When confronted by statistic showing Singapore’s elderly suicide rate hitting a record high in 2017, the Singapore Ministry of Health dismissed the report as “statistically high but low”. The Singapore government said the suicide rate is not a concern as it is lower than Hong Kong and South Korea :
“While the number has gone up, the suicide rate among this group has in fact fallen over the years. Except for a slight increase compared to 2016, the suicide rate of 16.4 per 100,000 people aged 65 and above in 2017 was lower than the rates in the several years preceding that. Singapore’s suicide rates were also lower than Hong Kong, where the suicide rate for people over 65 in the city stood at 24.2 per 100,000 people in 2016, and South Korea, where there were 78.1 deaths by suicide per 100,000 population aged over 80 years in 2016.”
According to a report by non-profit help group SOS, Singapore saw 129 elders committing suicide in 2017 – a record high in Singapore. Due to extreme poverty caused by the delay in CPF withdrawal, more Singaporean elderly are living in poorer quality of life and barely have enough for 3 meals.
CPF withdrawal rules and interest rates have in the past 15 years become more stringent, with Minimum Sum nearly tripling from S$80,000 to S$181,000 and Withdrawal Age delayed from 55 to 65 years old. The corrupted Prime Minister who double-hat as the Chairman of sovereign wealth fund company GIC, uses the CPF funds to purchase exorbitant overseas assets. GIC was however unable to return profits to CPF and in recent years lost undisclosed tens of billions that saw its 20-year-return dropped from 4.1% to 3.4%.
A state media article publishing the Ministry of Health’s response on the suicide rate, suggested that Singaporean elderly go to work even though they may be ill-stricken or not of a healthy mental state.