Photo of elderly in nursing home from Straits Times

Already devastated with permanent disability, Singapore’s disabled are now given a foot in their faces by the government for $50 a month.

According to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, disabled Singaporeans can now withdraw S$50 a month from their own CPF Medisave account. The S$1.1 million-a-year millionaire Minister even dropped a sarcastic punchline:

“When a Singaporean is facing severe disability and, at the same time, facing financial difficulties, I feel that we can afford to be more flexible. This change will not result in higher Medisave contributions. Those deemed severely disabled will be able to dip into their accounts from the age of 30. Potentially half the population would be able to draw on this in their lifetime.”

Robbing Singaporeans of their wallet appears not enough, the ruling party government is now trampling their pride.

After all, what could S$50 a month get you in Singapore, a city ranked for 4 years consecutively the world’s most expensive?

EIU: Singapore is most expensive in the world

The paltry amount is an insult, and a subtle reminder by the ruling party elites that CPF money does not belong to Singaporeans indeed.

Then there is this new mandatory insurance scheme called the CareShield Life, where someone as young as 30 years old would be forced to subscribe. The disability premiums of CareShield Life is the most expensive when compared to private disability insurance offered by major players like Prudential and AIA.

The CareShield Life deviously left out elderly aged 49 and above, who are the group most in need of disability insurance. It is hence clear that the insurance scheme is devised to maximise premiums collection and minimising payouts.

Minister Gan Kim Yong: Elderly poor excluded from CareShield Life

Most Singaporeans know that insurance schemes are hugely profitable, but many could not put their finger to it where exactly the profit is going to. For a start, the nationalised insurances are managed by the CPF Board and Ministry of Health, which in turn is managed by Temasek Holdings and GIC through the special Singapore government securities (SSGS). The coupon rate of SSGS is undisclosed, but whatever amount the two sovereign wealth fund companies get to keep whatever margin above the bond rate.

The dots all add up. Lee Hsien Loong and his wife manage GIC and Temasek Holdings. The two companies in recent years have been burned in overseas stock market, and now they need more money. It is now blatantly obvious the various tax increases are to cover the investment losses, which are mixed with CPF funds and arbitrarily termed as “government funds”.

I hate to repeat myself but the financial woes of Singapore is political. Many Singaporeans who still read the Straits Times are getting only half the story, and again it came down to the dictatorship nature of the ruling party PAP. Until there is a clean and uncorrupted government, the state media and even government organs cannot be trusted to perform their due diligence. As Lee Hsien Loong’s nephew Li Shengwu put it succinctly, these civil servants and ministers are paid on their not understanding of the problems in Singapore.

Alex Tan
STR Editor