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SG Parliament rejects PSP’s motion calling for changes in reserves policies

Parliament dismissed PSP’s proposal for a review of budget and reserve policies. PSP NCMP Leong Mun Wai emphasized the need for reserve disclosure, stressing Singaporeans’ rightful ownership in his closing remarks.

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SINGAPORE: Parliament rejected a motion by the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) for a review of Singapore’s budget and reserve policies tailored to meet the immediate needs of the current generation.

Instead, an amended motion was passed, stating that the government to remains “fiscally responsible and sustainable” on such policies.

Mr Leong Mun Wai, Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from the PSP initiated a robust debate with a motion that proposes equitable fiscal policies: halt new trust funds, waive public housing land costs, and ensure transparent reserve management for Singapore’s sustainable future.

The motion on Singapore’s public finances “calls on the Government to review its current budget and reserve accumulation policies in order to help present-day Singaporeans reduce their financial burdens and improve their quality of life while continuing to save for future generations of Singaporeans.”

However, Liang Eng Hwa, the People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang SMC, proposed an amendment to the PSP’s motion.

The PAP’s amended motion read: “That this House calls on the Government to ensure its budget and reserve accumulation policies always stay physically responsible and sustainable in order to help present-day Singaporeans reduce their financial burdens and improve their quality of life while planning and providing for future generations of Singaporeans.”

Mr Leong in his concluding speech underscored the importance of disclosing reserves to Singaporeans, emphasizing their rightful ownership despite continuous pressure from the Workers’ Party (WP), PSP, and the public.

Discussing policies better than the current PAP offerings, Mr Leong acknowledged that PAP policies are not bad but believes there’s room for improvement.

He reiterated their proposal, asserting that it doesn’t require drawing down reserves but only a marginal slowdown in accumulation, promising superior economic outcomes for Singaporeans.

“I hope in this Chamber, we can discuss and debating to bring these policies out, and not keep saying that “whatever the opposition says, this is going to bring us down”. ”

Following a seven-hour debate, the amended motion was passed, featuring contributions from 14 Members of Parliament, including Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PAP MPs present in the House voted in favour of the amended motion.

In contrast, opposition members, including PSP NCMPs and MPs from the Workers’ Party, voted against one of the amendments and the amended motion itself.

NCMP Leong Mun Wai calls for review of Singapore’s budget and reserve policies

Mr Leong in his opening speech contended that maintaining secrecy about the size of Singapore’s reserves was unnecessary. He asserted that the reserves would persistently grow, even if a larger share were allocated to alleviate the immediate financial burdens of Singaporeans.

He criticised the ruling party’s economic strategies, linking them to the escalating cost of living and broader social challenges.

He paid homage to the “good reserve accumulation system” established by the late Dr Goh Keng Swee but was quick to underscore the sacrifices Singaporeans have made to build these reserves.

“However, because our reserves are not accumulated from natural resources, there is a cost to accumulating our reserves, which comes from sacrifices made by Singaporeans,” he articulated, emphasizing the people’s stake in the national reserves.

PM Lee: “How big a nest egg is enough?”

PM Lee later weighed in on the motion debate and emphasized that the ultimate decision on the use of reserves lies with Singaporeans, exercised through their votes at the ballot box.

Providing insights into Singapore’s current approach to managing and preserving its national reserves, he challenged opposition politicians to bring the matter to the election platform.

”The PAP will join issue with them, and convince Singaporeans that our way is the right way for Singapore,” said Mr Lee.

While rejecting the motion presented by the PSP, Mr Lee again asked: “How big a nest egg is enough? … We can never say for sure how much is enough, because we do not know what kind of crises we will face in the future, or how our investments will fare.”

However, he cautioned against mindlessly accumulating savings without considering present needs.

“Instead, our mindset should be to treat past reserves as a precious resource that generations of Singaporeans have built up. ”

Mr Lee advocated treating past reserves as a precious resource built up by generations. The spending rule, enshrined in the Constitution, maintains a balance between current needs and future sustainability, with 50% of investment returns going toward the present and 50% for the future.

Indranee defends PAP’s fiscal policies

Ms Indranee rejected PSP’s motion, asserting that its language implies an excess of fiscal resources not being utilized for Singaporeans.

She defended that funds allocated by Singapore are not intended for the distant future but are reserved for specific commitments, exemplified by the GST voucher scheme.

She highlighted that setting aside such funds ensures a reliable source of support for Singaporeans, illustrating prudence, thoughtfulness, and responsible fiscal policy, rather than an indication of excess fiscal resources.

She argued that this approach assures without the need for last-minute scrambling for funds.

In response, Mr Leong contended that accumulating reserves, while manageable during periods of rapid economic and income growth, may adversely impact present-day Singaporeans if continued at the same rate.

He pointed to pressing social issues such as mental health and declining fertility rates resulting from Singapore’s economic policies, urging a shift in focus from reserve accumulation to addressing these challenges.

“Today, it is not unreasonable for Singaporeans to expect the government to focus less on accumulating reserves and do more with our financial resources to address these social ills.”

Ms Indranee countered by emphasizing that when funds are placed in reserves and managed by GIC, 50% of the anticipated income is annually returned to the budget, constituting about 20% of the total sum.

She clarified that investments in reserves translate into tangible benefits for Singaporeans, dispelling the notion that money is withheld.

Furthermore, Ms Indranee stressed that the current pace of reserve accumulation does not significantly outstrip economic growth.

Ms Indranee assured that the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC) has consistently matched Singapore’s economic growth, remaining stable at approximately 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Highlighting the WP’s stance against increasing the goods and service tax (GST), Ms Indranee justified recent hikes by pointing to Singapore’s spending trends.

“We have to spend more in several key areas, and we will need the revenues very soon.”

Ms Indranee also refuted the assertion made by WP Chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, emphasizing that proceeds from land sales do not contribute to the growth of reserves.

She clarified that land sales do not qualify as revenue and, therefore, should not be considered a source of new wealth, outlining the potential drawbacks of relying on land sales as revenue.

These drawbacks include vulnerability to property cycles and the incentive to maintain high land prices.

Mr Singh argued that land can be resold due to the leases it holds. However, Ms Indranee countered this by stating that during the lease period, the use of the land is forfeited.

PSP suggested an alternative approach, proposing that Singapore treat land sales proceeds as revenue spread over the lease period.

Ms Indranee acknowledged the similarity to the government’s current approach but highlighted a key difference.

Under the PSP’s proposal, the land sales proceeds are invested, and only half of the generated returns are spent.

In a straightforward comparison, Ms Indranee explained that under the PSP’s proposal, there is a direct expenditure of S$1, whereas, under the PAP’s approach, the S$1 is reinvested, yielding more than a dollar.

Ms Indranee criticized the proposal to treat land in Singapore’s reserves as having no value, asserting that it disregards the sacrifices of those who relinquished their land under the Land Acquisition Act.

“Because their land, which did go into the reserves, means something to them, means something to us when we built on it, and you should not treat it as though it is worth nothing.”

WP backs PSP’s call for transparent disclosures on reserves

WP MPs voiced their support for the PSP’s original motion, with Mr Singh emphasizing the need for the government to disclose reserve figures not merely for the sake of transparency but to foster “mature conversations.”

The party advocated for an increased utilization of the NIRC beyond the current 50%, addressing the importance of balancing savings without imposing undue sacrifices on the present.

Associate Professor Jamus Lim, WP MP for Sengkang GRC stressed the relevance of economic principles to Singapore’s reserves, cautioning against high-handed restrictions on spending the inheritance.

He argued that such restrictions, especially in the face of rising living costs, appear paternalistic.

Assoc Prof Lim expressed his inability to support the amended motion, citing concerns that the amendments undermine the significance of a thorough review.

The sentiment conveyed was that the amendments may downplay the importance of a comprehensive reassessment.

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The pink, son of old cock who can’t even write a Will is very arrogant when he invited Mun Wai to bring it out to the electorate. It just show something Very clearly……..pink n the pappies have no answer and do not have an answer to the debate. HE SIMPLY SHUTS DOWN THE DEBATE! What kind of cock pm is this? Strip of your million dollar salary and just draw money allowance and we can debate whether you just need NTUC VOUCHERS? It is a million dollar chance for psp to splash over town that the pappies are OVERSAVING THUS… Read more »

When politicians are open, honest, NOT BEHAVING like CROOKS – and voters voted them expect them to be, and, even be like saints – there ISN’T any reason whatsoever to hide the People’s Money and listen to people of SG how to IMPROVE managing their money.

Which means to EXTRAPOLATE, then the PAP behaviour is FRAUDULENT, in so far as being NON TRANSPARENT in a WAY, very clear cut ROBBER’S behaviour towards Citizens Money.

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Do you guys know how this 50/50 rule comes about? Nobody can tell how much do we need in the future and this rule was instituted by non other than your peoples president OTC basedon intuition. Want to change it just because you guys think we have too much reserve and the people are suffering, really so? Don’t speculate. Don’t simply tweak things just because you think situation is as such. You don’t even know. And lastly please show some respect to the peoples president. This rule has worked for us well for many years. Put it bluntly psp is… Read more »

everything no? what is the point of having White House meeting? tsk tsk tsk

Are you telling us this 70% Pineapple Lovers? :
This is GOOD FOR YOU:
1) Increase GST
2) Increase PUB utilities
3) Increase COE, ERP
4) Increase Food Prices
5) Increase Housing prices
6) Increase Cost of Living
7) Increase Transport fares
8) Increase Hospital and Medical costs
9) Increase Foreigners intake, increase job losses
10) Increase Prices on Chicken, Eat Fish
11) Increase in Ageing population, collect carton boxes, a good form of
exercise. 
We need solutions not price increase!!!! What do you think?

In order for an honestdebate to take place, the most important element is to STRIP YOURSELF OF THE MILLION DOLLAR SALARY.

THEN WE ARE ON EQUAL FOOTING, EQUAL STANDING, GOT IT?

With this Equation, YOU CAN THEN SHOUT LOUDLY THAT you do no need help, we will admire you.

But YOU HAVE ALREADY TAKEN A BIG CHUNK of the BUDGET IF NOT THE RESERVE.

NO WONDER YOU WANT TO PROTECT IT and bring it to the grave cause you have already RAIDED IT?

Bullshit! You are speaking from the podium of a multi-millionaire. How about the cardboard pusher, the so-called environmentalists?

Do these people need help more than the unFERTILISED EGG?

YOUR ARGUMENT IS FLAWED!

I would encourage PSP to take this to the PEOPLE. on good years, off course we can save MORE but

1st REDUCE YOUR MILLIONS that you receive!

Of course rejected if PSP. Try putting a motion for PAP MPs to have yearly increase of wages and more benefits? That’ll fly thru faster than one can unzip his pants.

“Mr Lee advocated treating past reserves as a precious resource built up by generations. The spending rule, enshrined in the Constitution, maintains a balance between current needs and future sustainability, with 50% of investment returns going toward the present and 50% for the future” Comment: No one has ever disputed the need to build up Singapore’s reserves. The question is the quantum. In the past, splitting the returns based on a 50/50 basis was the prudent thing to do. However, circumstances have changed; our reserves have grown exponentially (thanks to the government). On top of that, the cost of living… Read more »

Local peasants ‘rightful ownership’ to know what the fxxk is happening to the Reserves?…as insisted by Leong?
These peasants don’t even have ‘rightful owership’ of their HDB pigeon hole, after they ‘supposedly’ brought it!!
They are just ‘renting’ it and somemore have to PAY A UPFRONT ADVANCED RENT FOR THE TOTAL DURATION!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣

Is the SG Nat Reserves Money of the people of SG?

Does any single cent belongs to the PAP or Singaporeans?

How to CHARGE the PAP with CBT if fingers, claimed to be legitimate, are dipped inside if books are NOT Opened?

Is Voters going to take up the challenge, Loong said let voters decide, when on the subject of PAP Administration’s MONOPOLY, at their Discretion, if or when they Misuse State Funds and Reserves Money which BELONG to ALL Citizens.

This SEEMS to be a continuation of PAP Administration TOYING with Sheepland which IS their Ground Zero.

Singaporeans U are DUMB if still worship PAP.

We have brilliant Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Walton School graduates in our teams of fine people managing Singapore’s reserves. Who the oppies have? Lim Tean the women stalker? Haha. Please don’t make my toe laugh.

Opacity and unaccountability remains the ultimate objective and practice of this, … democratically elected government !!!

You get what you voted for !!!, … … especially with this pap lot !!!

“PM Lee later weighed in on the motion debate and emphasized that the ultimate decision on the use of reserves lies with Singaporeans, exercised through their votes at the ballot box.” Voters have been challenged to vote the PAP based on how the PAP manages the reserves. Stupid voters will fall for this trap. Why is it a trap..? They will still not reveal anything in numbers. Instead, they will evoke emotions. The clue is in Indranee’s words: “Ms Indranee criticized the proposal to treat land in Singapore’s reserves as having no value, asserting that it disregards the sacrifices of… Read more »

The EVIL AIMS of PAP is Reinforced Strongly again, many times, & THIS’s NOT LAST.

Anything GOOD for SG, anything Opposition Exposed on the UNDESIRABLE PAP Practices against SG is always CERTAINLY killed by the PAP. Of course!

PAP ever so often VIOLATES the basic Rights & liberties of SG (to hold them accountable, to hold them TRANSPARENT ) is treated as CRIMINAL by them. Esp when PAP elected MPs are liars promising to be VOTERS VOICES but SHRINK and hide like mouse when NEEDED to speak for Sheeps.

The PAP dominated Parliament WILL LOOK OUT of Sorts, appear STUPID, when they Agree & Pass Opposition raised Execs or Legislative Motions designed for the good of SG.

They CAN NEVER ALLOW Opposition Politicians to CHAMPION for SG, right? Agree?

THEN, PROVES the PAP is NOT to legitimise and enacts laws FOR THE GOOD of Singaporeans.

This is PURELY CLEARLY 100,100,100, per cent a SELF SERVING PAP, and anti Opposition who wants good for SG.

This PAP is DIVISIVE and POLARISING SG. Entirely EVIL 😈 and Sell fish.

The Reserve is always to serve the Elite Overlords interest. Not for the State 2 especially … Full of Crap. Please step down asap. Dun need to wait till Nov. Nobody trust any words that come out of your mouth PM Lee

Everything increase, every surplus top up Reserved.
After reserved top up, PAP rewarded themselves ONLY.
Now best, PAP said Singaporeans have MENTAL HEALTH issues!
Even Puthucheary can be Minister by ACCUSING Singaporeans as RaCist
without even ATTENDING a Single Day of Education in SG!
PAP tell us to Upgrade, go Skill Future but do you think they take courses!
Enough of Bull Cock from PAP.
PAP MUST BE OUT!
I stay 2 Room flat after serving NS but Vivian Bala and Shanmugan entitled themselves to STAY Ridout QUIETLY!!

If the reserves were in such good health, there will be no need to increase the GST. The takeaway from this parliamentary session as what LHL has said several times is to vote the PAP OUT. So Singaporeans please vote this presumptuous party out. They are not working in our interest but covering up what they don’t want us to know just as in the cost of the SimplyGO , the losses incurred by TH and the GICS, The monies belong to the citizens as beneficiaries. The govt. has a fiduciary duty to tell the beneficiaries how much monies they… Read more »

Singapore PAP government Ministers always have the thought in mind that Singapore belongs to them the Singapore PAP government and not Singaporeans,the reserve is for the PAP government to enjoy where they spend the money on F1 race tournament, concerts from famous bands and Tiktok etc if the reserve run low,the Singapore PAP government Ministers increase GST hikes, electricity hikes and transport hikes to grab more money from Singaporeans captives slaves in order to continue enjoying highest luxurious life as a Swiss

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