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4/03/2010

The end game is Zero

We may be a multi culture and multi religion country, but the influence of Buddhism is widely felt and even practised as a way of life. Or at least one aspect of Buddhism is gaining prevalence without anyone realising it. Buddhism believes in emptiness. In the end all material things do not matter. We come naked and should go naked or empty handed. This is now a national philosophy. Many years ago we started this great saving scheme called CPF and the workers and employers contributed as much as 50% of an employee's income to the scheme. It was so successful that the Govt even switched its pension scheme to this scheme. The people were happy. They have enough in the CPF to buy their homes and then a handsome sum for retirement. The status quo lasted till probably the late 1970s or early 1980s when the savings in the CPF grew to such a size that it became very tempting to everyone. The CPF members not only smiled when the monthly statement arrived. They were rich with the amount of money in their accounts. And I am talking about the average workers, not ministers. As they said, the rest is history. Today, only a few lucky ones would have some decent money left in their CPF on retirement or to be passed down to their children. Every cent has been computed by all the interested parties to have a slice of it and leaving the owner practically just enough to meet his last rites. Some may say, but they still got a flat. Yes they do. But this is also computed that by the time they retire, they will have to trade it for some money to live on. And if they use reverse mortgages, that will be the perfect scheme in the game of zero. At the end no flat and no money. For those who have some money to live on and not having to trade in their flats, the flats also will one day become zero in value. I don't think this philosophy is Confucianist. It is fundamentally Buddhist in nature. The Game of Zero has been perfected. Come with nothing, leave with nothing. One qualification, it applies to the average Singaporeans only. PRs, foreigners and the rich are not part of this game.

7 comments:

Robert Tan said...

Yup, totally agree that one comes naked and go naked . We certainly would not be able bring any of our material possessions with us when we eventually go...

Not really a big issue to start with zero and end with zero. This may well be construed as a "good' - outcome of a balanced budget -not always easy to achieve for many. But should try not to start with zero and end with negative.

For those who are capable enough and are able enough to squirrel away to leave a positive, and as long as their positive is not derived from dishonest or dishonorable means, all the better for them.

It would be bonus if my parents can leave an inheritance behind before they go, and it will be good if we can leave something behind for our children before we go, but more importantly, we don't leave a debt burden that I children will have to bear after we go....

Anonymous said...

The Beggar Sect knows living better than the Buddhists!

Wally Buffet said...

To not be disappointed, it might be wise for all new entrants to the job market to treat CPF deductions from their salaries as tax and gone! Anything left after the cookie jar has been raided is a bonus! Hehe. That's what I did and I ain't whining.

Also, before you buy a $900 k HDB pigeon hole suspended in the air, be aware that it has a diminishing life span like your car. If you want to own it in perpetuity, go to Australia or New Zealand and invest in freehold properties. Better still, for $900 K, buy a big farmstead and consider yourself Lord of the Manor with serfs and live like a Duke riding horses around the Estate. Hehe.

Robert Tan said...

Or a palace in Lijiang and a holiday tent in Changi.....

Wally Buffet said...

Sorry Rob, both are "leasehold" only.

The commie's only allow the palace to stand for 30 years, after that, it goes back to the Peoples' government.

The tent's lease lagi short. 1 week only per permit. But worth every penny when you consider the nice unpolluted sea breeze, the blue sky and far away you can see Pulau Tekong where one of my grandson is training to bear arms for his country.

Hehe.

Anonymous said...

In the end, when one is gasping for the last breath:
Money is useless, no matter how much
House is useless, no matter how big
Power is useless, no matter how big are your guns.
Kings, Presidents, Dictators, Prime Ministers, Chairmans, CEOs

All end up with zeros, emptiness and nakedness.

Anonymous said...

Can those vain people understand Zero the ways it is deciphered in the above post.

Yes, if one adds 1 and more before the Zeroes. Most would want power, wealth sensual fulfillment and leave plenty to their successors for right or wrong reasons. Many offsprings of the wealthy and powerful do not know what to do with the fortunes amassed by their elders. Some do not even know what to do with their existence except splurge.

Well, no harm having fortunes if they are gottened without sins.