atans1

Roy’s case Four questions

In CPF, Financial competency on 23/03/2016 at 2:17 pm

And possible answers

Since Roy had further bouts of verbal diarrhea, after a long spell of good health the noise from cyberspace was supportive of his verbal diarrhea.

Here are four questions that I’ve not heard any anti-PAP warrior, nut or rational ask.

— Why has PM given Roy until 2033 to pay up?

— If PM had not sued, what would have happened in GE?

— If PM had not asked for damages, what would happen in future?

— Why are S’poreans only aroused  when there are allegations of wrong-doing?

Why has PM given Roy until 2033 to pay up?Why has PM given Roy until 2033 to pay up?

In other words, why is PM making payments affordable?

To pay the S$150,000 in damages owed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation, blogger Roy Ngerng will start with payments of S$100 a month for five years, his lawyer said on Monday (Mar 14).

These instalments will start from Apr 1, 2016. After five years – from Apr 1, 2021 – Ngerng will have to pay S$1,000 a month until the full sum is paid, lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam said.

In addition, Ngerng will have to pay S$30,000 by Wednesday, Mar 16 for the costs of the Assessment of Damages hearing.

If he pays all the instalments on time, Ngerng will complete paying by 2033.

Why is PM liddat? Answers please given that the “noise” is not giving him any credit for putting Roy on a “never-never: payment scheme, because to give him credit for making defamation ‘affordable” would imply that Ah Loong’s a really nice guy.

If PM had not sued, what would have happened in GE?

If PM had not sued, Roy and M Ravi, as Oppo candidates in AMK GRC would have been entitled to claim that PM did not sue because Roy’s allegations that he stole our CPF money were true.  And this was a good reason as any other not to vote for PM.

And the other Oppo candidates in other wards could also claim that the allegations “must be true” otherwise PM would sue. And this would be a good reason to vote Oppo, even if that Oppo were members of the NSP, a party led by someone who never told us about his criminal conviction and bankrupty.

As it is, almost as soon as PM sued, Roy apologised to PM, claiming that the allegations were untrue giving the lie that he had done research in the issue. Research? What research?

Related post: In 1959, the PAP alleged wrongdoing by a minister. He sat down and kept quiet. He lost his seat and the PAP thrashed his party.

If PM had not asked for damages, what would happen in future?

“… The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) reiterates that we deplore this practice by the Singapore government of using exorbitant and punitive civil defamation suits to silence its critics”

The problem with not pressing for damages is that it than makes defaming the PM a cheap, effective way of becoming a political “celebrity”. Today, Roy, tom Goh Meng Seng, then New Citizen Han Hui Hui, then s/o JBJ. There’ll be no end of those lining up to defame PM or other ministers because there’s no cost to defaming them. And we know how S’poreans love free things, don’t we?

Why are S’poreans only aroused  when there are allegations of wrong-doing?

Seriously, I think that there’s a more important issue than whether PM should have sued or the quantum of damages.

We all know that people* like Uncle Leong etc (self included) have been posting on the relationship of CPF funds and the monies managed by GIC etc for a long time. But the public never took an interest on a matter that should concern them :their retirement and mortgage payment money.

It took Roy’s allegations that PM stole the CPF monies that made the public aware that they could and should better returns than the average of about 3.3% on their balances**.

Surely shumething is wrong, very wrong with the way S’poreans behave? Only when there is an allegation of wrong-doing, do people get aroused and interested.

When my Facebook avatar posted something like the above, he received this totful response from a leading economist and critic of many a govt policy:

What this indicates is that first there is widespread public confusion and mistrust about the CPF, second the CPF system needs careful examination and reform and third until Roy made crazy allegations the government has not seen fit to respond adequately to these issues

I think it’s not just something wrong with Singaporeans but that it shows poor management of policy and public opinion by the government.

More importantly it indicates that in our polity, there are insufficient real channels of feedback on key areas of policy concern that government is genuinely responsive to.

————————————–

*Even one Harry Lee talked about it in the early noughties when he explained that the govt issued a special bond to CPF and the proceeds of the bond went into the govt’s Consolidated Fund.

*You know when an issue is safe to talk about when an NUS academic is reported in the constructive, nation building ST talking about a topic. Such a topic is the link between our CPF monies and the monies managed by GIC.

As the report on 12 January 2016 is pretty short, here’s almost the full monty from BT:

The government can consider partially pegging returns on the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account (OA) to returns generated by sovereign wealth fund GIC, suggested an academic.

National University of Singapore (NUS) economics professor Chia Ngee Choon acknowledged that GIC returns are already distributed to Singaporeans indirectly through, for example, Budget top-ups to CPF accounts.

But linking GIC to the CPF OA interest rate allows for a more direct channel for Singaporeans to enjoy GIC returns should it do well, she noted. “We don’t want to miss the opportunity of having a higher rate.”

Assoc Prof Chia made the suggestion at an academic symposium on social security at NUS on Tuesday.

——————————

Reminders

OA monies earn either the legislated minimum interest of 2.%  per annum, or the three-month average of major local banks’ interest rates, whichever is higher. 2.5% is currently paid out as bank interest rates have been “peanuts”, with the relevant three-month average at 0.21% from August to October 2015.

An extra 1% is payable on the first S$60,000 of a member’s combined balances, with up to S$20,000 from the OA able to attract the extra interest.
GIC achieved a 20-year annualised real rate of return of 4.9 per cent for the financial year ended March 31, 2015. In US dollar terms, including the effect of inflation, GIC’s portfolio generated an annualised return of 6.1 per cent over the 20 years ended March 31, 2015.

——————————————-

To get higher returns on CPF, Assoc Prof Chia also suggested that Singaporeans can transfer excess money from the OA, which is used for housing, to the Special Account (SA), which is used for retirement and which generally pays a higher interest rate of 4-5 per cent a year. The CPF Board can encourage Singaporeans to monitor their OA and SA account balances more actively through sending text message or e-mail reminders, she pointed out.

However, people mightbe wary of transferring OA monies to SA, because the transfer is irreversible. Those who transferred might want to use the money to purchase a more expensive house, she added. She suggested an option to transfer money from the SA back to the OA, perhaps with a penalty or administrative fee.

 

 

Advertisements
  1. My take.

    Q1: PM trying to undo the overkill. related to Q2.

    Q2. There had been no need to sue. The shift ever so slightly to the left with increased social spending such PGP, HDB grants and cosmetic changes to CPF withdrawals more than enough to secure the vote swing. Singaporean voters are easily bought. Don’t; mention LKY – his passing was an unknown factor at the time of the suit. But it does point to overkill if the intent is to show up the opposition – a kind of paranoia perhaps, all of which describe a lousy mental aptitude to the act of governing for today’s, not yesterday’s Singapore.

    Q3. Nothing will happen – those names you mentioned find no traction with the crucial 40% middle ground to begin with and this 40% are easily persuaded by the PAP’s ever so slightly leftward shift.

    Q4. That is the best question and in it lies Roy’s problem with overreaching to an extent he got sued for an absolutely idiotic allegation. Singaporeans wanna be spoon fed, they don’t wanna think. Juz tell them this is this, that is that. Everything must be delivered in easily digestible morsels that don’t require any brainwork. The problem is that socio-economic and political issues do not have yes / no answers – solutions are choices and every choice has drawbacks and consequences. But the Singaporean mind cannot or not train to think in this way. Depoliticising the voters have a lot to do with it. To get their attention, have to do something that “grab their balls so that their hearts and minds follow”. Hence Roy’s idiotic allegation to grab their balls. So If you ask me, if Roy wanna blame somebody – blame the voters.

  2. If I recall right, Roy’s article put up the photos of not just LHL but Tharman and Ho Ching.

    Here’s what’s unusual.

    Recall GCK said this in a 1999 Asiaweek interview:

    “…But if they’ve defamed us, we have to sue them — because if we don’t, our own integrity will be suspect. We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet. By defamation, I mean if somebody says the minister is on the take or is less than honest. If he does not rebut it, if he does not dare go before the court to be interrogated by the counsel for the other side, there must be some truth in it. If there is no evidence, well, why are you not suing?”

    So, why didn’t Tharman sue as LHL did?
    Why’s Tharman still in the cabinet?

    The cabinet’s First Amongst Equals has met his First Equal and could not enforce the cabinet ‘understanding’, izit? Or not his-own-man enough to do so, as doing so might have caused a split in PAP or, worse, many, many votes lost at GE2015?

    I don’t suppose Roy could have said in defence, “Well, Tharman didn’t find my claims defamatory.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: