Read this report on Channel News Asia:
Labour chief says Singapore's slide into recession unavoidable
The key unfortunate quote:
Giving some financial advice at the seminar, Mr Lim said: "Every month, when I receive my CPF statement, I feel so rich and the best part is, I know the CPF money won't run away. CPF will still be around for a long, long time to come... Not only is it earning good interest, my capital is protected."
This was reported on The Online Citizen and elsewhere.
What do I think of it?
One, it just *must* be a joke. If not, it was a horrendously insensitive statement, especially given how much government ministers earn in Singapore. If Mr. Lim was trying to show rapport with working class Singaporeans (about how the CPF is helping them preserve their savings and earning interest on top of that), this is *certainly not* the way to do it. At the same time, if this was meant to be a joke, it certainly was made in poor taste, again, given how much he earns relative to most Singaporeans.
Two, it is a hint Mr. Lim either does not really know what he is talking about OR he is treated very differently from most other Singaporeans and is seriously out-of-touch. One thing in his comment jumped right out at me. I get my CPF statements once every SIX months, not monthly. Reading the comments on other blogs, it would seem I am not the only one noting this fact. Perhaps he gaffed, meaning to either *not* say "monthly" but there have been no corrections, either by the media or by Mr. Lim. Nitpicking by me? Yes. However, it is the media's job to note such things, point them out and if the gaffe seems serious enough, question the politicians to give them a chance to clarify what they really mean. That is seriously lacking in Singapore media. The result is that government officials can end up saying nonsense in public and all people will do is simply nod their heads or pretend they did not hear it. Ultimately, if laziness gives way to actual incompetence, we will just let a poor government screw the nation up without challenge.