Who Precisely Are We Safeguarding the Reserves For?

In Parliament on Friday Indranee Rajah reiterated like a broken record the constant PAP refrain that we need more immigrants and new citizens, using the hook that TFR has now fallen to 1.05. In the best PAP traditions of ensuring that anything must be due to factors beyond the Government’s control while anything good is the result of the PAP’s superior foresight, she tried to blame it on last year’s Year of the Tiger. However the trend has been steadily downwards from the 1980s when it was already well below the rate of 2.1 required to maintain a stable population. In fact a rate of 1.3 in the absence of immigration would lead to a halving of population size in 45 years or so while a rate of 1.05 if sustained would mean a much faster population drop, possibly as few as 30 years.

The PAP Government have always been sanguine about Singapore’s low birth rate and slow to adopt family friendly policies. Reform Party has since 2015 advocated paying mothers a taxable child benefit of $300 per child per month to the age of 18, an amount which should probably be increased to at least $400 now. In addition we have said preschool and university education should be free and all education fees abolished. LHL and the PAP have constantly said that such generous policies would bankrupt Singapore and that hard choices have to be made with limited fiscal resources. While this year’s Budget takes baby steps towards providing more help for families with children in the form of enhanced cash payments, they only last till the children are 6 and a half whereas support should be given till the child reaches adulthood. Furthermore the Child Development Account can only be used at approved institutions, such as kindergartens (where the PAP benefits directly through the PAP Community Foundation) and in paying for medical care at hospitals under the MOH Holdings umbrella. This is another way in which budgetary resources are channelled to Temasek and GIC as MOH Holdings’ revenues are excluded from the Budget and may be transferred to our sovereign wealth funds. Also the assistance is slanted towards richer parents because of the co-matching scheme in which higher savings in the account are matched by the Government. The parents who need the most help are those who are unlikely to have savings.

The Government’s eugenicist underpinnings are also evident in the Working Mothers Child Relief Scheme. After much criticism from me, the PAP have finally listened. This Budget makes it slightly less a tax break for rich women by capping the maximum amount per child but it is still an unnecessary subsidy for the rich and not to the people who are likely to need it most. Far better to provide a fixed cash benefit for all mothers with children which can be clawed back by making it taxable.

In the context of the Government’s admitted staggeringly large surpluses of nearly $400 billion since 2005 and total public sector (including Temasek and GIC) surpluses of well over $1 trillion over the same same period, with total reserves of about $3 trillion, the Government’s indifference in the face of our plunging birth rate and unwillingness to do more than provide a few crumbs, magnified to appear a generous hand out by their media monopoly, looks absurd. The Government pretends that it spends a lot with the smoke-and-nirrors charade of the Net Investment Returns Contribution. However most of this is not real spending. Instead of the NIRC farce, we should easily be able to afford to spend another $80-150 billion a year on improving the lives of our citizens without putting a dent in the reserves, just slowing what should be their rate of growth. But then the PAP are imbued with a social Darwinian ethic that believes that Singapore benefits from ruthless competition among those at the bottom, though strangely this Darwinism does not apply to the elite’s wives, children and relatives who ensure they get the plum jobs, starting with the PM who has consistently hidden from Singaporeans for 20 years what he pays his wife and whose son works in the family company. No matter if the native population dwindles to zero because they can always be replaced by fresh blood from outside. The PAP says Singaporeans have to welcome foreign talent but then ensures that the dice are loaded against Singaporeans, and in particular male Singaporeans.

PAP policies of ruthlessly extracting a surplus from Singaporeans while lying and deceiving have resulted in a situation where in the absence of immigration Singapore would rapidly become a ghost town. This makes the PAP claims to be safeguarding the reserves for future generations particularly nonsensical. Singaporeans need to ask themselves who precisely the reserves are being safeguarded for. Or, and this would be the ultimate cynical con trick by LHL and his Ministers, is this philosophy of social Darwinism a facade and the reality is that the reserves have disappeared, whether through mismanagement or even fraud. Until we change this Government we will never know.



Kenneth Jeyaretnam


About the author: I’m a Singaporean economist who became an opposition activist. I blog to provide an alternative to the porkies that the Pinkies tell. It just so happens that my alternative is the truth. That’s why I’ve never been sued in any civil or criminal court no matter how hard hitting my criticism. I’m quoted and interviewed and asked to speak across the world but largely censored in Singapore in an effort to silence my political opinions. The left hate me because they think I split their vote and because I eschew their outmoded economic models. Models that don’t work. The Right and the Conservatives hate me because I’m a liberal. I’m not sure what the middle think of me. I don’t think there are more than a handful of people in the middle, here in Singapore. I’m a Singaporean born and bred, dual heritage, my parents Singaporean established here before the State of Singapore was created. I’m not Eurasian. I read economics at Cambridge and could be broadly described as from the Keynesian school but I believe in interventions. I was formerly a successful hedge fund manager. After economics and politics my greatest interests are history, film and Makan. I run but I run so I can eat like a Singaporean.




10 Responses to “Who Precisely Are We Safeguarding the Reserves For?”

  • Thiruvalluvar the Sage:

    “How can one, who eats the flesh of others to swell his own flesh, show compassion?
    It is compassion, the most gracious of virtues, Which moves the world.”

    “The only gift is giving to the poor; All else is exchange.
    This world is not for the poor, nor the next for the unkind.”

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  • Light The Way:

    NSmen safeguard Policy Makers.

    Policy Makers safeguard reserves.

    But even the NSmen do not know how much reserves are actually being safeguarded.

    And NSmen are expected to put their lives on the line.

    As somebody so eloquently put it, “It’s not about dollars and cents.”

    GD Star Rating
  • only stupid people vote pap:

    we have said it many times.

    we say it again.

    “future generations” in pap language exclude sinkie children and sinkie grandchildren.

    during all past GEs, we never failed to marvel at the stupidity of sinkies. for the price of a packet of chicken, pap says it is free but only stupid people believe it is so, the sinkies do all they can to make pap win.

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  • xoxo:

    SAFEGUARD OUR sgs’ RESERVES so as to $quander on NON-sgs?
    Where the detailed allocation$ of the Solidairity-RESILIENCE $100 Billion.
    Remember MANY MORE THAN DESERVING sgs got only $ix Hundred Dollars,yes,$600!

    We are not voting for UN officials,we are voting for Sg govt leaders to SERVE ALL sgs especially the needs of COMMON CITIZENS.

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  • Disappear:

    She can’t be safeguarding it for her children cause she’s unmarried.

    Maybe just maybe for pink or chin ho!

    Anyway, saving is meant for a raining day………..the q to ask is …….is it raining? Despite all the education, the brain of the party is not working.

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  • I_AMDK_Angmophiles'_favorite:

    Going back isn’t an option, and without practical, coherent new ideas, going forward will be problematic. But doing nothing will make the future decidedly worse for many. In fact, practical reason is flummoxed without the ability to extend horizons.

    Having said. This is a perfect example of how wealth travels up the ladder toward people who are already wealthy, and it begs the question: How is everyone down the ladder managing? How does the money get back down the ladder?

    What Marxists call the contradiction of capital an economist might call an incomplete cycle. We need mechanisms which return wealth to the bottom of the ladder to balance the mechanisms which pump it up the ladder. It seems only natural. The one defensible relation to this temporal modality would be to leave the greatest number of options available for generations to come, besides wealth.

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  • do more for the new poor:

    Need to do more for the new Poor.
    More of them now…

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  • Conners:

    Same like,who are Russians solider fighting is Putin war.this fellow surely go deep down in history.

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  • Liana:

    thanks for info

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  • Tax is 20%+17%:

    Safeguard the reserves for future ft turned new citizens that is. Effectively u are paying for the future generation new immigrants and citizens. So what about yourself. Is the reserves being used for your old age ? Then what’s the point of using taxes then

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