According to a report by DBS, the Singapore Government has spent S$45.6 billion from the National Reserves quietly since July 2014. It is unknown if President Tony Tan has approved or even aware of these withdrawals either. Singaporeans are only informed of the news from today’s media reports carried by a non-government news website, Singapore Business Review.
Quoting the report, it said:
“In six short months, reserves have fallen by the equivalent of 11% of a full year’s GDP. Little wonder the central bank eased back on the appreciation path in late-January, Further easing will be necessary if reserves don’t stop falling,”
The Singapore Government has a policy of non-transparency and non-accountability to Singapore citizens, and even the Finance Minister Tharman Shamugaratnam himself affirmed this during a media interview in 2009:
“People do want to know, there is curiosity, it is a matter of public interest. That (Public interest) is not sufficient reason to disclose information”
As the government and its two sovereign wealth fund companies refuse to declare their assets (which in essence are Singaporean assets), they have attracted many questions and suspicions especially in today’s internet age. However, many are becoming afraid to ask more questions about the CPF and Singapore’s National Reserves today because the Prime Minister has successfully sued an internet blogger for asking questions about the CPF that suggest the Prime Minister and his wife, the CEO of Temasek Holdings, are round tripping the Singaporean retirement fund the same way like City Harvest Church did.
Today, Singaporeans only found out that S$45.6 billion have been spent to “prop up” the national currency after 11 months. There is no check and balance from the public to ensure that these billions are indeed spent for what it was announced for. In 2011, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew issued a word of caution about touching the reserves (see video):
Do you think it is right for the Singapore Government to continue dipping into the reserves without informing Singaporeans?