Saturday, May 8, 2021

‘Hiccup’ in political transition: ESM Goh commends DPM Heng’s ‘selflessness’ in stepping aside as 4G leader

By Chew Hui Min

07 May 2021

SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Friday (May 7) that he commends Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat for his “self-sacrifice” in stepping aside as leader of the 4G or fourth-generation leadership team.

At the launch of a second volume of his biography titled Standing Tall, Mr Goh said that there has been a “hiccup” in the political transition in Singapore but that it was “part of the process”.

“There were also hiccups before the Old Guard passed on the baton to the 2G. I recounted them in my first volume, Tall Order,” said the former Prime Minister.

“I commend DPM Heng Swee Keat for his self-sacrifice in stepping aside as leader of the 4G. It takes courage and selflessness to do this when one is only a step away from being prime minister.

“He has put the interests of Singapore first, like a good leader should.”

Thursday, May 6, 2021

SPH to restructure media business into not-for-profit entity


MAY 06, 2021

  • The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will set up a new subsidiary to house its media business, with injection of initial resources, funding
  • The subsidiary will eventually be transferred to a company limited by guarantee to be funded by private and public sources
  • The exercise will involve transferring the entire media-related business of the conglomerate, including employees and its news and print centres
SINGAPORE — The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be restructuring its media business into a not-for-profit entity amid falling advertising revenue.

With this move — which is expected to be fully completed by October, subject to shareholders’ approval — SPH’s media business will eventually become a company limited by a guarantee, it announced on Thursday (May 6).

Commentary: Why the interest over TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi’s nationality and how Singaporean he is?

What does it take to be "one of us"? Singaporeans' obsessions in defining the "us" in this latest episode stems not only from a fixation on labels but insecurities amid seismic changes in society, says SUSS' Dr Leong Chan-Hoong.

By Leong Chan-Hoong

06 May 2021

SINGAPORE: Are you a Singaporean? Did you embrace our way of life?

It does not require a genius to see the subtext in discussions over our daily headline news whenever the term “foreign” is mentioned in the media. This happens both when someone has misbehaved or achieved an extraordinary feat in a profession.

We saw this most recently last week when TikTok, the social media giant named 39-year old Chew Shou Zhi its new CEO.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Indonesia - model for Myanmar

 [Two news articles on the Military in Politics, and how Myanmar might have used Indonesia as a model.]

‘We live in a different age now’: Why Indonesia’s military is unlikely to return to politics

February’s coup in Myanmar has turned the spotlight on other Southeast Asian countries whose militaries have played a significant political role. The programme Insight examines the situation in Indonesia and the prospects for its democracy.

JAKARTA: He was tortured, underwent forced labour and had to eat mice, snakes, lizards and snails to survive.

Arrested for being a suspected communist sympathiser, Bedjo Untung was never charged despite being detained from 1970 to 1979, under the authoritarian regime headed by Suharto, the former general.

It has been 23 years since Suharto’s fall, but Bedjo, now 73 and a human rights activist, worries that Indonesia’s military “will always try to play a role” in government.

That has been the case in Thailand, for example, and February’s military coup in Myanmar has cast the spotlight on other Southeast Asian countries whose militaries have played a significant political role over decades.

But is Indonesia’s military capable of making a political comeback following the country’s transition to the multi-party democracy it is today? The programme Insight examines the balance of probabilities.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Singapore tops ranking of world's best places to be amid Covid-19 pandemic

Singapore topped Bloomberg's Covid Resilience Ranking this month.PHOTO: ST FILE

APR 27, 2021

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - A combination of nailing the virus and rolling out vaccines at one of the fastest rates in Asia saw Singapore top Bloomberg's Covid Resilience Ranking this month, dethroning New Zealand for the first time in the measure of the best and worst places to be in the pandemic era.

The tiny city state had got locally transmitted cases down to near zero thanks to border curbs and a strict quarantine programme, allowing citizens to largely go about their everyday lives, even attending concerts and going on cruises.

At the same time, Singapore had already administered vaccines that cover the equivalent of a fifth of its population, an aspect of pandemic control that other virus eliminators like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are lagging on.

But if there's one lesson from April, it's that vaccination alone isn't ending the pandemic.

Monday, April 26, 2021

IN FOCUS: What does the future hold for Singapore's taxi industry?

By Zhaki Abdullah

24 Apr 2021

SINGAPORE: There was a time, in the not too distant past, when trying to get a taxi in Singapore during rush hour was a stressful experience, beset with doubt and uncertainty.

And if it was raining, the situation was even worse. Demand would seemingly far outstrip supply, leaving some commuters stranded as they tried in vain to hail a cab or book one.

The situation became so frustrating that it was raised in Parliament numerous times.

In 2014, former Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah asked how the Ministry of Transport was addressing the problem of taxi shortages during certain times.

Mr Lui Tuck Yew, who was then the Transport Minister, replied that the taxi availability standards introduced a year earlier had resulted in an additional 1,300 cabs plying the roads during peak periods.

The percentage of taxis plying at least 250km a day had also increased, as had the daily utilisation of taxis, he said then.

"In short, more taxis are plying the roads, and more commuters are using them," said Mr Lui then.

Yet it would seem that demand continued to outstrip supply as complaints persisted, and several taxi firms were fined for not being able to meet the availability standards. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Car ownership revisited

 Every now and then, someone will ask, "Is it better to own a car or take taxi everywhere in Singapore?"

And someone or some news organisation will try to answer that question.

So the latest attempt summarises it thus:

At a glance, here’s how the monthly bill of the various options looks like:
  • Regular car ownership (Honda Civic): $1,589
  • Cheaper car model: $1,200+
  • Red plate: $1,278.78
  • Cabbing: $822.40

monthly car ownership costs car in singapore


Sunday, April 18, 2021

'Violent' ducks? Hong Kong clothing brand cartoons rile China

APRIL 18, 2021

The owner of clothing brand Chickeeduck, Mr Herbert Chow, shows a cushion his company makes decorated with chickens and ducklings in Hong Kong on April 9, 2021.

HONG KONG — Cute cartoon animals have been at the heart of Hong Kong clothing brand Chickeeduck since 1990, displayed on everything from t-shirts and tote bags to baby rompers and pillows.

But owner Herbert Chow is now struggling to get his designs made in China, where his avian characters have been seized by authorities for "advocating violence".

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Commentary: US proposed global minimum corporate tax has implications for Singapore

Joe Biden’s move to raise taxes may be well-timed, given domestic demands for government expenditure and a growing global acceptance that corporate taxes must be raised. But this has implications for Singapore, says NUS Business School’s Assoc Prof Simon Poh.

By Simon Poh

13 Apr 2021

SINGAPORE: US President Joe Biden proposed an ultra-ambitious US$2.3 trillion infrastructure bill in end-March.

It was hailed as a “once-in-a-generation” investment that will reposition the US at the forefront of the global economic stage, ahead of China.

The cost will be largely funded by raising corporate tax, slated to go up from 21 per cent to 28 per cent, if the bill is passed.

This marked reversal of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump’s tax policy, which saw the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent in 2017, taps onto wider, popular calls for US Big Business to pay their fair share.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen followed up last week with calls for a global minimum corporate tax of 21 per cent for multinational corporations, signaling that a collective international effort is required to end the “30-year race to the bottom”.

These latest proposals surprised few as they were featured prominently in Joe Biden’s election campaign.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Commentary: How China will try to subdue Taiwan – without firing a bullet

The US is once again warning that China might invade Taiwan, but a more gradualist approach by Beijing seems more likely, says Christian Le Miere.

By Christian Le Miere

15 Apr 2021

Taiwan Strait

LONDON: Twenty-five years ago, war over Taiwan seemed imminent.

Chinese missiles flew in the direction of Taiwan and a US aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a defiant signal of resolve.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Commentary: An unpopular opinion but the truth is foreign workers help, not hurt Singaporean livelihoods


APRIL 09, 2021

A study by the Institute of Policy Studies found that 43.6 per cent of Singaporeans believe that immigration will “increase unemployment".

One of Singapore’s biggest open secrets is its slow-festering anti-foreigner sentiment among some of its citizens in the social media sphere, even though most people here are not opposed to immigration per se but to the unfettered inflow of foreigners. Protected by the anonymity of private Facebook groups, these rants oftentimes verge on plain ugly racism and xenophobia.

The reasons for opposing immigration in Singapore are varied, but the biggest grievance among locals lies in the proverbial “bread and butter” issues. This is affirmed by a just-released study by the Institute of Policy Studies, which finds that 43.6 per cent of Singaporeans believe that immigration will “increase unemployment".

The problem is that the evidence contradicts this popular belief.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Commentary: Using the lessons of Covid-19 to tackle 4 types of inequality in Singapore


APRIL 06, 2021

The writer discusses four types of inequalities in Singapore that have been spotlighted by the pandemic: Wage, digital, residency and gender.

Economists use letters to describe the shape of recovery from recessions, and the current recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is given a new letter: K.

This depicts a shape where some industries and individuals ascend, but the rest decline. In the midst of wage cuts, job losses and business closings, stock market prices have been rising and the Big Techs have been thriving.

The K-shaped trend is said to reflect existing inequalities.

In this essay, I will discuss four types of inequality in Singapore that have been spotlighted by the pandemic: Wage, digital, residency and gender.

I would like to suggest going beyond a business-as-usual response to these areas of inequality, failing which we would be wasting the lessons learned from the pandemic and the inequalities that were already there will further divide our society.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Commentary: Why the Suez Canal accident is a worst-case scenario for global trade

The narrow strip is a critical artery where goods make way across the globe and an incident like this exposes weaknesses in the global system, say maritime researchers from Plymouth University.

By Rory Hopcraft
By Kevin Jones
By Kimberly Tam

26 Mar 2021 

PLYMOUTH, England: It is estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s trade is transported by sea. As consumers, we rarely give much thought to how the things we buy make their way across the planet and into our homes.

That is, until an incident like the recent grounding of a huge container ship, the Ever Given, in the Suez Canal exposes the weaknesses in this global system.

High winds have been blamed for the container ship blocking the narrow strait, which serves as a trade artery that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

But with shipping so heavily reliant on such narrow channels, the potential for these incidents is ever-present.

As researchers of maritime security, we often simulate incidents like the Ever Given grounding to understand the probable long and short-term consequences.

Cargo Ship Ever Given got stuck in Egypt's Suez Canal, blocking traffic in a crucial waterway for global shipping. (Photo: Instagram/fallenhearts17)

Suez Canal Ever Given cargo ship

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Commentary: Reducing household water consumption starts with the toilet bowl

Toilet bowl
Toilet bowl
Toilet bowlBy Ho Xiang Tian

22 Mar 2021 

SINGAPORE: Ask strangers on the street how much water they think a person uses per day at home, and the answers will range from 2 litres to 50 litres.

The answer that most people never got to: More than 140 litres per person, per day. This was something I used to do at outreach booths as part of my volunteer work with LepakInSG, a local environmental group.

We think we consume much less water because we only think about the water we drink, and severely underestimate the water used in other activities like showering, washing the dishes, and flushing.

According to PUB, households account for about 45 per cent of Singapore’s water use, which is significant compared to other metrics like waste generated (25 per cent) and carbon emissions (6 per cent).

Monday, March 22, 2021

Residents living near former Kallang Gasworks grow weary over odours, noise from soil treatment works


MARCH 21, 2021

  • Remediation works at the old Kallang Gasworks started last year and is expected to end in 2022
  • Some residents reported falling ill more often due to the fumes from the site
  • The authorities said the air released is treated and does not pose adverse health risks
  • They have also put in place mitigation measures in response to feedback from the public

Source: SLA

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Commentary: Keeping public housing in prime locations like Greater Southern Waterfront affordable and fair

To help low-income families afford those flats, while avoiding the lottery effect, consider awarding a housing grant tiered by income level, with levies to recovery subsidies depreciating over time.

By Sing Tien Foo

21 Mar 2021 

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s public housing model is changing.

During the early years of the country’s independence, the national goal was largely an operational one in ramping up construction to provide living spaces for growing numbers of families and resolve overcrowding.

Over the decades, a conscious belief that building a nation of homeowners would be the best strategy to give Singaporeans a stake in the nation and strengthen retirement adequacy took root.

And in the last 20 years, the national conversation has shifted towards how public housing goals can fulfil new aspirations while keeping homes affordable. New models like the Design Build and Sell Scheme and Executive Condominiums were rolled out.

More recently, public discussions have swirled around the subject of inclusiveness, with the announcement that spaces will be set aside for future public housing in the Greater Southern Waterfront, and how to keep such an exercise fair.

While many Singaporeans welcomed the redistributive aspects of this move so more Singapore families can afford housing in good locations, most have also cautioned against the lottery effect seen in past HDB projects.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

This mouse embryo grew in an artificial uterus

It was previously believed a fetus couldn't survive without a living womb.

March 17th, 2021

Hanna Embryo

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

China's military modernisation poses Taiwan threat: US officials

MARCH 16, 2021

TOKYO — China's accelerated military modernisation poses a clear and growing threat to Taiwan, and US intervention might only risk intensifying pressure from Beijing, US defence officials say.

Washington's top US military officer in Asia-Pacific Admiral Philip Davidson made waves last week by warning that Beijing could seek to invade Taiwan within six years.

And as Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin makes Asia the target of his first overseas trip, US defence officials have hammered home the threat they see posed by Beijing's rapid military build-up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Malaysia government appeals ruling on Christians using 'Allah'

15 Mar 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government on Monday (Mar 15) appealed a court's decision to overturn a decades-old official ban and allow Christians in the Muslim-majority country to use "Allah" to refer to God.

The word has long been divisive in multi-ethnic Malaysia, with Christians complaining that attempts to stop them using it highlight the growing influence of conservative Islam.

But some Muslims accuse the sizeable Christian minority of overstepping boundaries, and the subject has fuelled religious tensions and sparked violence over the years.

Last week the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Christians can use "Allah" in publications, siding with a member of the minority and striking down a ban that dated back to 1986. [See below.]

Sunday, March 14, 2021

A timeline of Singapore’s public housing policy for singles


MARCH 13, 2021

  • Singapore's policy on singles living in public housing has evolved over the years.
  • In the 1960s, singles were not able to have their own public housing flat
  • The arrival of the Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) in the 1970s meant singles could buy these flats. HUDC catered to a segment of S'poreans able to buy a place better than typical public housing yet unable to afford private housing
  • It was only in 1991 that singles above 35 years old were able to buy resale HDB flats, but limited to three-room flats at selected locations
  • Since 2000, there have been a series of policy moves to provide more HDB options for singles  

SINGAPORE — Compared with their married counterparts, singles in Singapore have generally faced greater hurdles in acquiring a flat from the Housing and Development Board (HDB), perhaps most notably in having to hit the minimum age of 35 years old before one can purchase a flat. 

However, earlier in the Republic’s history, singles were not even allowed to buy public housing flats at all as housing policies were focused on meeting the needs of families.

Former National Development Minister S Dhanabalan said in 1988 that allowing singles to buy their own flats and live alone would also be in direct conflict with the Government’s efforts to preserve the traditional family unit.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Schoolgirl admits to lying about beheaded French teacher

MARCH 09, 2021

PARIS — A schoolgirl who sparked a deadly online hate campaign against a French teacher after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to students has admitted to lying and spreading false claims about him, her lawyer said on Monday (March 8).

The girl had claimed the teacher, Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamic extremist in the street in October last year, had asked Muslims to leave the class when he showed the cartoons.

The girl's father later lodged a legal complaint and amplified the allegations online, leading an 18-year-old Chechen refugee to track down Paty in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jamus Lim: Convert empty spaces of multi-storey carparks for commercial uses

As Singapore strives towards a lower-carbon future, the demand for private transportation may fall further.

Zhangxin Zheng

March 06, 2021

Sengkang GRC Member of Parliament Jamus Lim proposed that the under-utilised floors of the multi-storey carparks be converted into commercial uses during the Ministry of National Development's Committee of Supply Debates on Mar. 4.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Forests are needed to absorb carbon, but the overheating planet might soon flip a critical switch

By Jack Board 

30 Jan 2021

BANGKOK: New research shows that the fast warming of the planet could cause trees and plants to release more carbon than they absorb, a critical function reversal that would further accelerate climate change.

By as early as 2040, given the current projections of global temperature rise, land systems will only be able to take in half the amount of carbon compared to what they do today, according to the research, published in Science Advances this month.

The research analysed data from about 1,500 sites around the world to try and understand how temperature intersected with the absorption of carbon. What it uncovered was a “powerful tipping point”.

As temperatures continue to rise, the ability of trees and plants to perform photosynthesis - a function that utilises carbon dioxide in the air - is compromised. At the same time, in a warmer environment, the respiration of plants also increases due to heat stress, adding more carbon to the atmosphere.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Big Read: What’s the big deal with data privacy? Thorny, complex issues confront citizens and governments


January 16, 2021
  • The issue of data privacy has come under the spotlight, with debates triggered by the police’s use of TraceTogether data and the privacy policy changes of WhatsApp
  • Besides your name, age, gender, education and employment, data companies know what vehicle you own, the size of your home, your socioeconomic status, the websites you visit, your tendency to default on loans, and even your health problems
  • The enormous use of personal data by corporates and governments have become part and parcel of today’s connected society and quality of life, but also risks being misused or falling into the wrong hands
  • Data privacy law differs from country to country. Experts say Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act is not designed to ensure data privacy as its chief aim, but was conceived to achieve a narrower goal of protecting personal user data
  • The onus is also on the individual to keep asking questions about their personal data and not simply sign away their privacy, experts added

SINGAPORE — When messaging app WhatsApp’s new privacy policy sparked a global exodus from its services, Mr Darren Chin’s company — a local tech firm — decreed that its entire staff was to cease using the Facebook-owned platform for work.

“We’ve all been using WhatsApp for many years, but the company’s top management decided to ban it and we cannot say no,” said Mr Chin, 52.

“Everyone in the tech chat groups in my company switched to Signal, so I did so as well. I agree with the decision too: Data privacy is important to me,” the IT operations specialist told TODAY — ironically in an interview conducted over Facebook at his request.

Signal, as well as Telegram, are rival encrypted messaging apps that have surged in popularity amid the fiasco as an alternative to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has since come forward to clarify that its new terms will not allow its parent company to access the app users' messages, and delayed its February deadline for users to accept the terms. But the new policy will still allow WhatsApp to share more information with Facebook and roll out advertising and e-commerce.

Around the same time, a similar controversy unfolded involving Singapore’s contact-tracing system TraceTogether, after Singaporeans found out earlier this month that their Bluetooth proximity data could be used for criminal investigations.

This led some users to switch off their apps or leave their tokens at home, despite the fact that such data is critical in fighting the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, TODAY previously reported.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The scary power of the companies that finally shut Trump up

By Michelle Goldberg

January 12, 2021


In the days after President Donald Trump whipped up a mob to overrun the United States Capitol in a desperate attempt to stop the certification of his defeat, many conservatives have voiced their outrage over the true victims of the failed putsch.

“I’ve lost 50k-plus followers this week,” an indignant Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote on Twitter on Saturday, after the platform banned Mr Trump and purged accounts that promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Complaining of “radical left” censorship, Sanders, Mr Trump’s former press secretary, wrote: “This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country.”

In fact, Twitter and Facebook’s ejection of Mr Trump is pretty much the opposite of what happens in China; it would be inconceivable for the Chinese social media giant Weibo to block President Xi Jinping.

Mr Trump’s social media exile represents, in some ways, a libertarian dream of a wholly privatised public sphere, in which corporations, not government, get to define the bounds of permissible speech.

As a non-libertarian, however, I find myself both agreeing with how technology giants have used their power in this case, and disturbed by just how awesome their power is.

Mr Trump deserved to be deplatformed.

Parler, a social network favored by Trumpists that teemed with threats against the president’s enemies, deserved to be kicked off Amazon’s web-hosting service.

But it’s dangerous to have a handful of callow young tech titans in charge of who has a megaphone and who does not.

In banning Mr Trump, the big social media companies simply started treating him like everyone else.

Lots of people, including prominent Trump supporters like Alex Jones, Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, have been ousted from Facebook, Twitter or both for inciting violence, threatening journalists and spreading hatred.

Mr Trump, who has done all of those things, had until this past week been given special privileges as president.

There’s no First Amendment problem with taking these privileges away; Americans don’t have a constitutional right to have their speech disseminated by private companies.

On the contrary, the First Amendment gives people and companies alike the freedom not to associate with speech they abhor.

There’s a debate about how far this freedom should go.

Liberals, myself included, generally believe that freedom of association shouldn’t trump civil rights law, which is why bakeries shouldn’t be allowed to deny wedding cakes to gay couples.

But it seems obvious enough that the Constitution doesn’t compel either individuals or businesses to amplify seditious political propaganda.

Still, the ability of tech companies, acting in loose coordination, to mostly shut up the world’s loudest man is astonishing, and shows the limits of analogies to traditional publishers.

It’s true that Mr Trump can, any time he wants, hold a press conference or call into Fox News.

But stripping him of access to social media tools available to most other people on Earth has diminished him in a way that both impeachment and electoral defeat so far have not.

Social media bans matter because they work.

You can see it with villains as diverse as Isis, Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones.

“Their ability to drive the conversation, reach wider audiences for recruitment, and, perhaps most importantly to a lot of these conflict entrepreneurs, to monetise it, is irreparably harmed,” said Peter W Singer, co-author of LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.

It’s great that Mr Trump’s poisonous presence has been curtailed.

Private companies have shown themselves able to act far more nimbly than the US government, imposing consequences on a would-be tyrant who has until now enjoyed a corrosive degree of impunity.

But in doing so, these companies have also shown a power that goes beyond that of many nation-states, one they apply capriciously and without democratic accountability.

As The Verge noted, it’s hard to make sense of a system that leads to the trolly left-wing podcast “Red Scare” being suspended from Twitter, but not Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

So it’s not surprising that serious people including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Russian dissident Alexei Navalny find the Trump bans disturbing.

“This precedent will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world,” Mr Navalny wrote on Twitter.

“In Russia as well. Every time when they need to silence someone, they will say: ‘This is just common practice; even Trump got blocked on Twitter.’”

But the answer isn’t to give Mr Trump his beloved account back.

Mr Navalny pointed out that Mr Trump’s ban seems arbitrary because so many other bad actors, including autocrats, Covid-19 deniers and troll factories, still have access to the service.

He called for platforms to create a more transparent process, appointing committees whose decisions could be appealed. That would be a start.

In the long term, tech monopolies need to be broken up, as US Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed.

Mr Singer described the tech barons who finally took action against Mr Trump after enabling him for years as “rulers of a kingdom that abdicated their responsibility for a long time.”

This time, with Mr Trump, they ruled judiciously. But they shouldn’t rule over as much as they do. 



Michelle Goldberg has been an opinion columnist for The New York Times since 2017 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. She is the author of three books.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

440,000 Singaporeans eligible for matched CPF savings scheme

A total of 440,000 Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 are eligible for a new savings scheme this year where the Government will match cash top-ups made to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Retirement Accounts.

06 Jan 2021

SINGAPORE: A total of 440,000 Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 are eligible for a new savings scheme this year where the Government will match cash top-ups made to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Retirement Accounts.

To qualify for the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme, the CPF members must have less than the prevailing Basic Retirement Sum in their accounts, said the CPF Board in a media release on Wednesday (Jan 6).

The Basic Retirement Sum this year is S$93,000.

Other eligibility criteria are: An average monthly income of not more than S$4,000, an annual value of residence of up to S$13,000 – which covers all Housing Board flats – and ownership of not more than one property.

About 53 per cent of CPF members between 55 and 70 years old are eligible for the grant, the CPF Board said.