, locked up and cannot be withdrawn unlike the old terms. She did not bargain for it. CPF is the safest place on earth to keep her money. She trusted the govt with her money. And CPF did not fail her. Her money is very safe with the CPF but can only be withdrawn subject to CPF’s rules and regulations.

Hri Kumar did not bargain for her presence and her untold story of pain and struggle to get her money back from the CPF. She even revealed that her money in a local bank was withdrawn without her consent, to pay her property tax to the Inland Revenue. People are now questioning whether a bank has the right to take money from the depositors without the depositor’s consent and hand it to another govt agency.

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76-year old: Publicly asks for her CPF money...more to come

If this goes viral, it would be a PR nightmare for the government. If it doesn't this definitely isn't the last and somehow, somewhere and sometime just when you least expect it, it will pounce on you. What if that sometime is very close to the general elections?

This is the angry and impassioned imploring of a 76-year old retired teacher to her MP Hri Kumar to help her get back her CPF money. Unlike Dr. Toh Chin Chye, she thought her CPF money was safe with the government. Well it isn't unsafe, we just don't have the keys to them. The government can also at will change the rules and conditions.

Dr. Toh knew the government could change the rules at will and still remain in power. So when he retired he emptied his CPF account. But not this retired teacher and countless nameless others.

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PAP fanatics revealed address of elderly lady at CPF dialogue

Andrew Loh: I never post things from this odious PAP page but this, I find, is well below the belt and is totally irresponsible.

I’ve blanked out the address (road name) of her house which FAP had included at the bottom of the picture.

The old lady is asking for her CPF money back. What does where she lives have anything to do with it?

I hope the PAP will have some decency and condemn this by FAP, and find out how FAP came to know of her address and even a picture of her house.

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Where Ms Yap lives – a breach of privacy?

When 76 year-old Ms Rene Yap brought up her financial woes at Mr Hri Kumar’s forum for Thompson-Toa Payoh residents about the Central Provident Fund, she had requested for Mr Hri Kumar’s help with “getting her money back”, or rather what she felt was due to her in her CPF account.

She might not have realised that it has started a cyber-lynching effort against her.

“That’s all I want. Give me back my money,” she said. “CPF, give me back my money. And make it as soon as possible. Because (at) 76, I won’t be able to live (long). I got to ask… God to make me live 50 years to get my RA (Retirement Account) back. So will you please?”

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That old lady and her CPF

So the video of the 76-year old retired teacher begging for the return of her CPF money at a dialogue is making the rounds. People are discussing it and the way I see it, it’s a discussion between the head and the heart.

Heart: Aiyoh. That poor old lady! How can we treat old people this way! Why can’t CPF return her her money so she can prepare for her own funeral rites? She’s already 76!Head (indifferent) : Well, she was paid every month from her CPF and don’t forget she lives in a $3m house…

Heart (indignant): That house! It’s awful…how can people dig out information like that and put it on the Net? No privacy for the old lady! And so what if she lives in a $3million house? It’s still her own CPF money!

Can They Do This?

The lady who recorded the video reflects:
"I was already in tears when they wanted to take her off the mic to shut her up. I salute her bravery so I decided to hold on to my camera & cried silently praying that she be allowed to finish her speech to the MP."
I dare think most of us are beyond the tearing stage, and fast approaching the precipice of raw anger. How can anyone remain stone cold when the 76 year old spinster, definitely of the Pioneer Generation category, tells of this awful tale at 1:34:

"I was given this letter, telling me that they “hacked” into my personal POSB book, scoured my amounts and took away the money from my bank to give to the property tax. Do you think it is ethical? Do you think its ethical? Do you think it is right?"

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76 years old lady begged Hri Kumar to help her get CPF money back

This morning, a forum to discuss matters of Central Provident Funds took place at Thomson Community Centre. The forum entitled, “CPF – An Honest Conversation: Public Dialogue with Thomson-Toa Payoh Residents” was hosted by Hri Kumar, PAP MP of  Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and is said to be open to only residents of the ward. A elderly lady, who does not have any dependent,  spoke up on the CPF issue and begged that her CPF money to be returned to her as she wants to use her money to settle down and make arrangements for her funerals while she still can.

The elderly lady was  later revealed to be Ms Rene Yap who has worked as a teacher at Chong San Primary School and a civil servant prior to retirement.

The transcript of what the elderly lady said.  I got some very very sad issue and I am going to bring up to Hri Kumar.

Hri Kumar - physical intimidation tactics

The worst part is, the emcee of the event, a bald burly guy, appears to try to use physical force on the elderly lady. He (wearing the grey shirt) approaches her in an intimidating way, occupies her position at the microphone and puts his arm on her arm to appear to forcibly shift her away.

The plucky 76-year old lady firmly stands her ground and replies, "you don't have to do that" twice. This makes the bald man back off.

However, shortly after, another man in a green shirt appears to also want to use physical means to end the lady's speech. Two big men ganging up in a display of thug-like actions on a lady more than twice their age? Shameless and idiotic.

Lady who kept making rude gesture at 76-year-old speaker in Hri Kumer's CPF dialogue event has been identified as a PAP grassroots leader - report

PAP MP Hri Kumar's CPF dialogue event had drawn a lot of online attention, particularly since a video of a 76 year old's pleas to Hri Kumar was recorded and shared widely online. However, netizens have also noticed one particularly rude lady in the audience, dressed in a white cheongsam, who kept trying to stop the 76 year old aunty from talking and was motioning to organisers to remove her from the microphone.

In the video, she can be seen gesturing at 5:33, shaking her head and moving her hands as if the outspoken lady is mad. She was rudely interrupting and repeating "1 minute" "1 minute", apparently referring to the 1 minute time limit that was imposed on questions at the dialogue.

It turns out that the disruptive lady is actually an active PAP grassroots member and netizens have shown their disgust for her rude actions. Full story

Forget about any more CPF dialogue, Hri Kumar confirms government not listening

Retiree Ng Leng Hui, 70, commented that he is not on the side of the government because of theunfairness towards CPF members and that the government has “shifted everything, you have never listened to us. We’ve tried many times, no listening.”

If Kumar is not hard of hearing, he should not have evaded the issue by claiming the “real question in this debate is what do we do with a large number of people …who will not be able to survive on $300 a month?”

Kumar is clutching at straws to maintain the CPF status quo. Our CPF is trapped in GIC from age 55 to 65, which means having $0 during the first 10 years of retirement. If one cannot “survive on $300 a month”, does Kumar expect a miracle with $0??

Hri Kumar - physical intimidation tactics

Hri Kumar organised a CPF forum with an aim to explain how the CPF works.

However, he is unable to answer many questions. A 76-year old lady tries to ask a question about why she could not be withdrawing her CPF because the government has prevented her from doing so, and Hri can only reply that "that's a good question, we will take that into consideration".

The worst part is, the emcee of the event, a bald burly guy, appears to try to use physical force on the elderly lady. He (wearing the grey shirt) approaches her in an intimidating way, occupies her position at the microphone and puts his arm on her arm to appear to forcibly shift her away

The plucky 76-year old lady firmly stands her ground and replies, "you don't have to do that" twice. This makes the bald man back off.

VIDEO: PAP MP Hri Kumar's response to 76-year-old retiree who wants her CPF - "You know the rules, you made your decision, then you have to live with the choices you made"

Comment: Did I just heard Hri Kumar says (@ 0:34) that most people prefer to keep their money in the CPF because it pays higher interest rate?

VIDEO: 76-year-old lady tearfully begged Hri Kumar in a public forum to help get her CPF money back as PAP grassroots volunteers tried to shut her up

MP Hri Kumar’s engagement with his constituents

8 Dishonest Things About Hri Kumar’s Honest Conversation

Hri Kumar: “Any change to the CPF system would mean taking from one group and giving to another.”

Why is this Dishonest? This is the usual PAP trick of presenting their system as the most efficient one drawn up by technocrats and pretending there is no alternative. The variation they sometimes present is that there is an alternative but that it would cost significantly more.

If you want the technical jargon, the PAP is dumbing down a basic concept from neoclassical economics, the notion of Pareto optimality. Pareto optimality states that you cannot make one group of people better off without making another group worse off. Makes sense! Except Pareto optimality does not hold in an economy where there are unemployed resources or excessive government saving such as we have in Singapore.

Why is PAP MP Hri Kumar silent about FAP webmaster Jason Chua Chin Seng's hateful conduct online?

Singapore Daily

– Five Stars and a Moon: As easy as A-B-C-P-F
– The Independent, SG: The CPF reality check
– Anyhow Hantam: Is CPF = Cannot Pay Finish?
– My Singapore News: Medishield Life – 3 holes to plug
– Reflections on Change: Pitfalls Of Raising CPF Interest Rate
– TOC: Where Ms Yap lives – a breach of privacy?
– Bertha Harian: That old lady and her CPF
– Musings From the Lion City: Minimum Sum Requirement
– Likedatosocanmeh: Hri Kumar confirms government not listening
– Vulcan Post: CPF Cheongsam Lady: Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Sporeans!
– Basis Of Sporean Spirit: “Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Singaporeans!”
– Bertha Harian: The CPF jigsaw puzzle
– Blogging for Myself: 76-year old: Publicly asks for her CPF money, more to come
– My Singapore News: The desperate cries of a pathetic 76 year old aunty
– A Singaporean In Australia: To Look Into Your Future, Look at the Current Old
– Just Speaking My Mind: Government Should Do What is Best for Sporeans
– Singapore Notes: Can They Do This?
– Stupidest People in Spore: Stupid #17: Hri Kumar – physical intimidation tactics
– Rethinking Rice Bowl: 8 Dishonest Things Abt Hri Kumar’s Honest Conversation
– Signs of Struggle: 4 things about CPF that I don’t get
– Likedatosocanmeh: Medishield Life – huge premium increase will be an issue
– Cheated Singaporean: Design flaws of the Central Provident Fund

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