It was reported earlier that the Ministry of Social & Family Development (MSF) rejected a public assistance application from a 59-year-old senior, who is both visually handicapped and has kidney failure.
The reason given was that MSF noted that the person is currently receiving monthly payout from his CPF account. "As you have a source of income, we are unable to assist you with the financial assistance," MSF wrote.
In other words, MSF is treating the person's payout from the Retirement Account in his Central Provident Fund (CPF) as income.
Subsequently, TOC published the story and MSF responded on its Facebook page, further explaining its decision not to give public assistance to the handicapped 59-year-old.
However, it avoided talking about CPF being considered an income altogether.
In particular, it also acknowledged that the handicapped person, who is receiving monthly payouts or "income" of $620 a month from his CPF Retirement Account, would not have any money left in his CPF in 3 years' time.
It's not known what person would do when he loses this "income" of his in 3 years' time. Perhaps eat grass like how the North Korean escapee described the plight of her fellow countrymen languishing in their own country?
NMP Chia Yong Yong: CPF money not yours
During a Parliamentary debate in 2015, Nominated Member of Parliament Chia Yong Yong questioned the idea that Singaporeans should be entitled to decide how they want to spend their CPF money.
She reminded the House that CPF members were not the only ones contributing to their own accounts, and that others will end up supporting those who squander their CPF savings. She went on to single out proponents of the argument that "it's our money, it's in our account, it's our retirement money, I want it out, I will spend it any way I want".
"Our CPF savings are enhanced, enforced CPF savings which are accumulated through our own deferred consumption, through co-payment by our employers and through top-ups from public funds," she countered.
"Because I am not the only person contributing to that fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I'm going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely."
This is because those who spend their money unwisely will end up depending on others in their twilight years. "Ultimately it means someone else is bearing (this cost), right? Another taxpayer," she said.
She also criticised Workers' Party suggestion that CPF monthly payouts should begin earlier at age 60. "I have great unease and I cannot support this recommendation that we allow such flexibility to the people. I have unease because I think we are placing a very great fiscal obligation upon our future generations living off what our forefathers have built for us."
"When we exercise our personal choice, there is a price to be paid... that price should not be paid by someone else," she added.
In any case, MSF's consideration of a person's CPF as a source of income further heightens the very notion propagated by people like Chia Yong Yong and her likes, that our own CPF savings are not entirely ours because they have been "enhanced" through co-payments by employers and top-ups from the government.
By that argument, Ms Chia and the likes, should take note that Singaporeans have also been forced to lend their CPF monies to the government to invest and enabling the State to make money, while being paid a small percentage of interest. Shouldn't those money made by the State through Singaporeans' CPF be returned more back to CPF members?