Shawn Tan - A man of 3 seasons

I would like to repeat this story of a man, full of himself, that visited Confucius to have an intellectual discourse with him. During his visit Confucius was having his meditation and could not see him immediately. So he engaged Confucius’ disciple on his theory of 3 seasons. He told the disciple confidently that there were only 3 seasons and not 4. They had a furious discussion and both could not agree obviously. To this man, there were only 3 seasons, but 4 to Confucius’ disciple.

When Confucius came to the room, his disciple explained to him what the commotion was about. Confucius nodded and agreed with the man to the astonishment of his disciple. How could that be when everyone knew that there were four seasons? After the man left, the unconvinced disciple confronted his master. Confucius explained that the man was like a kind of insect that lived only till autumn and would die before winter. In the insect’s lifespan it was good for only 3 reasons and would never know what winter was all about. And he was right.

My post on the interest rate for Medisave Minimum Sum received some ridicules from this Shawn Tan in TheRealSingapore site. Shawn Tan was confidently sure that I was talking nonsense on two points. There is a Medisave Account and no Medisave Minimum Sum Account. He was also very sure that the Medisave Account pays 4% interest rate and I got my facts wrong and posting rubbish without getting my facts right.

I just sent a reply to the CPF telling them that based on my statement in the CPF online record, the sum paid to me for my Medisave Minimum Sum was 1.92%. I got the numbers using a calculator. The amount of interest paid to my Retirement Account was 5.1%. Both numbers are facts, not guessing and have been sent to the CPF. Shawn Tan may choose to believe that I was talking rubbish still, with no facts or wrong facts. He is entitled to his belief.

In his post, he confidently said that there was only a Medisave Account and no such things as Medisave Minimum Sum Account. Let me quote from the CPF site on this.

‘What is Medisave Minimum Sum (MMS)?

The Medisave Minimum Sum (MMS) is the amount you need to retain in your Medisave Account (MA) for your healthcare needs. You may withdraw any excess Medisave savings on or after 55 subject to the applicable withdrawal rules after meeting the CPF MS requirement.

If you have set aside the CPF MS but are unable to meet the MMS requirement when you make a CPF withdrawal, you would need to top up your MA with all or part of the balances from your Special Account and Ordinary Account to meet the MMS prevailing at the time of withdrawal.

Since 1 July 2013, the MMS is $40,500.’

The MMS is only known to those who reached retirement age, or those who are in the know when what is left in the Medisave Account will be the MMS. For the young and not in the know, they will only know that there is a Medisave Account but no MMS. The quote from CPF site above explained clearly what MMS is. Let’s hope Shawn will understand that there is a MMS when he reaches retirement age. For the time being he can be confident that he is right, that there is no MMS.

A man of 3 seasons.


Anonymous said...

Good story. I agree with you and sympathize with Shawn Tan.

Once upon a time I was a young man like Shawn Tan.
Being much older now.
I have learnt just how little I really know.
If I could be young again.
I would have kept my mouth shut and my ears and mind open.

Anonymous said...

Also, heh heh
I would have voted Opposition!
But never mind.
Never too late to vote Opposition.

jjj2usg said...

Perhaps I got carried away with frustrations when I reached my retirement age 55 last year. CPF board gave me about $2500 plus after all the so called MS or MMS or whatever deductions. What can you do when you are told that's the amount you can withdraw? Furious, depressed and depressed!!!!!! Curse and swear??

Anonymous said...

Shawn maybe happy to know there is one more season which he hitherto does not know. He will appreciate the Enlightenment whether or not he gets to enjoy that season.

Virgo49 said...

Hi Anon@12.09pm

Heh Heh Heh, why vote Opposition when they are not ready to be the Government???

Vote PAP lah for the following reasons sinkies are comfortable with:-

1) Got GST Credits- up to S$800.00- old folks exclaimed MY Children also do not give me this much of $800.00

2)(a) Brought flats at S$9,800/13500.00 and sell at S$200,0000.00 to S$410,000.00.
(True case Bro, my friend's niece paid S$410K for a 3 room Clementi SERs flat with COV nearly 100K)

(b) S$24,500.00 sells at S$400 to 500K

(c) S$30,500/46K sells at 600 to 700K

Where to find such profits, U tell me?? CPF savings low low never mind, sell flat stayed with chidren, have enough till pushed into incinerator at Mandai.

(3) Or alternatively, stayed in JB/Malacca and rents out flat to FTs. Every month got 2 to 3 K - Exchange RM2.6= RM6 to 7K.

Don't care whether FTs rents the flats and converted into brothels. HDB don't check or bother want!! Got memo from Up there not to disturb these Talents.

(4) Me doing some small business- Wah piang business so good everyday with the population now at 5.3 millions. Waiting for them to increase to 6.9Milllions.

Do not understand, why fellow Sinkies kpkb. The PAP is number ONE. Hong Kong people said NAMPAR ONE!!!!!!

Many many good reasons why the PAP should be the Government have not say yet.


oldhorse42 said...

Hi RB,
No need to be upset with such a petulent young turk.
He is just jealous of your popularity and tried unsuccessfully to take you down a peg or two.
Just continue to post your insightful thoughts and I will monitor your coffee level

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks oldhorse.

I need to respond so that other young people will not be misled by him. Sounded an a member of the IB.

Anonymous said...

RB, I like your story. By the way, there are now many unemployed or under employed fresh and young graduates. I worry for my kids

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

No need to worry for your kids. There is a bright future for them to be carpenters and hawkers. Just kidding: )

Anonymous said...


DR Tan Cheng Bock "uninvited" to the CNY garden party is the latest talk of the town.....extremely very hot from the oven.....how about RB writing something about it it ...."HUAT AH! HUAT AH! HUAT AH!"....


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I wrote something as a postscript to an article that I would post tomorrow. Posted too many articles today already.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The treatment of Cheng Bock is simply you are either with us or against us.

b said...

Thats a nice parable. Another one:

Proverbs 26:4-5 KJV
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Anonymous said...

Still vindictive, vengeful and petty. The hand of evil is still evident within the party. A leopard can never change it's spots. How true!

Anonymous said...

PAP Chicken Joke
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

PAP Minister:
A: We don't care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either for us or against us. There is no middle ground.

Tan Cheng Bock:
A: In order to achieve its potential to be President, the chicken had to cross the road.

b said...

When healthcare is concerned, it should be a no pay no cure scheme (and not a pay and pay scheme) and it must be guaranteed for at least five years. The current healthcare arrangement all over the world is just a big con scheme.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I have discovered the discrepancies in the computation of my Medisave and Retirement Accts. One is paid annually and the other bi annually.

When I saw the two amounts of interests side by side, the numbers obviously did not tally.

After going through the whole year's statement, I found another payment in July. The interest paid for Medisave is 4% while Retirement is 4 + 1%.

Why would they be computing interest payments differently, I dunno. My concern has been cleared and the payment is correct.