Propaganda graphic from govsg

In response to an anonymous Whatsapp message said to be circulating on messaging platforms, the Singapore government denied making a profit from the sale of mandatory insurance policies like CareShield Life.

The anonymous Whatsapp message wrote that the government collected S$2.8 billion in premiums and paid out only S$100 million in claims, wrongfully counting pooled funds as “profits”.

However, many Singaporeans believe the dictatorship government could be the culprit deliberately spreading the fake news message by themselves to dismiss widespread resentment against the mandatory policies as deliberate falsehoods. Many reasoned that it is impossible for the government to be unable to track the source of the message with it’s advanced surveillance technology it acquired in recent years.

Nonetheless, the Singapore government continued it’s foreplay publishing a full response to the “fake news”. On it’s official propaganda website “factually govsg”, the authorities claimed that the government did not make a profit and even produced a rosy-tinted projection chart claiming that present claims is going up exponentially and premiums collection nose-diving towards zero. According to the graph, there will come a point where there will be no more premiums and the claims will sky-rocket towards infinity.

Propaganda graphic from govsg

The propaganda chart has no axis labels, and neither did the government publish assumed statistics on age, claims probability and population. It is however not uncommon to see the Singapore government employing dumb-down argument and fictitious projections to support their unpopular policies, as the bureaucracy only subscribes to the national state media like Straits Times, which is ranked 153rd in the world for credibility.

In the real truth, the Singapore government profit indirectly from mandatory nationalised insurance policies like CareShield Plus. The S$3.3 billion in premiums collected by it’s former form, ElderShield, were invested by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund companies, Temasek Holdings and GIC – where the Prime Minister’s wife Ho Ching and the PM himself sits as the CEO and Chairman respectively.

Like CPF funds, MediShield Life funds, the CareShield funds under the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower’s administration are invested by GIC and Temasek Holdings. The two sovereign wealth fund companies earn the excess off the funds by paying only the interest of the special securities bond issued by the government. The Singapore government refuse to declare the obligatory interest rates of these government bonds issued to GIC and Temasek Holdings, but it is likely to be below 3%.

In 2017, the 20-year-annualised returns of the GIC fund was revealed to be 3.7%. Assuming the Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) has a coupon rate of 3%, this mean GIC have profited off S$700 million, or 0.7% of an estimated S$1 trillion funds comprising of MediShield Life, CPF funds, CareShield Life and other funds managed by the government ministries.