By SY Lee and Leong Sze Hian
We refer to the article “CPF members leaving S’pore withdrew more than $400m each year from 2003 to 2013” (Channel NewsAsia, May 29).
CPF: $426m withdrawn a year by those who leave Singapore?
The article wrote that Mr Tan Chuan Jin, Minister for Manpower states that from 2003 to 2013, Central Provident Fund members leaving Singapore withdrew $426 million, or 0.3 per cent of the average total members’ balances each year. This includes the amounts withdrawn by former citizens, former Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners who contributed to CPF before 2003.
He further added that the CPF Board does not track the amount separately for Permanent Residents who have given up residency.
Number of citizens, PRs and foreigners leaving?
There was an edgy feeling reading the above that something may not sound right. Presumably, the reply was in answer to a question in Parliament – Wouldn’t the arguably more significant statistics that the member may be asking for – be how many citizens, PRs and foreigners withdrew their CPF by leaving Singapore permanently, instead of only the amounts withdrawn ?
Surely, this breakdown is available right?
What’s the yearly statistics and trend?
Also, why just give the average each year for the last decade? What were the amounts on a year to year basis, so that we can see the trend of citizens, PRs and foreigners leaving Singapore permanently?
Can return to work again?
As to the reply on whether they can return to Singapore to work, Mr Tan said evaluations will be done to determine their suitability and their track record and history will be looked into by the government before making a decision.
We understand that Singaporeans who give up their citizenship in order to withdraw their CPF which is conditional upon their being granted citizenship by another country, are generally not allowed to return to Singapore to work.
If this is the case, then why are PRs or foreigners allowed to return to work, based on “evaluations will be done to determine their suitability. The Government will look into their track record and history before making a decision”?
Can Mr Tan answer the question of how many PRs and foreigners have been given the chance to work back in Singapore after giving up their citizenship and withdrawing their CPF? And how many Singaporeans? If there is even one single instance of a Singaporean given the chance of coming back to work, we will buy him lunch wherever he likes.