Temasek manages $223,000,000,000 of our reserves, most of which originated from our CPF. link Temasek invests (or reinvests the returns) in risky assets such as foreign energy/resources and hedge funds. How some of these investments performed have not been disclosed.

Since Temasek funds belong to EVERY citizen (excluding new citizens), it is only right for the PAP to distribute part of the returns to individual citizens and not use it to supplement the budget. With a skyrocketing GDP and more than $20 billion in land sales, there are already huge budget surpluses.

Using a reduced figure of only $200 billion and 3.3 million citizens, each Singaporean owns at least $60,000 in Temasek. An individual would be entitled to the returns from $60,000 and a family of four $240,000.

We know from common sense that Temasek’s claim of a 16% 40-year TSR is nonsense – a $10,000 investment becomes $3.78 million in 40 years time.

Using a very conservative return rate of 5%, an individual would receive $3,000 annually. But such an arrangement is not prudent because there will be rainy days. So let’s just say 3% is distributed with the balance 2% reinvested.

At this rate, an individual will receive $1,800 while a family will receive multiple times of this amount depending on the number of children. Funds designated for children could be channeled into a non-CPF account for education. There would be no necessity to unproductively engage in fund raising exercises for children from less well-off families. While $1,800 may be peanuts to wealthy citizens such as MP Goh, this means a lot to the lower income group.

If Temasek is already contributing half of its investment returns to the budget, the amount should be about $4 billion or about $1,200 per citizen. Under the present system of transfers, an individual citizen does not even receive close to this amount.

This is because the government has set aside billions of dollars from our budget for the different funds such as Bus Service Enhancement, GST Voucher, Cultural Matching, Comcare Endowment, etc., leaving very little for citizens.

What about the billions in educational grants for foreign students? The PAP cannot claim it cares for citizens while allowing the returns from our reserves to indirectly benefit foreigners.

By distributing Temasek’s reserves equally to every citizen, there would be less reliance on the government for financial assistance. This is also the fairest means of distribution.

Phillip Ang

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