Got Questions on MediShield Life? Here Are Some Answers.


Must I pay more if I have a pre-existing illness?

Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik answers some of the big questions about the new national insurance scheme MediShield Life

Q: Isn’t the maximum per capita income level of $2,600 to qualify for permanent subsidies rather low if two out of three people are to get them?

According to SingStats, 67 per cent of residents live in households with this or lower income level.

A working couple with two kids and an elderly parent, earning a total of $12,000 a month, would qualify, as their per capita income is $2,400.


Q: I am a permanent resident. Can I participate in MediShield Life and do I get any subsidies?

As a PR, you must join MediShield Life. You can get a subsidy if your income level entitles you to it – but at half the amount a Singaporean gets. However, you will not get the four years of transitional subsidies which will only be for citizens.

Q: I have heard that Singaporeans who live in condominiums and landed property will get less or even no subsidy, even if their per capita income is low. Is this true?

That depends on the value of your property. If the annual value – the amount you would get if the place was rented out – is less than $13,000, you will get the full subsidy. If it is $13,000-$21,000, you get 10 percentage points less – this means that if someone your age and income bracket gets a 30 per cent subsidy, you will get a subsidy of 20 per cent. Those living in homes with annual values of more than $21,000 will not get any subsidies.

Q: How do I find out the annual value of my house?

If you are the owner, you can go to the website and sign in with your SingPass to find out the value.

Q: I have a pre-existing illness and am glad to now qualify for MediShield Life. But how much more in premiums will I have to pay, and will I also get the government subsidies?

You will have to pay 30 per cent more in premiums than others in your age band, for the first 10 years.

If your per capita income entitles you to a subsidy, it will also apply to the additional 30 per cent you need to pay.

So for example, you are entitled to a 50 per cent subsidy, and people in your age band pay a premium of $500 a year. Your premium will be $650. But because you get a 50 per cent subsidy, you only need to pay $325 – which can come from your Medisave.

Q: How do the higher premiums for MediShield Life affect the premiums I pay for my Integrated Shield Plan (IP)?

The changes, if any, will only come when MediShield Life is launched at the end of next year. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has given the assurance that you should face similar, or even lower, increases than people on the basic MediShield.

Q: When is the Government setting up this new standardised Class B1 Integrated Shield Plan? Should I take it up?

There are no details yet, but it is likely to be timed with the launch of MediShield Life at the end of next year.

Whether you should take it up will depend on what class of hospital ward you are likely to go to should you be seriously ill. You should buy an insurance plan for the class.

Q: If I am already on a Class A or private hospital IP, can I downgrade to this new standardised IP? If I change plan, do I have to have a medical all over again? Can I transfer the premiums paid on my current IP to this new IP or do I start all over again?

Yes, you will be able to downgrade, if your insurer offers a B1 plan. There is no need for a medical when you downgrade. Premium is paid for each year and is not cumulative. When you stop a plan, you will be refunded the balance.

Q: Can those with pre-existing illnesses take up this new standardised IP or any other IP if they want to upgrade their coverage?

It is up to the individual insurer if it wants to cover you fully, or with exclusions for your medical condition. It may charge you a higher premium than others in your age band to cover you for your pre-existing illness.

Q: I had been fully covered on a B1 class IP. But when I upgraded it to an A Class plan, I was excluded for conditions I had recently acquired. Will I need to pay the 30 per cent loading for pre-existing conditions for MediShield Life?

No, because you have been covered all along by MediShield under your B1 plan.

 Source: The Straits Times.


Main Website Source link -> Medishieldlife

References :

Link ->  How much do Families have to Pay?

Link -> MediShield Life: 8 Things to Know

Link -> MediShield Life Benefits

Link -> MediShield Life: What you need to know

Link -> MediShield Life: How much will you pay?

Link -> MediShield Life Premium Calculator


MediShield Life: How much will you pay?

In 2015, with Government subsidies, the maximum increase in premiums will be less than S$3 a month for those in the lower-income bracket, and no more than S$6 a month for everyone else.

SINGAPORE: The MediShield Life Review Committee released details on the premiums and premium subsidies for the insurance scheme on Friday (June 27).


In 2019, after the Transitional Subsidies end, those figures will rise to S$8 a month for the first group, to S$128 a month for the latter group.

The committee noted that in the first year, with Transitional Subsidies and other Government subsidies, the maximum increase in premiums will be less than S$3 a month for those in the lower-income bracket, and no more than S$6 a month for everyone else.

In the fifth year of the scheme, when the Transitional Subsidies end, the premium increase compared to current rates will be between S$7 and S$30 a month for high-income earners. Those in lower-income households will continue to receive subsidies and pay between S$3 and S$11 a month compared to today, the ministry said.

The Government on Friday accepted all of the committees recommendations for MediShield Life. Efforts will be made in the coming year to reach out and communicate the details and implications of the scheme to Singaporeans, it added.




How much do Families have to Pay?
How much do Families have to Pay?

Teaching a Debt Perspective to 12-Year-Olds

Excerpt :

Here’s a broader question. Why are we defining success so narrowly? Because it’s what we’ve been taught. We’re supposed to get good jobs and be really good at them and accumulate a lot of stuff and be happy.

Do you know what’s interesting? There’s a group called Alcoholics Anonymous designed to help alcoholics recover from their alcohol addiction. There’s a recovery group for almost every single type of addict. But there’s not a recovery group for wealth addicts, people whose every thought is consumed by the need to get richer and richer. Why not? Because our society embraces that kind of addiction. We think it’s a positive thing. So people who are literally suffering from this affliction are being lauded and praised by our society for their gumption rather than being treated for their sickness.

Let’s teach ourselves something different. If we were to put as much work into making a positive difference in this world as we do accumulating cool stuff, what kind of a world do you think we would live in?

How do you perceive success?

Excerpt :

Here’s a broader question: How do you define happiness? Studies have shown that lottery winners will experience elation when they win the lottery, but they’ll eventually return to their original state. Think back to this past Christmas about a month ago. You were probably super excited to open your presents. Remembered how happy you were to play with or use your gifts for the first time? Where are those gifts now? Are you as happy using them now as you were the first time?

No material thing can ever bring somebody a lifetime of happiness.

How do you perceive happiness?

No More Harvard Debt

A few weeks ago, my buddy and former HBS classmate, Allan, asked me if I’d like to give a talk about my debt pay-off to the youth group that he leads at his church. I was intrigued and asked who the audience would be. “About a dozen young men, ages 12 to 18.” I became both very interested and very intimidated at the same time. What a great time to talk to them about debt! Young people should hear this message sooner rather than later. But also, what a difficult time to talk to them about debt! Will they listen and pay attention? Can they relate? How the heck do I effectively talk to them about debt without getting too simplistic and general?

Well, I literally just got back from giving the talk, and I couldn’t be happier with how it went. The group of guys was extremely engaged and…

View original post 2,074 more words

Medicating Medishield for life

Excerpt :

I happen to think the Medishield Life review committee seems to have considered many, many aspects of how to cover everyone, including those with pre-existing illnesses. But I wonder how it will enforce “universal coverage’’ since there would those with little Medisave because they don’t have a stable stream of income or are self-employed. Compulsion must mean penalties for non-compliance. Also, it isn’t clear what will happen to Medifund – the last resort for the down-and-out.

But what the review committee can’t do is predict the future, such as whether G largesse can continue, whether the Medishield Life fund will go bankrupt and whether people will pay escalating premiums because everyone wants to have the best of medical technology and healthcare. For all you know, a G craving popularity will forever keep premiums low – and quietly cut benefits.

We can expect to hear plenty of exhortations from the G to be careful about our health and making demands on the medical system just because we think there will be insurance to pay for everything. Looks like everyone has to bear some responsibility to keep the insurance scheme going. It’s not possible (or is it?) for the G to keep pumping in $4billion every four or five years.

There are so many “what ifs’’ especially as we look at how health insurance and retirement schemes run by governments elsewhere have gotten into a mess. Hopefully, health economists will look at the review committee’s suggestions and suggest ways to strengthen the system so it will survive into the future.

Anyway, here’s a toast to our health, the health of our finances – and to review committee chairman Mr Bobby Chin and his team.

Bertha Harian

Okay, so the dance of the seven veils has been staged. And more veils have been lifted on Medishield Life, especially the one shrouding the new premiums. They are big increases, but the G is covering it with a $4billion kitty that will last five years. The question is what happens after that?

Anyway, if you’re mightily confused by all the numbers, here’s a run-down on UNUSUAL key points.

Those premiums: Yup, the new ones are high and even higher for the younger people. That’s because people want to be able to pay more when they are working and less when they get older, quite an inversion from normal insurance schemes.

Should this matter? Well, not now because the G is throwing in a load of subsidies, graduated according to age-groups and income.

How? Everyone will get transitional subsidies for four years, while the lower two-thirds will also get…

View original post 854 more words

The Rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew

Published on Jun 29, 2014,

StraistTimes source link -> The Rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Koh
Mr Koh Teong Koo with his wife, Madam Sit Chu Song, photographed with their eldest son Ko Ming Chiu in a photo taken in the 1940s. — PHOTO: COURTESY OF KO MING CHIU

The Rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew

Happy ‘reunion’ as two grandsons of Koh Teong Koo meet former PM’s brother

Trishaw rider Koh Teong Koo pedals steadily down Oxley Road, pulling up at No. 38, the home of Singapore’s prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

A group of his friends trail in a car from a safe distance, expecting him to be turned away by the Gurkha guards at the gate. None of them believes his story that he regularly visits the home of Singapore’s most powerful man.

Then, to everyone’s surprise, the gates are opened and Mr Koh cycles right in.

It turns out their coffee shop buddy is no ordinary trishaw rider, but the only one in 1970s Singapore with close ties to the Lee family.

It is a story the late Mr Koh’s surviving friends relate with relish. What his friends did not know either, was that the Lees always described Mr Koh as the man who saved Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life during World War II.

His story began in 1934 when he arrived in Singapore from Fujian province in China at the age of 22. Like many of his kinsmen from the Hock Chia dialect group, he became a rickshaw puller.

In 1937, a Peranakan housewife, Madam Chua Jim Neo, got him to start taking her four sons and daughter to school by rickshaw. Mr Lee Kuan Yew was her eldest.

Said Mr Lee’s youngest brother, Dr Lee Suan Yew: “Imagine that, one man pulling at least four of us at one go. You have to be very strong to do that.”

Mr Koh also put his green thumb to work, growing sweet potatoes and cucumbers in the Lees’ backyard at Norfolk Road, in the Farrer Park area, where they lived until 1942. “Teong Koo also taught me how to rear chickens and ducks,” recalled Dr Lee.

But to the Lees, Mr Koh is best remembered for taking care of Mr Lee when it mattered the most – when the Japanese invaded Singapore in 1942.

By then, the family had moved to their grandfather’s home in Telok Kurau, farther from the city, to avoid getting hit by bombs.

One day, Mr Lee, then 19, and Mr Koh were checking their food stocks at the Norfolk Road house when they were ordered by the Japanese to go to a registration centre at Jalan Besar stadium.

They were to be screened by Japanese soldiers, who would decide if they were “cleared” to return home, or if they should be rounded up and taken away. Those who refused to be screened would be punished by the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police.

It happened that Mr Koh’s coolie-keng – the dormitory for rickshaw pullers – fell within the registration centre’s perimeter which was enclosed by barbed wire.

It was an area with many Hock Chia immigrants and Mr Koh had a friend who let him and Mr Lee stay for a night at his home at 75 Maude Road.

The next day, Mr Lee tried to leave the centre through the exit point, but the Japanese soldier on duty told him to join a group of young Chinese gathered nearby.

Feeling instinctively that this was ominous, Mr Lee asked if he could collect his belongings first. The soldier gave permission and Mr Lee took off. He did not return.

Instead, he laid low with Mr Koh for another day and a half until a different soldier was on duty. This time, he was cleared to leave.

Mr Lee recalls that episode in his memoir, The Singapore Story. Had he not escaped, he would almost certainly have been taken to a beach near Changi prison and shot to death.

The Lees believe they have the rickshaw puller to thank for Mr Lee’s narrow escape from Sook Ching, an exercise to punish the Chinese in Singapore for supporting China’s war effort against the Japanese. It is estimated that Sook Ching claimed between 25,000 and 50,000 lives.

Dr Lee told The Sunday Times that when he visited his eldest brother recently, Mr Lee, now 90, could still recall the episode in detail.

Dr Lee said: “My son told him, ‘If it weren’t for Teong Koo, the history of Singapore would have turned out very differently!'”

Mr Lee laughed in response, said Dr Lee.

Retired factory worker Tan Ah Mok, 84, who lived in Maude Road after the war and knew Mr Koh, told The Sunday Times: “Mr Lee’s mother was very happy that he came back alive. So she treated Teong Koo well.”

Dr Lee believes Mr Koh looked out for the family because his mother first looked out for him. When he wanted to try his hand at entrepreneurship, it was Madam Chua who helped him with the money he needed to get started.

He opened a canteen stall, then two provision shops on Maude Road and Bencoolen Street, and later bought five trishaws that he rented out to other riders.

When war broke out, Mr Koh moved all his supplies of food and provisions to the Lees’ Norfolk Road home, and these kept the family going as food became increasingly scarce.

“My mother always said, ‘Kindness begets kindness’. And she was right,” said Dr Lee.

Mr Koh’s devotion to Madam Chua was apparent when she died of a heart attack in 1980 at the age of 75. He attended the funeral at Mount Vernon Crematorium, and was clearly upset.

Mr Tan recalled: “One of Mr Lee’s brothers told him not to cry. Then he gave him some money and told him to go home.”

Despite the support he received from Madam Chua, Mr Koh was unsuccessful in his business dealings.

“He was too easy-going,” said Mr Tan, who recalled how Mr Koh would often be seen relaxing in the evenings at the neighbourhood coffee shop or on grass patches. He drank a little but did not smoke.

It was at Mr Ding Chin Hock’s father’s coffee shop, at 37 Maude Road, that Mr Koh bet with his friends that he could get into No. 38 Oxley Road after they wouldn’t believe that he was a regular visitor to Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s home.

“Teong Koo really stood out to me because of his relationship to the Lee family,” said Mr Ding, 66, a retired accounts clerk.

Mr Koh had a wife and three sons in China, and he sent money home regularly.

Eldest son Ko Ming Chiu, 67, remembers meeting his father for the first time in 1960, when he was 13 years old.

“He was so tall and well-built, just like my grandmother,” said Mr Ko in a telephone interview from Hong Kong.

In 1970, Mr Koh sent 8,500 renminbi for the family to upgrade from an old, small house to a bigger, newer one.

He visited every few years and would bring gifts such as watches, notebooks, woollen clothing and bicycles, said Mr Ko.

“My father said it was difficult to make money with a rickshaw or trishaw – especially when it rained,” he said.

Mr Koh moved back to China in 1986. He made his last trip to Singapore in 1987, when he took his eldest son and granddaughter Jenny to see Mr Lee’s second brother, the late Mr Dennis Lee. But none of the Lees knew about that visit.

Mr Koh died in China in 1998 at the age of 86, survived by three sons and nine grandchildren. His wife Sit Chu Song died in 2000 at the age of 80.

No one heard Mr Koh’s voice again until June 5 this year, when his grandsons George and Ken learnt during a visit to Singapore that he had recorded an oral history interview in 1981.

The brothers listened to a recording during a dinner organised by Dr Lee Suan Yew and heard Mr Koh describe his life as a rickshaw puller in 1930s Singapore.

At one point, Mr Koh let out a hoarse chuckle and his grandson Ken, 33, a businessman, exclaimed: “He always laughed like that! My father will cry when he hears this.”

Mr George Ko, 39, a customer service manager, added: “I had always known that my grandfather was close to the Lee family, but to me, these were just stories. Now, I want to know more about my grandfather’s life in Singapore.”


Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) with his family members, comprising siblings (clockwise from left) Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, as well as mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon, in a family portrait shot at Lloyd Studio. This shot was taken the night before Mr Lee left for England to further his studies. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE KUAN YEW
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) with his family members, comprising siblings (clockwise from left) Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, as well as mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon, in a family portrait shot at Lloyd Studio. This shot was taken the night before Mr Lee left for England to further his studies. — PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE KUAN YEW

StraistTimes source link -> The Rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) with his family members, comprising siblings (clockwise from left) Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, as well as mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon, in a family portrait shot at Lloyd Studio. This shot was taken the night before Mr Lee left for England to further his studies. — PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE KUAN YEW – See more at:
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) with his family members, comprising siblings (clockwise from left) Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, as well as mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon, in a family portrait shot at Lloyd Studio. This shot was taken the night before Mr Lee left for England to further his studies. — PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE KUAN YEW – See more at:

Clarification from Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh, a social enterprise with a mission to provide ex-offenders employment opportunities n a new start in life

Source Link  Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh 順發肉骨茶

Hi all, I am Jabez Tan – founder of Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh at 302 Simpang Bedok and 548 MacPherson

(Soon Huat is a social enterprise with a mission to provide ex-offenders employment opportunities n a new start in life.)

I just want to CLARIFY regarding the article on the Strait-times Homepage B5 with title “Web of middle man behind bogus union” about Soh Chin Chai n his bogus marriage with a Vietnamese lady.

It was in NOVEMBER last year. while working with us, Chin Chai was summoned to ICA to be investigated about his marriage. WITHOUT any HESITATION, Chin Chai admitted his wrong doing n ALREADY PAID the price for it (6 months imprisonment).

Chin Chai finished his sentence and was released in APRIL 2014. He returned to work for us n now holding an important position as ASSISTANT MANAGER at MacPherson outlet.

He actively involve in community service such as Bread of Love (to distribute bread to needy elderly- organized by Hope Church where he attends)

Unfortunately, Strait-times seems not to have a follow up information about Chin Chai’s LIFE STORY n brought up his past criminal case today after six months when the case was over. No date is mentioned in the article which causes confusion n unnecessary distress for Chin Chai and his family.

Today Chin Chai received a lot of calls and messages to ask about what was written.
He is discouraged n stressed n runs out of words to explain to many people at the same time.

Below link is the FULL STORY of Chin Chai’s life journey. From a painful childhood- to a rebellious man living a life of crime n vice – to a CHANGED N RESPONSIBLE MAN living a purposeful n meaningful life with a stable job n income.

– > The Redemption Broth – Sherman Soh

I hope to make it clear to you n to have your support for Chin Chai.
I hope to update Straits Times the full story so public will be well-informed and readers will be encouraged about the new journey that Chin Chai is walking on.

Every saints has a past n every criminals has a future. The past is past, we won’t let it hold us bondage. What is the most important is TODAY when we dare to step up n make a change in life for the better.

I am so proud of Chin Chai. Cheers.


We succeed because of e values and ethics we hold.. not because of the color of our skin.

Overheard 1  :

There still exist, in e larger community, the misconception that Malays do not hold Key Appointments in e Military. And Malays are passed over when it comes to Promotion and consideration for sensitive appointments.

In many cases, all these hearsay is from baseless tongue wagging unverified claims.

Today as I go to work, I know I’m sitting in a position that affects how our soldiers train, the facilities they will use in future, the way we carry out our business.. And yes I am Malay and I am doing what most people in my community think, is a job that Malays will never sit in.

At the same time, my fellow Malay friends and seniors are sitting in Key positions of Command as well in offices in e Ministry of Defence, doing again, what most people in my community think, Malays will never do.

The organization that I have gladly served for the past 14 years, has never been biased nor have never judged me based on my race. It’s who best fits the job.. And if there is someone who fits e job better than me, I will gladly let him have the job.

Henceforth, please eradicate all notions that Malays will never go far in e Military. Because I work with people everyday, who prove this theory wrong.

We succeed because of e values and ethics we hold..
And if we fail, it will be because we didn’t try hard enough.. And not because of e color of our skin.



Comments :

  • FINALLY!!! A Malay Officer speaks up!For the non-Malays, let me explain something. Malay/Muslims believe that to ‘boast’ about oneself is to be ‘riak’ that is to be conceited or arrogant. That’s a sin. And to display your status in the Armed Forces wld bring its fair share of derision and insinuation that they are there due to ‘positive discrimination’ rather than by the sweat of their own brow.

    So with that in mind, I would like to THANK Mr Ryhan Husainni for coming forward with his declaration on the true picture to debunk the lies that have been prevalent out there.


  • This guy is amazing! He is a Diploma Holder taking a part-time Degree. His skill sets must be so damn awesome for him to have achieved so much. And he ain’t done yet! WOW! I am so PROUD of him! So PROUD of what he has achieved and yet to achieve. A real Pride to the Malay Community. I hope this will spur more Malays with their own success stories to come forward and be a motivation to us all. WOW!!
  • Any human being who carries himself well & treats everyone with respect should be respected. Skin colour and ethnicity is only second nature to your morals and values.


Overheard 2 from ->  The Singapore Army

SCT Muhammad Asyraf from 1st Transport Battalion (1 TPT BN) was an Officer Cadet from Officer Cadet School (OCS). He did not complete the course due to injury. After he recovered, he was posted to 1 TPT BN as a Transport Leader, and had to go through Specialist Cadet Course (SCC). Less than a month before the end of SCC, SCT Asyraf’s life was turned upside down when his father passed away. It was a very difficult moment for him and his family. His mother and friends continued to put their faith in him and supported him. Not only is he the recipient of the Distinguished Honour Graduate, also known as the “Golden Bayonet”, he was also given the honour of being the Parade Commander at the Graduation Parade as a testament to his tenacity.
SCT Asyraf dedicates his Golden Bayonet to the people around him who made a difference.

“My parents always said to me; Whatever it is, do your best. You never know what opportunities will come. When my father passed away, I was devastated. But I also knew I had to remain focused and complete this course. I would like to dedicate this Golden Bayonet award to my late father, my mother, Dzul, Rolu, Ryan, Zamriee and Hafez. Without them, I would never have made it this far”.
Well done and congratulations to SCT Asyraf and the rest of the Specialist Cadets from the 19/14 SCC who are graduating from this evening’s Specialist Cadet Graduation Parade!!


Comments :

  • Salute!” to a good son and a dedicated soldier of Singapore.
  • With this kind of tenacity, he can go very far in life!
  • Congratulations! Very good role model for others facing similar adversities.
  • The body would go as far as the mind tells it too. A classic example of tenacity and perseverance. Good job.



Media Blunder



No, this is not the usual media blunder where the interviewee makes the blunder. This time round it is the interviewer.

Last night CNA published an article quoting “Use Less CPF money to prepare for retirement: Labour chief”

Immediately the social media responded with fiery storm drawing many criticism on Labour Chief Mr Lim Swee Say. Many questioned   how and why could anyone use less CPF to prepare for retirement?

Many questions and criticisms went unanswered. Nonetheless, many netizen when on to view the actual video recording but could not find what CNA had mentioned in their headline.

Appearancely this is not the first time CNA put words in Minister’s mouth


Abstract from FAB (Fabrication about PAP)
What does Lim Swee Say say? – Not the first time CNA put words in Minister’s mouth.

First CNA used the headlines “Use Less CPF money to prepare for retirement: Labour chief”. Then they quietly changed it to “Work longer, save more and use less CPF when young to prepare for retirement: Labour chief”

So many got misled by the headlines because most did not bother to read the entire article. Because if one has done so, he or she would be able to see what he was actually trying to say.

You’ll find he made three points and nothing about using less CPF.

A. CPF is your money. No one can use it or take it away from you.

B. Your money at CPF is 100% safe, guarantee by the govt. many people lost their investment during global financial crisis whereas your money at CPF continue to earn risk free interest.

C. Instead of thinking about whether you can spend your savings in the CPF at the age of 55,we should think about how we can help our Singaporeans to remain employed, earn good living and have good jobs. At the same time, to continue to contribute to the CPF because the more money they have in CPF, the longer they defer the use of their CPF, the more they wil have for retirement.

This is not the first time CNA wrongly attributed quotes to Minister. Just a month a go, CNA quietly retract its story after putting words in Minister Tan Chuan-Jin’s mouth [1].


NTUC chief Lim Swee Say clarifies media report on CPF


SINGAPORE: The Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Mr Lim Swee Say, has clarified a Channel NewsAsia report which quoted him on Sunday (June 22).

He has penned the following letter in response:

I refer to the article, “Prepare for retirement ‘by using less CPF money when young'” (23 June).

The article para-phrased my comments and wrote, “The best way for Singaporeans to prepare for retirement is to use less of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) money when they are young.” It gave the impression that I have urged Singaporeans not to use their CPF monies before retirement for any purpose including housing, healthcare and education for our children.

This is incorrect.

For the record, I made three points about CPF:

Firstly, CPF is your money. Nobody can take away that money from you.

Secondly, your money with CPF is 100% safe and continues to earn risk free interest, even during challenging times like the global financial crisis in 2009.

As the third point was reported out of context, I reproduce the relevant text of my interview here:

“Thirdly, the money is mainly for your retirement purpose. Besides housing, healthcare and education for your children, a very important part of CPF is to cater for retirement. So, for every dollar, if you can defer the use of the dollar, it is better to defer the use of the dollar when you are still young. For example, instead of thinking of whether you can spend your CPF savings at the age of 55, I think we should think about how we should help our Singaporeans remain employed, to continue to earn a good living, a good job and at the same time, to continue to contribute to the CPF. Because the more money you have in your CPF and the longer you defer the use of the CPF, the more you will have for retirement, as all of us are living longer and longer. So, these are the three basic points: firstly, the CPF is your money, no one can take away from you. Secondly, your money is 100% safe. Thirdly, the less you make use of your money when you are young, the more money you will have for retirement.”

It is clear in this context that ‘young’ refers to those who are aged 55 and “less use” of the CPF money refers to the CPF cash withdrawal for purposes other than housing, healthcare and education for the children.

Lim Swee Say
National Trades Union Congress

image from socialmaximizer

“Rising costs related to an ageing demographic would be offset by Singapore’ s CPF system”. Moody’s affirms Singapore top-level Aaa rating

Moody’s affirms Singapore top-level Aaa rating
Singapore’s Central Business District skyline. TODAY file photo

Published: June 19,  news  source link ->Moody’s affirms Singapore top-level Aaa rating

Moody’s affirms Singapore top-level Aaa rating

Stable outlook expected to remain over next 12 to 18 months

SINGAPORE — Moody’s Investors Service today (June 19) reaffirmed Singapore’s top-tier Aaa credit rating, citing the Republic’s “very strong fiscal and debt metrics, strong growth outlook over the coming five years, and an extraordinarily large net external creditor position”.

In a press statement accompanying the release of its Singapore credit analysis report for investors, the ratings agency assessed the credit profile of the city-state according to the four areas of its Sovereign Bond Rating Methodology:

• Economic Strength: Very High (-)

• Institutional Strength: Very High (+)

• Fiscal Strength: Very High (+)

• Susceptibility to Event Risk: Very Low

Singapore’s long-term issuer rating — Aaa with a stable outlook — is unlikely to change over the next 12 to 18 months, “given the government’s very strong credit fundamentals”, Moody’s said.

But the ratings agency noted credit challenges on the horizon, including the possibility of regional political or economic instability, rising domestic social pressures due to a rise in the cost of living and “other side effects stemming from the implementation of the government’s economic restructuring programme”.

To stay credit positive at the highest ratings level, Moody’s recommended that Singapore maintains “a market-friendly and fiscally prudent economic policy approach”.

In giving Singapore the fiscal strength rating of “Very high (+)”, Moody’s cited the country’s “very strong fiscal and government debt metrics, which are supported by a prudent fiscal policy framework, the specific nature of the Singapore government securities market, and sizeable government assets”.

“These will help mitigate the expected medium-term impact from an ageing society on both government revenues and expenditures,” said Moody’s, adding that the rising costs related to an ageing demographic would be offset by the country’s CPF system.

“Singapore’s fully funded compulsory pension system and the absence of a comprehensive government-funded social welfare system mitigate future liabilities,” the statement read. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

******************************************End  ***************************************

What the alternatives would say :

When it’s a negative report of Singapore, they say it’s reliable.
When it’s a positive report of Singapore, they say it’s unreliable.

images source : The Silent Majority – Singapore


CPF is a robust and sustainable system: Tharman

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam defended the Central Provident Fund (CPF) yesterday, saying it is recognised internationally as a robust and sustainable system.

“We’ve provided a guarantee and a very fair rate of return that is not easy to beat in the market,” said Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister. “The difference in our case is that we take risk away from the ordinary citizen.

“If you’re wealthy, you’re well-off and you know how to manage a large amount of finances, then that’s a different matter.

“But experience has shown in the United States, Europe and United Kingdom that for most people, it’s not wise to put too much investment risk on them.”

Following recent calls for more transparency about the CPF system, he said that it currently provides “very significant flexibility”.

Members can use funds to pay off housing loans, while in retirement it provides MediShield cover. “Not everyone realises that the Minimum Sum is not $155,000 but it’s half of that if you use your housing pledge,” he said.

“Significant amounts of money can in fact be taken out to be used, to be saved as you wish or to be used to meet immediate means.”

He further explained that the CPF Board invests entirely in Singapore government securities, of which the interest rate is known.

The Government then takes on the risk itself through investments, mainly in the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), as well as in the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Even with the GIC publishing its returns, Mr Tharman said: “It doesn’t affect the CPF member because he or she is assured of a fair rate of return with no risk.”

This, he said, is unique among social security systems around the world. He cited pensioners elsewhere who have had their retirement savings wiped out because of the global financial crisis.

Mr Tharman said the Government is still working on strengthening the system, without providing further details.

The Finance Minister also acknowledged several challenges faced by the CPF system in meeting inflation and basic retirement needs. “These will change over time, because today’s generation of retirees has more needs and would like to have a different life in retirement compared to even 20 years ago. That’s natural with progress.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to talk about CPF at the upcoming National Day Rally.

Mr Tharman – who is also an MP for Jurong GRC – was speaking at the fourth annual Jurong Lake Run last night, which drew 16,000 participants ranging from babies in strollers to 84-year-olds and raised $150,000 for five beneficiaries.

Last week, it was announced that Jurong Lake District will be a test bed for a “smart nation”. Later this year, 15 innovations – such as automatically adjusting light timings to ease the gridlock for motorists – will be tested there.

Mr Tharman said it is an ideal model of how heritage – such as the Chinese and Japanese gardens – can be preserved alongside innovation.

He said: “An important part of the future is how we can use technology to make everyday living better… It’s a whole range of possibilities.”

This article was first published on June 22, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

More References :

-> What the Govt does with the money that goes into the CPF ? -The Ministry of Finance’ reply

-> CPF : How it works ( Infographics )

-> The Truth About Our CPF and the Minimum Sum by Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin





How many “homeless” and “poor” Singaporeans are genuinely homeless and poor ?

Overheard :

“Mr. Toh, 56 years old, and his wife sold their HDB flat during golden period and profited S$190,000 cash, 2 1/2 years ago. Supposedly, with their monies in CPF accounts, they were able to pay in full for their new flat and still have balance at hand. A deposit of S$500 was paid and the first instalment for the new flat was to be made 6 months later.

Sadly, Mr. Toh lost all the cash profit to gambling. He won too, totaling S$200,000 and lost. All in 6 months. Once, he placed a bet as high as S$10,000 and ever won S$50,000 in one winning.

When it was time to pay the first instalment, they had no money, forcing them to give up their house.

Homeless, Mr. and Mrs Toh seek shelters from friends and relatives for 2 1/2 years before submitting an application for a HDB rental flat. Our HDB rule is that all applicants are to wait/queue for 30 months after selling a flat. But their application was unsuccessful as they gained from the sale of their 1st flat, they are neither low income nor needy citizens therefore not qualified to rent directly from HDB.

Renting a room in the open market will cost them at least S$500 which they couldn’t afford with Mr Toh’s meagre monthly salary of S$1000 +, as a cleaner. They have medical fees to bear too.

Throughout the interview, Mr Toh expressed great remorse and repented for his mistake, grateful that his wife forgave and did not leave him and they even showed bank book and letter from HDB to the reporter. Mr and Mrs Toh have 3 sons”.

I have been procrastinating sharing my opinions on this news with you. Lazy maybe, but determined. I am neither keen nor concerned about the outcome and the plight of Mr and Mrs Toh are in now. Frankly, I don’t want to be mean but I did suspected their motives for publicizing their plight voluntarily.

S$190,000 is not a small sum, goodness. And to gamble S$190,000 PLUS S$200,000 (his total winnings), altogether S$390,000 in half a year is incredible.

Wow, I can shop like crazy, eat at Michelin star rated restaurants, sign up spa, beauty and slimming packages not forgetting manicure, pedicure, whatever cures available to make me beautiful. Visit Korea and come back a totally new and beautiful lady. Or choose to further my studies, pick up new hobbies, learn different languages becoming a polyglot, or travel. You must be thinking, can one really do so much with S$390,000? Not sure, offer me the money to experiment.

If HDB granted Mr and Mrs Toh a rental flat, it will open the floodgates for large numbers of similar cases and risk depriving the demands of truly low income and needy citizens. How many times one can profit a tidy sum of S$190,000 in a lifetime? Tell me, how do one substantiate the money was lost to gambling, and not by other means or spent on enjoyment and luxuries?

What should our government do if one after another family come forward asking for assistance because they have maxed out all their credit cards, credit lines from banks due to overspending on holidays, housing, renovations, oversights, etc, etc?

I naviely thought one over the age of 50 should be wise and sensible enough to weigh the priorities and importance in life, the least one should avoid is to take risk losing a roof over the head. Worst for this case, “dragging” his wife to suffer with him, causing inconveniences to others whom had offered them accommodations.

Where were their 3 sons? Not even one could offer help to their parents? Not even combining efforts? Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not questioning, just saddened and puzzled.

If these people didn’t get the “help” they expected from our government,

  • will they vowed angrily not to vote for PAP in the coming election?
  • Will they cry swearing housing in Singapore is so expensive and out of reach?
  • Or, our government is not flexible and compassionate enough, causing many to be homeless?

So what if all forms of assistance were extended to them,

  • will these people not blame our government for causing their plight, like building 2 casinos, which encouraged gambling leading to social problems?
  • Or maybe HDB should require all buyers to pay up as soon as their application for a new flat is approved, instead of waiting till 6 months later? Well, in case someone like me might spend all money meant for my flat, away impulsively.

Gosh, it sets me wondering, how many “homeless” and “poor” Singaporeans are genuinely homeless and poor due to real societal changes and problems like high jobless rate, exploitation, inflation, globalisation, hike in transport fares, unfair treatment, “foreign talents” who snatched jobs from citizens?

Think, think, sigh, sleepless nights ahead. Must be the government’s fault.



  • No pity! They must bear the consequences! Govt provided a flat and they profited!


  • I was very sad when I used up all my CPF and savings to buy my flat .
    I am single with nobody to depend on when I old , I wouldn’t even blink if I own a landed property.

    Never expects govt to take care of me because I am responsible for my own life , I worked hard but it is really for myself and my family , I never think I was patriot or in anyway contributed to my country or minister pay.

    The govt have given me a safe and comfortable environment , educations and opportunities of a career , it is enough for me , I am grateful.

    Now I am smiling because I know I can meet MS when I pledge my flat and qualify for CPF life , thank you govt and Madam Yap.

    PS , suddenly I think my only contribution to SG is try my best not to be part of any problem even if I can’t help.


  • There are many many similar cases of mismanagement of one’s fund. At the end of the day many would blame the government for not helping them to solve the problems they have created themselves. In the past, there were many cases of people making good profit from buying and selling of HDB flats a few times.
    Each time they sold and bought a flat, they pocketed most of the profit and borrowed the maximum again. They were able to do that in the earlier days when loan was readily available.
    But problems came when they started to lose their jobs or went into retirement and couldn’t service their forever high housing loan. They finished those profits pocketed, leaving them with no choice but to sell their flat and downgrade to a smaller, provided it was not a negative sales, otherwise they will be homeless. It is a good thing that HDB and MAS came up with new rules on granting of loan.


  • The oppie will make use of these group of people , take photo of them picking card board, selling tissue paper , claiming Governmemt is uncaring and favor foriegners . They neber understand foriegners generate most of the government tax revenue to fund all the upgrading , poineer package and share the operating cost of infrastructure like MRT n buses .