In what is yet another sign of those sitting up at the ivory towers having totally lost any connection to the ground, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) stated that they believe when someone is supposed to renew his NRIC, then a system where the applicant pays a small sum is better as this brings a stronger sense of pride and ownership of the identity card.
This came after former journalist Bertha Henson wrote about the fact that she had to change to a new IC once she reached 55 years old, and questioned the fact why the need to pay a $10 fee. While she agreed that NRIC should be changed, as the older one gets, the photo on the IC might not give a correct representation of the passport holder, she questioned why there is payment required when an IC represents a transaction to re-affirm your Singapore citizenship. So technically, there should be a price to put on it.
And once again, the ICA also stated that the payment is of a minimum sum, as the rest of the fees are subsidized by the government. This is exactly the same kind of statement the MOE put out, in the wake of their own claiming of school fees from a student who clearly had major financial problems.
In both cases, the government entities shifted the blame on something else, MOE on the fact that it was a longstanding practice to collect fees if original PSLE result slips are given. For ICA, they indicated that the $10 fee is payable as this would invoke a stronger sense of pride and ownership in a Singaporean identity. And both made it clear that the government had subsidized most of the other costs, so what we pay is just a minimal sum. They dare say this is not about the money.