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General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 20 Sep 2015 11:28 pm

You died izzit? You know a PR who died who didn't make an election or had any next of kin here? Sounds like you lost your job and are just using this as an excuse to make you feel better, if someone were to ask me. You just sound like a big bowl full of sour grapes.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby x9200 » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 7:02 am

calugaruvaxile wrote:
x9200 wrote:Is it true calugaruvaxile, you gave up your PR, withdrew your CPF and this was the tricking of the system? Ehem. I didn't get this tricking part when I read your post and was too lazy to check the whole thread.
How the system tried to steal your money?


try to stay in sg till you die and you'll find out

If I die, how does it answer my question about you tricking the system? And I think you should answer this question, because if SMS is right than... ehem... you should be a bit more careful with trying to ridicule people on the bases that they don't know Singapore.

At this point let me dedicate to you this short story of a Polish novelist Slawomir Mrozek. It's titled The Last Hussar.
https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=DL ... 22&f=false

Google allows to read only a few initial pages but I think already the first one should be enough.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby calugaruvaxile » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 8:54 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You died izzit? You know a PR who died who didn't make an election or had any next of kin here? Sounds like you lost your job and are just using this as an excuse to make you feel better, if someone were to ask me. You just sound like a big bowl full of sour grapes.


wishful thinking, grandpa :)

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby calugaruvaxile » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 9:00 am

x9200 wrote:If I die, how does it answer my question about you tricking the system? And I think you should answer this question, because if SMS is right than... ehem... you should be a bit more careful with trying to ridicule people on the bases that they don't know Singapore.

At this point let me dedicate to you this short story of a Polish novelist Slawomir Mrozek. It's titled The Last Hussar.
https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=DL ... 22&f=false

Google allows to read only a few initial pages but I think already the first one should be enough.


yeah, let me dedicated you the movie "eyes wide shut"!

"the system" was designed for those who stay. they take your money and invest it the way they want (as if it was theire own) and they give you a return a little bit better than the inflation rate. initially, as a price for your retirement, they would have given your money back. not anymore. now, they keep your money and give you .... whatever they think they should get. even worse, this is a game with changing rules. what i mean, the cpf sets the rules whichever way they want, and you swallow.

i'm not talking here about minimum sum (that's something you won't touch, ever, as long as you're alive). etcetcetc.

clear now?

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby x9200 » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 9:28 am

Ok, I think more-less this (what they do with this money, where it is invested etc etc.) is what everybody knows and to what extend this is fair or not is a different story. For a large group of people who would not bother going after any sort of money investment by themselves (for whatever reason) or not even save anything if not forced to do it, this appears still a reasonable option. I don't see it very different to what is in place in some other, fully-devine-democratic Western countries, except perhaps the transparency.

But we deviated a bit from the subject so please tell me, how did you trick the system?

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby Addadude » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:11 am

calugaruvaxile, I'm also still trying to figure out what the 'trick' was that you apparently pulled. Surrendering your PR and releasing all your CPF funds for bigger, more exciting opportunities overseas - or retirement - is something people have been doing for a long time. In fact I'm sure many of the long term expats with PR on this 'board have the same kind of plans. There's no trick as far as I can see.

I for one see nothing greatly wrong with the CPF system. Yes, it does lock money away and prevents easy access. But it has also been shown time and time again that people who invest the portion of their CPF money that they are allowed to buy shares with do worse than if they were simply to leave the money in their account. Similarly anecdotal evidence shows that many, many Singaporeans are not terribly wise with the way they use their money. Especially the large sums that releasing their CPF would put into their hands.

Lastly, here's a quote from Mano Sabnani, the former Business Times editor regarding CPF which is well worth reading (From http://sghardtruth.com/misconceptions-o ... -worrying/ ):


Misconceptions on the CPF, the Minimum Sum Scheme, and the state of our national reserves are worrying…

You know, I have been thinking long and hard. And it disturbs me. There is so much misunderstanding and/or misinformation about our Central Provident Fund or CPF; whether the monies are safe; why CPF does not pay higher interest rates; why the government wants the Minimum Sum Scheme and have CPF monies actually been lost by the GIC or Temasek Holdings, the two state-owned investment entities.

Well, I don’t have any special inside information on GIC or Temasek or the CPF. But from memory alone and years as a journalist covering some of these issues, I can say things are not as bad as they are made out to be. Our citizens deserve better, and that includes those who rely only on the internet for their information needs.

So here goes. A few pointers and hard facts. Hand on heart, I think these are largely correct. And this is not a defence of any entitity or the government. Just facts!

1. CPF monies are in safe hands; no risk of loss. Interest rate paid by CPF is above market rates for FDs or fixed deposits. Go check it out. The CPF interest rate is an outlier i.e unusually high for a zero-risk investment. As high as 5 per cent on the first $60,000 for some people

2. The Minimum Sum Scheme is an essential one. It should be made more flexible as planned but it should not be abandoned. The original purpose of CPF was to provide some income in old age and that is what MSS does.The withdrawal age has been pushed back for good reasons overall: Singaporeans are living longer and so total withdrawal at 55 years is unrealistic. Also vast sums of CPF money have been invested in property, and having the effect of reducing cash balances meant for retirement. Some liquidity for retirement needs has to be ensured via MSS

3. There are those who say the CPF vaults are empty and that is why the payments back to citizens are being delayed. This empty vault scare is total nonsense
Our reserves per capita are one of the highest in the world.. with GIC, Temasek and the statutory boards all holding sizeable sums. Sums that have grown over the years

4. Some online commentators, with due respect, don’t understand how things work. CPF basically only buys special government bonds or securities, the proceeds of which are passed on to MAS and GIC for management. Its income is assured by returns on the special govt securities that it holds.

CPF does not invest directly in the GIC portfolio orTemasek portfolio. Why? It would be too risky to do so. But the corollary of that is that CPF cannot benefit from any windfall gains made by GIC or Temasek in certain years.

5. Another fact: our currency has been strong all these years because our foreign debt is low and reserves high, with relatively low inflation to boot. Singapore govt debt, while seemingly high, is largely domestic debt. It arises mainly because of the CPF scheme to ensure forced savings for all citizens.

It’s not that the government wants to hold our money or needs it. Govt is simply CUSTODIAN of our CPF savings.

6 Another fact: GIC and Temasek have done relatively well over the longer term in investments. Yes; they lost money in some investments. But overall, over many years, tbey have been doing all right. Our national reserves are now probably in excess of $600 billion on a conservative, net of debt, basis

GIC could be more transparent?: I agree. That would silence its critics. But they have their reasons. Allowing citizens to know what exactly they hold and values arising could expose the country and its reserves to unnecessary scrutiny by hedge funds and other international market players. Better to be discreet; it is part of total defence!

7.The CPF Life insurance scheme is a good one. It stretches your Minimum Sum to ensure you receive monthly payouts ALL YOUR LIFE in return for relatively low premiums. All of us should take up that option. for our own sake!
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:37 am

addadude, Thanks for printing that out. I've known about it for a pretty good number of years. In fact, it's also why I top it up whenever I can. Any investment firm will tell you that you cannot get a better deal 'risk on risk' than what you get from the 100% protected CPF funds (guaranteed by the Government as it's invested ONLY in Special Singapore Government Bonds. I think our sour grapes poster must have been listening to too many oppies while here and didn't bother to do any investigations at all to learn the truth. In fact, it's pretty damned obvious that calugaruvaxile doesn't know sh*t from shinola when it comes to CPF. Now I know you are sour grapes as it has been explained so clearly and thoroughly that only an imbecile or an oppie (much the same) would "refuse" to understand it.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby JR8 » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 2:02 pm

x9200 wrote:For a large group of people who would not bother going after any sort of money investment by themselves (for whatever reason) or not even save anything if not forced to do it, this appears still a reasonable option. I don't see it very different to what is in place in some other, fully-devine-democratic Western countries, except perhaps the transparency.


Like the UK 'National Insurance' scheme? After 35 years of employer/employee contributions it is supposed to provide a satisfactory retirement pension. But the current pay-outs shrink (inflation adjusted) year on year until current times when they are derisory. I.e. if that was your sole source of income you'd be living well below the definition (UK) of the 'Poverty line'.

NI was meant for people such as you describe, by applying to every employee it included people who perhaps didn't understand savings and so were helped to do so. It probably began right after WW2 as some form of grand vision for social security for the future.

It is true that the current low interest rate environment tends to reduce returns in pensions, but this reduction in payments has been ongoing step by step across several interest rate and economic cycles. Despite still having to pay as much NI as ever the accepted wisdom amongst most these days is, 'By the time I retire NI will be so debased it'll be worthless. And hence I must make my own retirement savings arrangements'.

If I had CPF I'd be seeking evidence that it will eventually fund what it suggests it might.
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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby JR8 » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 2:37 pm

Addadude wrote:Lastly, here's a quote from Mano Sabnani, the former Business Times editor regarding CPF

Misconceptions on the CPF, the Minimum Sum Scheme, and the state of our national reserves are worrying…
You know, I have been thinking long and hard. And it disturbs me. There is so much misunderstanding and/or misinformation about our Central Provident Fund or CPF; whether the monies are safe; why CPF does not pay higher interest rates; why the government wants the Minimum Sum Scheme and have CPF monies actually been lost by the GIC or Temasek Holdings, the two state-owned investment entities.
So here goes. A few pointers and hard facts. Hand on heart, I think these are largely correct. And this is not a defence of any entitity or the government. Just facts!
1. CPF monies are in safe hands; no risk of loss. ...


I've seen this article before and it leaves me feeling rather confused.
- Why is their 'so much misunderstanding'?
- With an issue of such importance why is the government not clearly explaining and reassuring those with CPF funds (which the author's statement suggests must be absent or inadequate).
- Why is it instead left to a journalist to write a piece that he 'thinks [is] largely correct' [I might be in 'Prepare for bail-out' mode there, since he himself isn't even sure if what he's suggesting is true]. I'd also be looking for conflicts on interest: He is writing for an SPH paper, and I expect SPH figures materially amongst CPF assets. So, how much latitude did he have to write an impartial piece?
- '[i]1. CPF monies are in safe hands; no risk of loss.'

And that's where I stopped reading. I might have laughed, but it's more like :o Because I don't think I've seen before such a categorical suggestion of zero-risk... it's not a thing financial writers do. They can forecast and opine, but no more than that.

And that piece is supposed to be it, the nation re-assured on an issue that is apparently so misunderstood... :-k

[And no I'm in no way suggesting there is any problem with the CPF. I'm simply curious about the 'but why don't people know that' aspect which the author himself suggests].
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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby x9200 » Mon, 21 Sep 2015 2:57 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:For a large group of people who would not bother going after any sort of money investment by themselves (for whatever reason) or not even save anything if not forced to do it, this appears still a reasonable option. I don't see it very different to what is in place in some other, fully-devine-democratic Western countries, except perhaps the transparency.


Like the UK 'National Insurance' scheme? After 35 years of employer/employee contributions it is supposed to provide a satisfactory retirement pension. But the current pay-outs shrink (inflation adjusted) year on year until current times when they are derisory. I.e. if that was your sole source of income you'd be living well below the definition (UK) of the 'Poverty line'.

NI was meant for people such as you describe, by applying to every employee it included people who perhaps didn't understand savings and so were helped to do so. It probably began right after WW2 as some form of grand vision for social security for the future.

It is true that the current low interest rate environment tends to reduce returns in pensions, but this reduction in payments has been ongoing step by step across several interest rate and economic cycles. Despite still having to pay as much NI as ever the accepted wisdom amongst most these days is, 'By the time I retire NI will be so debased it'll be worthless. And hence I must make my own retirement savings arrangements'.

If I had CPF I'd be seeking evidence that it will eventually fund what it suggests it might.

JR8, I did not say CPF is perfect or even good. I just said there is nothing specifically evil in the CPF as compared to many other country schemes. I said it because calugaruvaxile seems to be on a mission and used the example of CPF to show how oppressive and abusive the SG gov is doing something allegedly bad with the SG people money. You actually supported my point.

As of whether it could be better or worse I don't really feel competent enough to discuss it but I have the feeling that given the money secured by CPF or the UK NI scheme, majority of people would not make the use of it any better if they had the freedom to use it so for them it may still be good if not the best option.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby calugaruvaxile » Tue, 22 Sep 2015 3:29 am

on a "mission"? what, are you paranoid? are you the secret police?

i'm telling you what i see: a game with changing rules, and with clear obligations only for one side - the contributors. you say everything is cool, safe, nothing to see here, citizen, walk on. this alone is not going to score many points for you. why? it's declarative, not logical.

explain why no more return of the cpf
explain why "minimum sum"
explain why the minimum sum constantly changes

i may even be very evil in my "mission" and ask you to compare taxes vs benefits, contributions vs cpf return (as opposed to "contribution vs private investment fund return). i have recently listened to the deputy pm comparing the taxes in sg vs france (and how low they are in sg). of course, he was talking about the direct taxation. no word about coe, for example. he didn't bother to explore the benefits, either. but let's not bother with this advanced topic.

you see, i held mpf in hk and i hold 401k in the us. at any time, i know how my money are invested, i can choose a smaller risk placement vs a larger risk placement, etcetc. compared to cpf, bith mpf and 401k are surprisingly transparent and flexible. cpf feels more like the french retirement system.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 22 Sep 2015 3:58 am

calugaruvaxile wrote:you see, i held mpf in hk and i hold 401k in the us. at any time, i know how my money are invested, i can choose a smaller risk placement vs a larger risk placement, etcetc. compared to cpf, bith mpf and 401k are surprisingly transparent and flexible. cpf feels more like the french retirement system.


Well, are you an agent of some western country out to destroy Singapore ? :P that was tongue in cheek

There are too many reasons why too much 'transparency' per se didn't work in this part of the world

And don't forget, Singapore is in Asia, and even though it is considered developed etc. etc. with meager resources and numerous envious neighbours and far away also, being not too transparent in some areas has saved Singapore Inc in one too many instance, and while the likes of you are crying wolf, on the other hand, government spending on social welfare has increased a lot, though it maybe not transparent for somebody who is not in Singapore. And though a lot of Sub-Cons are whispering that CPF refunds will be staggered as the CPF system is broke, till now, any Malaysian who reached 55 or any PR who left Singapore got their money in full, and not in installments.

Now, since you have successfully scammed the system, what's your beef anyway ?

You just want to see Singapore self destruct is it ?

And SMS a secret police ? haha .. that's enough for now- since, you are starting to sound like a typical local opposition supporter- for whom, anybody who has an alternate view is a IB or Spy ..

btw, are you the guy who was holding a banner in Times square cursing the Singapore PM :P personal beef eh ?

PS, are you telling me that 401K and all are extremely safe ? I am not that well versed with many US things, but in the early 2000's a lot of billion $ crashes wiped out a lot of retirees money, if I recall from memory. No, I am not going to dispute you if you say nobody lost nothing in anything of that scale, in 401K. Heck, I don't even know how 401K works, if you want to argue with me.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby x9200 » Tue, 22 Sep 2015 9:03 am

calugaruvaxile wrote:on a "mission"? what, are you paranoid? are you the secret police?

i'm telling you what i see: a game with changing rules, and with clear obligations only for one side - the contributors. you say everything is cool, safe, nothing to see here, citizen, walk on. this alone is not going to score many points for you. why? it's declarative, not logical.

explain why no more return of the cpf
explain why "minimum sum"
explain why the minimum sum constantly changes

i may even be very evil in my "mission" and ask you to compare taxes vs benefits, contributions vs cpf return (as opposed to "contribution vs private investment fund return). i have recently listened to the deputy pm comparing the taxes in sg vs france (and how low they are in sg). of course, he was talking about the direct taxation. no word about coe, for example. he didn't bother to explore the benefits, either. but let's not bother with this advanced topic.

you see, i held mpf in hk and i hold 401k in the us. at any time, i know how my money are invested, i can choose a smaller risk placement vs a larger risk placement, etcetc. compared to cpf, bith mpf and 401k are surprisingly transparent and flexible. cpf feels more like the french retirement system.

You again explained something nobody really questioned but skipped the part you were repeatedly asked to answer. Funny that you still fight to divert the attention from that very question rather than admitting the obvious (or go and travel for a while). I know it's not easy but this is the cost of playing the omniscient.
(in most secret voice) pssst, I will tell you all a big secret! There is a censorship in Singapore (and a left-hand traffic too). Sorry, it all looks pretty much just like this.

My short response this time (repeating myself): you see it only form the narrow profit/gain maximisation and your subjective liberty perspective but you completely neglect the whole social and even economo-geographic layer (sorry, but throwing in coe to the equation when comparing FR to SG is just... let me leave it like this).

And talking about being paranoid. You called one guy an apparatchik in this thread, you called me a secret police (I am surprised you didn't say NKVD). Surely you would soon call SMS Dzerzhinsky, or Beria or even Stalin if he didn't say earlier about you some politically incorrect words. But this is not you who is paranoid. Man, let me tell you this. You act like a nouveau riche who at one point manage to escape the communism and started to live in a democratic country and now if he only sniffs anything red he attacks because the part of the syndrome is to be more Catholic than the Pope and be blind to all the surrounding circumstances and see nothing positive at the same time. This is what I called the mission or a crusade under the burning torches carrying the liberty flags with good news to all the fools who are obviously blind. Also a part of the syndrome is the naive believe that in the Western countries you enjoy the unrestricted liberty (as compared to Singapore).
Relax. It's not all the evil. It is not all the best. The world is not a binary construct. Singapore is a pretty complex kettle with different cultures, different pre-conditions, different so many other things that you may not even be aware of. Not everybody would enjoy your freedom to invest. Really. And this system was built not for you or me but for the local people under some rather specific circumstances.

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby calugaruvaxile » Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:15 pm

x9200 wrote:You again explained something nobody really questioned but skipped the part you were repeatedly asked to answer. Funny that you still fight to divert the attention from that very question rather than admitting the obvious (or go and travel for a while). I know it's not easy but this is the cost of playing the omniscient.


apologies, but maybe i fail to understand which is that part. maybe you can state it in less than one page :D

x9200 wrote:And talking about being paranoid. You called one guy an apparatchik in this thread, you called me a secret police (I am surprised you didn't say NKVD). S.


yea man! i called the guy aparatchik when he said something which can be briefly described by "it is so as the beloved minister X said so". you want me to put it into a different shape? "it is so 'cause our propaganda says so". psst, this is your argument about cpf, guys! your own gov't answer to roy's questions was ... ehm ... what?

the part when i called you "secret police" was obviously a joke. apologies, i belong t a generation which doesn't need a smiley to "get it".

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Re: General Election - Coming Soon - 11th September

Postby x9200 » Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:40 am

calugaruvaxile wrote:
x9200 wrote:You again explained something nobody really questioned but skipped the part you were repeatedly asked to answer. Funny that you still fight to divert the attention from that very question rather than admitting the obvious (or go and travel for a while). I know it's not easy but this is the cost of playing the omniscient.


apologies, but maybe i fail to understand which is that part. maybe you can state it in less than one page :D

Sure. You said you tricked the system. Please try to focus in the area enclosed between the dashed lines. The full quotations are just included if you had the idea to modify your original posts.

----------- page begins ------------

calugaruvaxile wrote:tmd, correction! i tricked the system which was trying to steal MY money! something that you can't do. you're condemned to have your money stolen.

speaking about liberty: i have the liberty of exposing anything i don't like, about any government in this world - or any situation on the globe (like the eu refugee crisis) as long as i don't incite to violence, rebellion or anything dangerous to any individual and/or to society. sadly, this is a concept that a true-blue singaporean cannot grasp.

And the above message was in response to the message of TMD and concerned CPF ( I attached the message below).

It looks like you just withdrew the CPF money what every PR can do, even the keyboard brave liberty fighters and without any problem and fuss (providing they paid taxes and have no NS obligations pending) when giving up PR. This is something pretty much everybody knows but still, under some circumstances, yes, it may be considered as a really big achievement, maybe even tricking the system.

----------- page ends ------------

I don't recall many such, pardonne moi, pathetic attempts like yours to save face on this forum. Ok calugaruvaxile, I think it's enough, at least for myself.

TMD wrote:Well well...it seems McCarthyism is still alive and well in this day and age.

Considering that you have withdrawn every cents from your CPF account after making some handsome profit from Singapore, I guess you now have the liberty to start poking holes at system that you were once part of.

calugaruvaxile wrote:
TMD wrote:
You know, your very first sentence prove exactly what I had already alluded to about that "them vs us" attitude. History has shown it doesn't lead any society or country to any good for the longer term.

Perhaps, it is with the hindsight of 2011 GE and last decade, the incumbent government is sitting up and paying more attention to the voters. What I gathered so far is the PAP is indeed responding.

Mr Tharman, the finance minister, himself was quoted: "A successful economy by itself will not give us an inclusive and fair society." Now this may sound like a election talk, but at least it seems he and his comrades understand both Singaporean and the nature of today's world.


dude, you sound like an aparatchik from my youth. and you really don't understand. this is not about "us". believe it or not, i got out of sg with 100% of my cpf. you (if you're a local) won't. think about it.

what tharman said is that in his model of an economy, you're screwed. and you vote for him. you're so clever! and how does this quote that your beloved understands the world? you're just a propagandleiter.

still, you elude the main problem: singapore does not make its own money. it just take a cut of the business made on its territory. if you can't read this, let me know. i'll write it in larger, red and bold fonts. this means, you're as good as a hotel. good rates, friendly staff, nice amenities, i'll stay. any of the contrary, i won't. in the 80s to 2ks, sg attracted business like this. it had low rates, good amenities and friendly staff. a very good deal, compared to its neighbors. nowadays it's amenities are not really great (transportation sucks, believe me), the rates are high, and the staff is lazy, nosy and pricey. that's why companies flee, that's why your govt is spending billions in incentives (but it's not telling you).

your govt is promising you one thing, while promising the companies exactly the opposite. that's why the whole construction is falling apart. and you really think you know how the world works. HA HA HA. you don't even understand your town.

in any ways, i'm glad you used the right word to describe the pap: "the comrades". here we agree: you live in a communist country and you work a state-planned economy.


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