Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Singaporeans Please Work Longer Retire Later

"The key goal, said the Prime Minister, is to enable workers to work longer and retire later"
- CNA Report on PM Lee's 2007 May Day Speech.
..
.......
I guess our govt really wants us to lead a meaningful life. Instead of engaging in unproductive activities such as looking after grand children and taking long walks in the park, most Singaporeans will be working well into their golden years. Unlike our esteemed MM Lee who still possesses his unconventional wisdom and hence deserves his million$ salary, most older Singaporean will turn a little senile and have to take up menial jobs such as cleaners, security guards or tissue paper sellers.
.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt with a clear vision and goal of working its citizens beyond their retirement age. Only lazy Singaporeans will resent this opportunity to outwork citizens of other countries. They are asking what happened to our CPF scheme that was suppose to enable us to retire? Why is your CPF not quite sufficient? You see many years ago, our property prices were quite anaemic causing our HDB to sell cheap housing to Singaporeans. The CPF liberalisation which allowed Singaporeans to use their CPF to purchase property helped to fuel a multi-year property boom which ended 1996 when the bubble popped. Thanks to this move, billions of CPF money shifted into property mostly HDB flats causing HDB to have a humongous surplus (not profits as HDB flats are technically market subsidised). If not for this move, HDB prices would have remained low (to keep them affordable) and CPF money would intact for retirement. The choice now for most people is you either consume your flat (reverse mortgage) or work. Most people would choose to work because they can't bear the thought of paying so much for their flat then giving it all back to HDB or some govt GIC.
..
Most mediocre underpaid governments such as those in Australis, Sweden, Hong Kong and Finland actually developed systems in which its citizens actually stop working at retirement age. I feel so sorry for the citizens of those countries who don't have the benefit of extraordinary leadership of the PAP. They have to lead unproductive lives after their retirement age idling in parks and playing checkers at community centers.
..
Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt with a long term vision. This May Day is a joyous occasion to celebrate our good fortune of having such extraordinary leadership. Telling Singaporeans they have to work longer and harder after giving themselves million$ pay hikes is something only the PAP govt can do. They are indeed extraordinary in the things they say and the profound logic they apply to justify their actions.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Meaningful Life?" How meaningful is it mopping tables and cleaning toilets?

"Work longer and retire later" so that you need not go to the Government to seek help. They do not want to assume this responsibility.

Bart JP said...

Lucky,

Do you think your logic is sound? Or is this just a satirical piece?

LuckySingaporean said...

Sorry bart, but what is so satirical about what I wrote? Which part of it isn't true?

Isn't it true that most people cannot retire at retirement age? The govt said so themselves. It is the govt own words that we have to work longer and later.

It is also the govt that came up with the reverse mortgage scheme when they wanted to figure out how to unlock the 'retirement money' that has gone into property. The scheme has such a low take up rate.

Which part of the logic is not sound?

Bart JP said...

That's fine then. If it is satire, I will read, enjoy and forget. If you are saying these for real, perhaps I would give further response when I have time to chew over the arguments.

Happy May Day,
Regards

irgen said...

Hahaha. indeed our government, also in all its wisdom, not only provides us with this great life, working into your old age will also ensure that you stay healthy, instead of sitting in front of the TV or chatting at the void decks with other 'retirees'.

Plus you receive Work packages from the government and don't depend on PA. Imagine the savings for the Government. In another 2 to 3 years they can increase their pay by another 60% due to their 'talent' in exhorting the retirees to work till they drop!

What a great government! There isn't another one in this whole world. We have to salute them, our PAPA, our saviour!

Anonymous said...

you forgot to add that many who had their money pumped into the property market, for whatever reasons, have suffered major losses in the mid nineties and are in debts(alot of them expended the money when they 'rolled' their asset) .i believe the number is quite substantial and the debt is making it even harder for these people to retire if not...impossible

most of these hit are not even investors!

the problem could have been mitigated and more could have been done for the people to benefit from the assets!

sad case!

Anonymous said...

The Government will continually tell Singaporeans to continue working, preferably until they drop dead, so that they do not become a liability to them. They know that not many can afford the luxury of retirement, even at 62 years, without working and without going to them for help.

The retirement age will progressively be raised way beyond 65 years, just like the CPF minimum sum. Thise problem is tied closely to the CPF. When most workers have no CPF left for retirement, working forever is the only way out for them.

LuckySingaporean said...

Everyone,

That was a great May Day message wasn't it. After our dear leaders awarded themselves with a million $pay hike they rightfully deserves, they reward us with longer work life and later retirement.

Now that is what I call good timing.

combot said...

meaningful what....there are many jobs other than being cleaners. only tradeoff with more demanding jobs is that you may die from being stressed by 'performance appraiser' inflicted by your younger superiors for being slow,old and impaired by ailments than in your blissful,worry free afternoon naps.

Anonymous said...

Combot:

If an older worker were to die of 'being stressed by performance appraiser inflicted by younger superiors' - that would really be an ultimate sacrifice and a 'meaningful death'

Anonymous said...

The Golden year of our citizens are to work till we drop.

The Golden year of our million $$$$ ministers is to enjoy the sunshine at a Caribbean beach.

So Uniquely Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

you are so good at enlightening us. Please keep it going. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

please keep reminding us - we are all so forgetful when the BIG day comes, just like the 66.6%. It has been my ritual to visit your blog. Wee done!

Anonymous said...

Lucky

What you said is very true... I always ponder why the people in a country with the highest saving rate cannot afford to retire and grow old gracefully?

Anonymous said...

Lucky, stop staying in your own dream world and try to justify PAP's as the best.
Why don't you simply go the various food-courts and hawker centres, and ask those poor old folks who were forced to still work (by collecting and cleaning up after you've eaten) whether they are happy and satisfied with PAP. Ask them too whether they choose to work becaause they like to work, or simply because they have no choice but to work to feed themselves.
Get your facts right, Lucky!
I hope you do not have to become one of those old folks working in the food-courts and hawker centres to suddenly realized that PAP is not interested at all in taking care of it older citizens.
In fact, PAP treat they like rubbish!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:47, what are you talking about!? What you need is a good dose of incompetent government, and to see our women working as maids in other countries! Can collectors at hawker centres? Bah! They know the importance of working until the day they die! Lucky means well. He has your interests at heart.

Anonymous said...

Some people cannot differentiate between Truth and Satire. Maybe as a consequnces of living in Paradise for too long

Anonymous said...

There's something called "read between the lines". Give lucky a break :)

Lucky: carry on writing! enjoy reading those tongue-in-cheek articles of yours :)

flo said...

Lucky,

I was just wondering if you could do an entry to address the topic of CPF?

So that we can all be more enlightened about the brilliance of the system that prevents us (the babies of the nation) from squandering our hard earned money away.

Thanks in advance!!

Kelvin Lim said...

Retire?!

Oh my goodness, we should consider lumping this forbidden word along with "welf**e*" and "democ***y".

Our PM is indeed very wise. We should never let our older citizens ret**e. Why rest when you can work?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

I feel so happy to be a Singaporean now! Don't forget, we must work until we die so that we don't become mediocre and senile when we r*tire!

kwayteowman said...

Lucky,

Perhaps you can tell us about how the State can possibly come up with a scheme to let everyone retire at retirement age? Six-million dollar question: who is going to pay for it? Talk is cheap hor. :-)

Do bear in mind that the problem of how to pay for healthcare given the aging population is still yet unresolved. :-)

We seem to have a lot of people who seem to think that the world (or the State) owes them a living.

LuckySingaporean said...

KTM,

Hi. Heard some of your fellow Kway Teow hawkers have been making a million a year so they won't have any problems retiring.

I'll answer you question on how mediocre govt cause their citizens to lose their work ethics during old age.

1. USA - social security.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social
_Security_(United_States)
I actually met people on social security idling around. One of my friend's uncles is on social security and does nothing all day. There is also state help and numerous foundations.

2. For countries that accumulate huge reserves from its people like hong kong they pay for such schemes from reserves which in their case is seen as money that belongs to the people.
http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site
_pubsvc/page_elderly/sub_introducti/
In Hong Kong the work ethics of the elserly is badly undermined. MacDonalds' even has a discount for the elderly because they like to hang around there to read newspapers.

Aiyah KTM, even people from China are so impressed that we can work our elderly to this old age:
http://www.littlespeck.com/content/
people/CTrendsPeople-070304.htm

Luckily for Singapore, the govt tinkered with the CPF system that the British left us. If it cannot be used for property, most people will have more several hundred thousands in their CPF and HDB would be obliged to provide truly affordable housing base on what people take home.With some tinkering, most people will have just minimum sum in their CPF which is inadequate.

How to pay for healthcare? How to pay for old age? KTM, KTM, KTM how dare you insult our great govt by saying they can't pay? They can pay for $10.6B in defense every year, they can spend $2B on R&D without tangible results, they have reserves which they use for overseas investments which they can lose billions in Thailand and consider it 'no big deal'. Come on KTM! Where is the money? It is THERE and used for other purposes!!!!! ...Why? Because the PAP does not want to undermine our work ethics.

::::a lot of people who seem to think that the world (or the State) owes them a living.::::

Please lah, the state owes nobody a living. It only owes what it accumulated from the labor of Singaporeans-number one workforce for decades in the world. The workforce that attracted billions in investment from qhich the govt could tax and profit by supplying services. A workforce that never strike, a workforce that took on graveyard shifts, zero retrenchment benefits, etc willingly. Now this workforce is getting old....the PAP govt rewards them by working them longer...as it ups its own million dollar pay checks.

Singaporeans are so lucky to have a far sighted govt.

Anonymous said...

it never ceases to amaze me how some Singaporeans just CAN'T stop being dull and serious and are just unable to get the joke. then they post some self-indulgent rebuttals and think they're so much smarter.

those are the people who make singapore boring. what our education system needs most is lessons on satire at primary one. and if you didn't get it, that was a joke.

irgen said...

Can anyone calculate whether it's possible for the interest in our reserve of 4 trillion dollars to fund our retirement?


The amount was given by our MM and I believe everything he said. It could be a billion or two more or less, I suppose.

Thanks KTM for raising this issue. The government is always telling us that this and that is affordable and I hope that the government can afford to let us retire - now they want to make it till we are 65.

Anonymous said...

goodnews today. a bunch of hairy primates were seen prancing around on stage. it was found out later that they were extraordinary supplement to the regular casts of an offbeat production, a labour of louse. This was actually intentional though an unscripted crick which surprised a member of an exclusive unionship to comment," he's not trained, but i think he did well up there swinging.". he later guffawed with peanut sauce dripping from the side of his mouth.
for the uninitiated, a labour of louse is a historical account of the romance and the union of the three kingdoms. it is an amazing story of unrequited laborous love seeking reconciliatory union with an over incentivised primeval order of extraordinariness through party affiliation.
the production was so inspiring that an actor, a very good one too, enthused that he is now thinking of joining.
the success of this production is on the 'whiner's track' but must find ways to stay uniquely relevant said its labour primary mover.

Anonymous said...

I just hope I can still drive taxi by then...but probably it will be tough business since many others would probably and Singapore ain't big enough!

And I won't want to be those taxi that suddenly cuts in from the first to third lane snatching pick-ups on the street. So scary~

Boo~hoo~

Anonymous said...

The CPF system could end up like most other retirement schemes, not able to fulfil the retirement needs of the people, which was its original purpose.

Of course if they do not tinker with it, how could Singapore become a nation of homeowners contributing to the escalating prices of HDB flats? From cheap housing in the early days, HDB home prices, even now, cannot be considered cheap. I read a few days ago that a terrace house in Malaysia costs much less that a 3 room flat here.

Your CPF money will all ultimately end up with the HDB. Singapore, of course, set a sterling example for being able to tackle the housing problem and other countries envy us.

The consequences - the people ended up having to work longer and retire later or not at all.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan, i love you! thank you for answering the 6-million-dollar question!

i've always thot that this question should be answered by the $6-million-minitoots (salary + pension + benefits + kickbacks etc), but it seems our pap minitoots are simply too busy eating fried kway teo with ktm or something to do so.

we seem to have a lot of elites who think our cpf money is theirs to squander.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I am one of those who thinks the state owes me a living when I am old.

WTF, I worked and paid taxes on everything! From my income, my car to that pack of cig everyday for the last 30 years of my working life.

That's the social compact I want.

Now, it's "you die your business".

Anonymous said...

lim peh say is not same same lah.
we cant be like the rest of the world and be same same lah
our solution is you pain pain we gain gain
if you not happy and be lame, we will tame tame you by cane cane you.
then you know how lucky you not same same like the rest
one day you will thank me and name name your children after me yah!

Anonymous said...

We so lucky! Usually when we live long in Asia, we lose sense of purpose in life. So working longer minimises that void and so our gahmen does not have to find ways of engaging us and keeping us fulfilled.

Anonymous said...

It is a barren land, what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

Lucky,
We need a good satirical book based around what you have been writing so far. Can it be published? I have been reading 'Yes minister' and 'Yes Prime minister' to find analogy to Singapore but certainly we need a book with a local favour.

Good luck if you are working on one now.

2/5/07

reeneho said...

Its so wonderful! I've never read another piece as great as yours! I'm glad that the government has helped us to think for our future..

Can't imagine my life not working. I have to be working till the day I die!


reene
ruku.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Haiz, guess they just want us to work to death. Just found this link: http://kaiyan.multiply.com/journal/item/197 . It's that case of the girl who died through overworking. And our great government still want our old folks to keep working? When will it ever stop? At the rate we're going, don't think I'll even reach that age...

Anonymous said...

flo said...
"Lucky,

I was just wondering if you could do an entry to address the topic of CPF?"

I was just reading this earlier... seems relevant

http://www.mrbiao.com/blog/what-is-cpf-really-for.html

kwayteowman said...

Lucky,

The KTM is here to have a discussion with you and not a fight (because you have demonstrated at another forum that you are truly a concerned citizen and you have a balanced outlook), so it would be good to spare the sarcasm + satire and do some straight talking here.

1. USA - social security.

This is a bogus and flawed model for several reasons: (i) it's a pay-as-you-go model which works when you have a large base at the bottom of the population pyramid; (ii) you do know that the US Social Security will be facing its largest fiscal crisis in the near future, do you not? (iii) it doesn't cough out all that much money in the end. Probably not significantly more than the CPF amortized over a lifetime for a large majority of people (adjusted for purchasing power parity between US$ and SIN$).

If you are concerned about the people with no CPF, then it's a different story altogether. The KTM's view: then they can keep working. Perhaps you can explain what's wrong with working to support oneself post 65?

In the KTM's view, those who say that there's a social compact because they've paid taxes all their working lives are deluded. They have no idea what paying taxes for the social compact means. They should try living in the Western countries and paying the 40% income tax before they talk about social compact.

But then hor, to a large extent, this mindset issue is really the PAP's fault for campaigning under the premise that you vote for them, they can solve all your problems. :-P

2. For countries that accumulate huge reserves from its people like hong kong they pay for such schemes from reserves which in their case is seen as money that belongs to the people.

I think you need to get your facts right. The poor in HK is probably no better than the poor in Singapore. In fact, it seems that we have a significantly larger middle class. Did I mention that they also live in smaller apartments on average?

In any case, comparing with other countries is not very helpful. There are significant structural differences between Singapore and probably anywhere else in the world. We should just focus on the cost of what we want and how much it costs to fund it.

They can pay for $10.6B in defense every year

While it is true that some of the defence spending is somewhat mysterious, i.e. do we really need so many Leopard tanks, what is true is that we do need to spend on defence. Exactly how much is enough is not something that the KTM has the expertise or information to say.

What is also true is that our defence spending actually supports a sector of our economy. If we cut defence spending, what is true is that some Singaporeans will lose jobs (and we're not talking about the generals).

they can spend $2B on R&D without tangible results

What kind of results are you expecting? Do you not know that research takes times, esp. biotech? I'm not saying that it was necessarily a good investment. It was somewhat of a gamble yes, but gambles do have a value (remember your puts?). Note also that this $2B is over 5 years or something.

they have reserves which they use for overseas investments which they can lose billions in Thailand and consider it 'no big deal'.

The Shin Corp deal was not supposed to be expenditure. It was supposed to be an investment -- but investments do turn out wrong at times. To say that because a bad investment was made, it is the same as we have the cash to pay for stuff is illogical to say the least.

Given that you have made your million in the stock market, and you know know what puts are, you certainly know your numbers, so let's just talk about some real numbers.

Let's get the numbers straight. Conservatively, let's estimate $100K on average per person for healthcare. If you want to pay say $290 (peg to PA) per month per person upon retirement at 65 until 85 (which is conservative), you will need another $70K per head (and this is pegged only to the current PA that people think is miserly).

How many people do you think pay anything vaguely close to $170K worth of taxes in their lifetimes?

While the KTM will agree with you that the Government is sometimes overly kiam siap for obscure reasons, to understate the costs of retirement and healthcare based on the logic you presented is somewhat disingenuious and unhelpful.

The problem is BIG and will not go away by pretending it doesn't exist. You can go and multiply out $170K by the total population (say 3 million lah, we dun worry about the foreigners) and compare it to the numbers you cited. Even if you conservatively amortize this amount over 85 years to derive a steady state figure, you will get something like $6.5 billion per annum. This means we need to raise GST by something like an extra 9% (and this is only a conservative back-of-the-envelope calculation!).

In case it's still not clear what $6.5B means, perhaps it might help to be reminded that the new 33-station Downtown Line costs $12 billion. So instead of paying for free healthcare and pathetic PA-level retirement, we can build a new MRT line every two years with that money.

A final note on the reserves. There will come a time where we will have NO choice but to draw down on the reserves, but it would probably be prudent to delay the coming of that day for as long as possible. If the oil peak hits, it will come sooner. If you will just look at the effects of the sand ban on Singapore, it will be clear how vulnerable we are to the vicissitudes of the global economic system. So much for globalization.

Anonymous said...

You gotta be kidding. After all this time people still don't get it's a satirical site? Geez.

LuckySingaporean said...

KTM,

1. USA - social security.

This is a bogus and flawed model for several reasons: (i) it's a pay-as-you-go model which works when you have a large base at the bottom of the population pyramid; (ii) you do know that the US Social Security will be facing its largest fiscal crisis


I understand fully the nature of the social security situation and the impending problems it faces . It has worked for 70 years since it started in 1930s, so give it some credit. The reason why it faces a fiscal crisis is again because of govt tinkering. In the 80s, the social security contributions were adjusted upwards in ANTICIPATION of the demographic changes as the baby boomers age. What the govt started doing once there was money in the social security was to use it to fund the fiscal deficits and alot of it defense spending - remmember Star Wars. The surplus in the social security was consumed by the govt and we are talking several trillions.

Americans still consider social security a working system that has pampered them for decades and steadily undermined their work ethics. If the PAP were in charge of America they wouldn't have implemented 70 years ago, and Americans will be working as hard as the Chinese today.

I think you need to get your facts right. The poor in HK is probably no better than the poor in Singapore

No KTM, you get your facts right. The hong kong got spends 7 times more in social programmes than Singapore.

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_
0199-3869925/HONG-KONG-SOCIAL-
WELFARE-SPENDING.html

If you go to hong kong you see many 'poor' folks hanging around because it is easy to cross over from China. These are Chinese. Just like some of the blind tissue paper sellers come from Johor.
Just by budget allocation alone, they overwhelm our spending on social programmes.

If the Singapore govt was in charge of Hong Kong, they would have eliminated poverty by moving the poor into china...just like Minister Khaw intends to move our old and aged to Batam & Johor. See how stupid the Hong Kong govt is, they would have save themselves billions and use it for overseas investments if they are as smart as the PAP.

While it is true that some of the defence spending is somewhat mysterious

What is so mysterious? If we spend any less on defense, how are we going to sleep well at night. To sleep better the govt should increase defense spending to $15B and cut the PA receipients' allowance to $100 per month from $290. It is for their own good the learn to live on 1 meal a day instead of 2.

It is mysterious to you but not mysterious to the PAP govt. More defense is always better. Teo Chee Hian said St. Regis is worth $3000 per sq feet because of our defense spending and NS. If you own a St. Regis apartment you will understand how important defense is.

As for the part that defense spending creates employment. You never thought of it as defense sector takes away precious talents from private sector that would have created our silicon valley. KTM, why so 'one-way' track? Our generals are the bestest talents around, they could have created wonderful many companies like Creative, Venture etc. That is why we have to pay them so much to retain them in the defense to be generals. ..okay understand?

was supposed to be an investment -- but investments do turn out wrong at times
Shin Corp is an investment that turn out wrong. Investments can lose money. But apparently you miss out on all the interesting stories that came out how the ingenious Temasek people found a Malaysian based Thai national to proxy our tax payers investment.

Back to your point...what is yur point? Temasek can lose money in investments and is part of a win lose thingy. But giving this money to Singaporeans is a sure lose thingy? ....Yes, giving the money to poor and sick is a sure lose because it has no return. Our calculative govt has figured out already. Thank goodness they consider helping Singaporeans a sure waste but letting Ho Ching invest in Shin Corp is just an honest mistake? They are so compassionate not to waste our money on us.

What kind of results are you expecting? Do you not know that research takes times, esp. biotech? I'm not saying that it was necessarily a good investment. It was somewhat of a gamble

Yes I agree totally with you. That is why I've been waiting more that 15 years since 1992 when the govt put out the first billion on R&D. If we had spent this money on our poor and old so that they can live better, it is a guaranteed write off that has no return. Everyone can see with their eyes PAP's logic on this. Why spend on poor, sick and old when we can have a chance to produce the next Nobel prize winner. The PAP as made the right choice. We can all see that.



Conservatively, let's estimate $100K on average per person for healthcare. If you want to pay say $290 (peg to PA) per month per person upon retirement at 65 until 85 (which is conservative), you will need another $70K per head (and this is pegged only to the current PA that people think is miserly).

Aiyoh, KTM is that how you 'conservatively' calculate? By putting everyone single person as welfare receipient including Wee Cho Yaw, assuming everyone will become severely sick, etc. There is something known as dying of old age.

Even then your calculation works out to be $6.5B a year which is what less than the reserves will return per year...8% on $100B...or reducing defense spending to $5B which is still overwhelms the sum total of our neighbors spend.

It is question of how much more or how much less. How hard the PAP wants to work our old folks versus how much they idle.

Thanks to the PAP we are talking about working longer and longer, never losing our work ethics. It is a wonderful system. Whenever, I see a 80 yr old cleaner, I get reminded of this wonderful system we are in.

KTM, there are choices. Like you put out yourself. Who does the tradeoff?

Luckily for Singaporeans we have the PAP doing all this tradeoff and they have put us on the fast track to top-first-world status. We are indeed moving very fast because we don't let the poor, old or sick slow us down. PAP is great. PAP is the GREATEST!

irgen said...

Clap! Clap! Clap! Bravo, Lucky!

You have clealy rebutted every part of ktm's 'logic' and we applause you for it.

What wonderful govt. we have, what marvellous talent they possess to come up with their investments in the biotech and Shin Corp. It really showed the world that when it comes to making money for Singapore, no one, not even Soros, can hold a candle to our talented leaders, that's why we are very glad that they have increased their pay. They are worth every cent and hope they go on and prolong our elderly's work ethics and increase our CPF minimum sum.

Anonymous said...

The KTM has a bloodied nose here:
http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/2007/04/to-join-or-not-to-join.html

That dude is notorious for his warped logic with no sense of 'Lucky' humor...
don't waste time engaging him.

I dare say he knows nothing much about US and he claims the Social Security scheme is lousy. WTF.

A reader from USA

Anonymous said...

KTM, do you know WTF you talking?

On your 1st posting,you wrote:

Perhaps you can tell us about how the State can possibly come up with a scheme to let everyone retire at retirement age? Six-million dollar question: who is going to pay for it? Talk is cheap hor. :-)


And on your Second one, wrote:

In any case, comparing with other countries is not very helpful. There are significant structural differences between Singapore and probably anywhere else in the world. We should just focus on the cost of what we want and how much it costs to fund it.

LuckySingaporean said...

Everyone,

Please refrain from using rough language on KTM. I welcome him to my blog to appreciate grand achievements of the PAP. As I truely believe in the open-ness that our PM Lee proclaim, he should be free to express his ideas - although he is clearly walking on thin ice when he points out the 'limited' abilities of our great govt and seem to lack the belief that our govt is as extraordinary as they say they are.

I want to assure KTM that the PAP govt is capable of many things if they want to do it . Let KTM speak here and lets all help his Singaporean Mind to understand our great govt.

Anonymous said...

did ktm mention that hong kong does NOT have GST??? compare that to spore where GST is slated to increase to 7% and MORE?

heeheehee. nobody, absolutely nobody does a better job of explaining pap's policies than lucky tan!

long live lucky tan and calculative pap!

Anonymous said...

Now they wants us to work longer. At the same time, they wants us to have work-life balance. How to have work-life balance when we can even retire?

Oh, what they mean is, we have to work longer so that they can have work-life balance and retired early.

Anonymous said...

just make sure you dun end up like the gal who overworked herself..

Anonymous said...

why does every single post seem to be sarcastic.
if u dun like pap just say it directly..

i kinda hate sarcasm

Jolly Jester said...

To anon 2:20PM:

Well, nobody is forcing you to read this sarcasm, so if its not your cup of tea, then just don't drink it. :-)

It's not as if its part of the Social Studies syallbus isn't it? Heheh... though this blog and the SS textbook does sound similar at times...

Anonymous said...

To Anon 2.20pm

I don't like PAP.
I dont like GST.
I don't like to work until I die.
I don't like...

Satisfied?

What else do you expect people to say?

Anonymous said...

Why must everything the PAP do is for our own good?

1 raise the GST
2 loose money in Thailand and many others before that
3 pay themselves million dollar salaries
4 sending our old to batam and bintan
5 having yearly fare hikes

I wish they would do something bad for us - like giving us a dose of non-PAP rule for once. Everyone will have a better future. KTM need not fry keow teow so hard to impress the Pappies!

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear KTM / PAP anon retort to Lucky Singaporean. Those buggers just asked for a pay rise for themselves, and they got it. But I do not see them helping the Singaporeans at all. Neither do I understand why helping poor Singaporeans is a sure lose thing while Ho Ching is still betting on R and D / Shincorp etc etc. sure win meh? At least give back to the 80 year old lady her money instead of squandering our CPF (locked in min sum scheme) on other hare brain ideas.

kwayteowman said...

Lucky,

Americans still consider social security a working system that has pampered them for decades and steadily undermined their work ethics.

Firstly, the KTM thinks this undermining work ethic thing is pretty bogus, so we can agree on this one thing and get it out of the way. :-P

One reason why the KTM is here having a discussion with you is that you do your homework. However, the KTM does not agree with your logic arguing for the soundness of the American social security system for application in the local context.

Fair enough to say that the contributions were increased in the 80's but squandered by the US Govt over dunno what Star Wars programme.

The KTM's point: the American style social security system only works if you have a population pyramid with a large base -- and if while the the pyramid is large, the Govt collects more money and saves for the future, maybe it's okay.

Two points: (i) we dun have this large population base to start with; and (ii) if Govt collects money to save for the future, how different is it from CPF? Difference is that CPF is arguably more equitable since you get back what you put in.

You are also aware that the amount that the Americans can draw from social security is also dependent on how much they put in right -- with a twist: they try to do some robin hood lah. The poor folks get more out than what they put in while the rich fellas get less (perhaps a lot).

Let's not digress and dwell on the American social security system. The KTM is simply highlighting that it's not likely to be a very feasible model here. Also, if we start a pay-as-you-go thing, there's a question of equity. Why should the first generation get a free lunch (i.e. enjoy social security w/o paying for it during their working life)?

Now on Hong Kong. Perhaps you are right to say that Hong Kong spends 7 times more than Singapore on welfare. But when you want to look at figures like that you first should factor for size. Hong Kong's population is twice our size.

Question: has your figures for welfare spending included education? In the latest HK budget some HK$300 million was allocate to help children from disabled backgrounds under welfare spending. In Singapore, the same would probably be parked under MOE.

If you think that the poor is Hong Kong is having a jolly good time, perhaps you may wish to read
http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-05-02-voa24.cfm

As the KTM mentioned above, it's not very fruitful to argue by comparisons with other countries. You will invariably cite something to support your point while conveniently neglecting other points that are perhaps not so favourable. Also, context is difficult, so very hard to make any fair apple to apple comparison.

just like Minister Khaw intends to move our old and aged to Batam & Johor

Dun have to stir up emotions here. The KTM has also considered this issue before. If Singaporeans don't want to have the old folks shipped to Batam then all just go and take care of their parents and this is a non-issue. The State probably has sufficient resources to put the folks w/o kids in homes locally.

Your points on defence are quite meaningless and so there's nothing much to respond to. :-) What is true however is that cutting it by half as you suggested is probably not reasonable and the KTM doesn't have to be an expert on defence matters to come to this conclusion. :-P

Perhaps you are right to say that defence spending should be cut. If so, perhaps explain why? The KTM is all ears.

what is yur point? Temasek can lose money in investments and is part of a win lose thingy. But giving this money to Singaporeans is a sure lose thingy? ....Yes, giving the money to poor and sick is a sure lose because it has no return.

As it turns out, you are quite accurate in this statement. The point about the budget is that the budget must be spent on behalf of the people, and NOT ONLY on a specific segment of the population. Are you suggesting that the poor and sick aren't getting any subsidies?

As you say, it's a tradeoff. ;-) Who gets to decide? As the KTM has said before, the Govt of the day gets to decide (Yes, yes, you were asking a rhetorical question :-P). Seriously, if people are not happy with the Budget allocation, they can vote out the present Govt at GE2011 (provided the Opposition fields enough candidates).

If you believe that the Govt should spend more on welfare and less on defence, that's fair enough. All in all, the KTM is not necessarily disagreeing with you (though neither is he agreeing with you). Why? Basically insufficient information.

Aiyoh, KTM is that how you 'conservatively' calculate? By putting everyone single person as welfare receipient including Wee Cho Yaw, assuming everyone will become severely sick, etc. There is something known as dying of old age.

Dun try to be too smart about this lah. The KTM is really trying to be conservative here and to get at what is a reasonable number that accurately represents the size of the problem. Pls be reminded that something like 70% of the population doesn't pay income tax and that money doesn't grow on trees.

The total budget for 2007/2008 is something like $46 billion. $6.5 billion will consume 14% of the Budget. Not saying that you are suggesting free healthcare and/or PA-level pensions either. Simply highlighting that this is no small matter, unlike what you seem to be trying to imply. That's all. Fair enough?

The Liberals and the Conservatives will seldom see eye to eye on issues like welfare expenditure. Nevertheless, it is important for both sides to understand the others' perspectives.

Please refrain from using rough language on KTM. I welcome him to my blog to appreciate grand achievements of the PAP.

Grateful that you are gracious enough to hold the hounds at bay to let the KTM have his say (but the KTM had expected as much when he decided to come chat with you). The KTM thinks that you're quite an thoughtful and considerate fellow. :-)

Whenever, I see a 80 yr old cleaner, I get reminded of this wonderful system we are in.

Oh yes, the KTM has great respect for folks who are still earning their keep when they are 80. Don't you? Strangely enough, there are many Singaporeans who think that it's below them to be cleaners. I wonder why. They are too uppity to do clean up after others? They think they "deserve" better? :-)

I want to assure KTM that the PAP govt is capable of many things if they want to do it.

Actually, on this point, the KTM agrees with you. :-P If we want to provide free healthcare and retirement benefits definitely can. Question is: for how long and how wise is such a move?

A man who can make a million bucks in the stock market should know better that bleeding hearts do not a great nation make (though it's also true that this nation is severely lacking in heart... which is very regrettable). Key is: moderation and balance.

It's clear to the KTM that you have an agenda is writing (and the KTM doesn't mean this is a negative way). It's always good to have Singaporeans who care enough to do something for the benefit of their society. Apathy is the killer of societies.

Point for your consideration: what do you think you are achieving in the process? By spreading disaffection with the Govt through the use of rhetorics, perhaps you might succeed in effecting a change of Govt in GE2011, but are things necessarily going to improve?

The KTM believes that we can probably agree at least on one thing, and that is -- the future of our great nation rests not on the Govt as the PAP would like to claim, but on the people. :-)

If Singaporeans do not learn to think for themselves and shake off the yoke of dependence on the Govt, the future is indeed quite bleak -- but that's the KTM's theory and you dun have to buy lah. :-P

The KTM believes that he has said all he needs to say about this matter. You are welcome to have the final word. :-)

Been a pleasure exchanging views with you. Hope you have a good weekend. :-P

Ned Stark said...

"Strangely enough, there are many Singaporeans who think that it's below them to be cleaners. I wonder why. They are too uppity to do clean up after others? They think they "deserve" better? :-)"

Erm just a point to note.

If one has a degree, then wouldnt it be a waste of one's time and effort in obtaining it if one decides to become a cleaner?

And even if one has no degree? Why would one want to choose to work in an occupation which is essentially considered one of the lower ones in Singapore society?

Anonymous said...

The KTM says: Let's not digress and dwell on the American social security system. The KTM is simply highlighting that it's not likely to be a very feasible model here.

I say: Prove it!

The KTM says: If we want to provide free healthcare and retirement benefits definitely can. Question is: for how long and how wise is such a move?

I say: The question is irrelevant until we try it out.

LuckySingaporean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LuckySingaporean said...

KTM,

Two points: (i) we dun have this large population base to start with; and (ii) if Govt collects money to save for the future, how different is it from CPF? Difference is that CPF is arguably more equitable since you get back what you put in

The difference is they don't get to work as long as us!!! Like I said we are so lucky that the PAP tinkered with the CPF so now we get this wonderful privilege of working longer.

Big population based = shorter work years? I see that Finland has a small population, Sweden and also our perpetual competitor Hong Kong. ...and they don't get to work as long as us because their govts are mediocre and thus deserve lower pay!

Perhaps you are right to say that defence spending should be cut. If so, perhaps explain why?

Let me ask you since the 2nd world war, which country has invaded another country successfully?....If you're smart you will "say USA invaded Iraq." If USA chose to invade us, we can do nothing anyway....even if we spend $50B a year it is useless. Besides the US, no other country successfully invaded another. In today's globalised world, countries depend heavily on trade and any nation that misbehave destroys itself because trade sanctions which is one heck of a deterrent. We can see clearly whether our regional countries are expanding their trading ties cutting themselves off from the rest of the world. We need only to spend enough for the purpose of deterence. Brunei with its oil resources and small defense spending sandwiched between big nations has existed with much stability.

Singapore spends 2.5 times more on defense than Malaysia although our size is less than 0.25% of malaysia. We spend more than Indonesia + Malaysia combined. Verify for yourself here:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~scs/docs/student%20research%20project%20January%202006/Derek_Poon/Site/comparison.html

Our defense budget is "mechanically increased" as a fixed % of GDP which growth outstrips our neighboring countries. It may NOT have been based on NEED but a fixed allocation.

We should allocate based on need rather fixed % allocation. We should also ask why we need to outspend all our nearest neighbors combined....unless the spending for us to have more things to parade during National Day. ...in which case I'll fully agree to spend another $5B more because I love National Days so much.

Strangely enough, there are many Singaporeans who think that it's below them to be cleaners.

Aiyah that is why they need to redesign jobs and give jobs nice titles like cleaners are called 'hygiene executives'.I suggest calling beggers "compassion executives" so that there are no beggers in Singapore.

By spreading disaffection with the Govt through the use of rhetorics, perhaps you might succeed in effecting a change of Govt in GE2011, but are things necessarily going to improve?

I'm so stunned that you're accusing me of spreading 'disaffection'. In my antire blog I've only agreed with the PAP on all issues. It is Mr. Brown you should target those accusations. I only seek to get more people to understand our esteemed govt better.

You are welcome to have the final word. :-)

It is always a great pleasure to explain the greatness of our govt to anyone who cares to listen.

Next time we meet, you have the final word.

Anonymous said...

Mr KTM - I get the feeling that you are saying all that PAP does is good and not to be faulted. You cannot be serious right? Let us help the govt become better for all of us, not sweep everything under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

KTM:
If Singaporeans do not learn to think for themselves and shake off the yoke of dependence on the Govt, the future is indeed quite bleak

We can only shake off the yoke of dependence on the Govt" only when the gahmen hands off the economy, don't dominate the private sector thru GLC and don't crowd out private biz.

Landlord: GLC
Competitors: GLC
Customers: all go to GLC
Taxes: G
S&C: STAT BOARD

Beside the Gahmen, who else can we turn?

Anonymous said...

Some people might think it is alright to expect old folks to do the cleaning up for the young after their meal at the hawker centre, as long as the old folks are not "their own parents or grandparents".

But what kind of values are we teaching our kids? How can we tell younger people to respect old folks? How are you going to explain to your kids why the old folks still have to work at their age unlike their grandparents at home?

As some old folks commented: these are jobs which I do not want to do 30 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Is KTM f***ing off for good then?

This bugger wrote "yes, the KTM has great respect for folks who are still earning their keep when they are 80. Don't you? Strangely enough, there are many Singaporeans who think that it's below them to be cleaners."

The issue on hand is the fact that 80-year-old grannies and grandpas (or great-grandparents for some) have to work, not the type of work they perform.

Perhaps KTM has eaten too much of his own kway teo and clogged his brains with fats???

Good riddance, I should say!

Anonymous said...

I feel so blessed to have a unique Govt which is so frank in telling us that if we gonna be running out of moola to retire even after contributing to the nation all your working life, u simply jus have to continue working!

Kin said...

Wah! So much to read ar.....and v educating, i must say. Thanks, Lucky and KTM whom called himself "the KTM", keep it up.

My parents alredi taught me from young that there's no such thing as retirement in this country. Retirement = Death
Work = Life
CPF = Govt's pocketchange
Period

Hard lesson but I learnt it well. So I love Singapore!

Though I did wish that those monkeys din try to be smart and fought for its independence some 40 yrs ago. And see what they brought us now. Always telling us land is scarce and we hav no natural resources...blah...blah...blah.....If they r so smart, they would hav foresaw our predicament now. I think I'll be happier if we are still with Malaysia. Maybe I'll be in a village sleeping by now. Anyway, a wish is still a wish.

Singapore is my home now. I hav to work. My parents still hav to work tho alredi half-dead. And yes, my mum is one of those aunties cleaning tables and my Dad is a janitor. So pls, be nice and teach yur children abt respect. I thank our govt or Mr Lee that they r not maids overseas.

This my Country...This is my Life...

Anonymous said...

Are we going to die of overwork just like the HP staff?

Just to pursue our "retirement" dreams?

Anonymous said...

I love the logic of working longer and retiring later.

This is so cool, I am looking forward to our govt's vision.

In the same vein, I would like the govt to recommend multiple jobs that Singaporeans can take up at the same time to make more money to rise with the cost of living.

I guess most of these people have themselves to blame , and they sure no how to make themselves homeless and jobless by choice.

Its a wonderful life I must say the economy is doing good , property prices are blooming , and hawkers are making huge tons of money .... wow this is indeed an eye opener.

I really cant wait for our population to hit 6.5 million. I am sure we all will be very happy and have better lives ahead then.

At least we can share the cost of our govt's wages.

Our Moto

GST to help the poor!
Wage increase to prevent Corruption!
Immigrants to solve birth rate probs!
CPF to help you for retirement!



Cheers!
M&M's

Anonymous said...

Quote from Animal farm:
At the beginning, when the laws of Animal Farm were first formulated, the retiring age had been fixed for horses and pigs at twelve, for cows at fourteen, for dogs at nine, for
sheep at seven, and for hens and geese at five. Liberal old-age
pensions had been agreed upon. As yet no animal had actually
retired on pension, but of late the subject had been discussed
more and more. Now that the small field beyond the
orchard had been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that a
corner of the large pasture was to be fenced off and turned
into a grazing-ground for superannuated animals. For a horse,
it was said, the pension would be five pounds of corn a day
and, in winter, fifteen pounds of hay, with a carrot or possibly
an apple on public holidays. Boxer’s twelfth birthday was due
in the late summer of the following year.

Anonymous said...

totally sucks.....
why r we here for by the way????

KIN said...

Malaysia Boleh!!!

Anonymous said...

You guys must have been to Thailand, right? When you were there, did you see any old people cleaning tables at makan places or sweeping floors in shopping centres? Thailand is not a First world country and the old folks don't have to work when they are old. S'pore is First World and yet, the old folks are urged to take on lowly-paid jobs when they can't afford to retire after having worked their guts out. What logic?