According to Ngiam Tong Dow’s article, the country’s reserves comprise CPF contributions, budget surpluses, revenue from land sales and dividends from GLCs. I would believe all the profits made by the ministries and stats boards would also be included in the reserves under surpluses.
Does it mean that the funds managed by the GIC and Temasek Holdings are not part of the reserves but funds managed by them from the govt? Technically that could be the case as it would lead to double entry and recognition.
What I am curious is the assigning of the people’s savings in the CPF as the country’s reserves. Aren’t this money the people’s money? The govt’s money is money it generated from its services, profits and surpluses. There cannot be any misunderstanding that the people’s savings is not the country’s money. It is a more acceptable general description that the country’s savings or wealth is the people’s money as the people is the ultimate owner of the country. Definitely the country cannot claim that the money the people saved belong to the country and become its reserves. If that be the case, it has an additional reason to boost up the savings in the CPF to inflate the reserves. Have all the lockup schemes got anything to do with this?
This distinction must be clearly defined or else it is easy for the administrator of the people’s saving to think that it is their money and they can do anything they want with the money. The often changes in the withdrawal date and amount to be withdrawn and what or how the people can use their savings are manifestations of a mindset that puts questions to the ownership of the people’s savings in the CPF.
The people cannot take it lying down that the govt can dictate how and what it wants to do with their savings, locking it up in all kinds of schemes. Should this be a time to redefine the people’s savings in the CPF as the people’s savings and not the nation’s reserves? As a reserves it is good to know and to see but cannot touch except by the govt. Does not seem very right is it? It is better to remove the people’s saving from the definition of reserves so that no one will harbour wild ideas about them.
Your money is my money and my money is my money.