This morning, a forum to discuss matters of Central Provident Funds took place at Thomson Community Centre. The forum entitled, "CPF - An Honest Conversation: Public Dialogue with Thomson-Toa Payoh Residents" was hosted by Hri Kumar, PAP MP of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and is said to be open to only residents of the ward. A elderly lady, who does not have any dependent, spoke up on the CPF issue and begged that her CPF money to be returned to her as she wants to use her money to settle down and make arrangements for her funerals while she still can.
The elderly lady was later revealed to be Ms Irene Yap who has worked as a teacher at Chong San Primary School and a civil servant prior to retirement.
The transcript of what the elderly lady said.
I got some very very sad issue and I am going to bring up to Hri Kumar.
My father and mother were evicted from Bukit Brown, they were living there for 70 over years. and because of the eviction, and because of the cremation, the exhumation, the re-sighting of them made me suffer lapses of memories. I suffered lapses of memories. I forget my dates, I forget my medical dates, and the most important of all things , I forgot to pay my property tax.
And you know what happened? I was given a letter, I was fined, I was given a letter, again I forgot, I admit it that I was wrong, I was very wrong to be in that state of mind and the next thing was I received a letter from Development Bank of Singapore.
Shame, shame on the controller of Property Tax. Shame on DBS. For resorting to become big bullies. (At this point, she is seen crying)
I was given...
At this point, she was interrupted by the moderators of the forum.
I am coming back to CPF.
I was given this letter, telling me that they "hacked" into my personal POSB book, scoured my amounts and took away the money from my bank to give to the property tax. Do you think it is ethical?
Do you think its ethical? Do you think it is right?
Right now I am very sad.
I was born in the year of 1938 and my friends, my Malay friends told me that when they retired, they got their ordinary account as well as their Retirement Account (RA) account. So they told me, why don't you get yours? In fact a friend of mine, a friend of mine, I always advocated that I love Lee Kuan Yew very much, I love the PAP very much.
So when I went to the CPF board to ask for my account and you know what they say?
"You can take your ordinary account"
I retired in 1998, I did a two year in associate, I did as an associate teacher until 2000.
And when I retired in 2000, I told myself, since I have my food, I don't need it. Money put in the government is the safest. And I think it was wrong. It was wrong.
When I get to CPF to get my money, when I get to CPF to ask for my money, they told me that I can take my ordinary account but when it comes to RA, after ten years, after ten years you can take one month of repayment.
I am free from all these rules and regulations. This only concerns those under 1958 and downwards. Those born before 1958 should get all the money back. Do I get mine? Can I get mine?
"Yes, that is a good question. That is the reason why we are here to address it."
I am very keen, Mr Hri Kumar. I voted him.
I am a spinster. ok? I am a spinster. I have no children of my own. So I am asking Mr Hri Kumar, the god mother. I want my money back. How do I do it?
That is a very good question that we want to have in the discussion here. That's the reason we want to break it up and actually have all residents air their views, air their concerns.
I think the rest don't concern me. The rest don't concern me. I am not concerned over how many percentages you get, what I want is my money back and I want to arrange for my funeral and I want to arrange for my rites and I want to arrange for a nice settlement. Can I have it?
That's all I want. Give me back my money. CPF, give me back my money. And make it as soon as possible. Because 76, I won't be able to live. I got to ask, I got to make arrangement with God to make me live 50 years to get my RA back. So will you please?
At this point, the lady was approached by two organizers from the forum and was asked to move away from the microphone by a female organizer Mr Hri Kumar was noted to allow the lady complete what she had to say.
No, no, no, you don't have to do that. Yes and that is why I picked this opportunity to speak to you because I will never be able to speak anymore. Give me, anybody from CPF board? Is there anyone from CPF board?
You are talking about CPF and you don't have any representative? So Mr Hri Kumar, please. Help me get my money back and I am going off now. Thank you very much.
Video of the speech by the elderly lady.