Name? Title? Or alternatively, please use a title page. Question la Blogger Roy Ngerng created a ripple when he wrote on his blog that Singapore government used retirement fund of citizens to invest in their investment firms to earn money for themselves. The aftermaths of his words reverberated among the public and the Ministers. Some were positive but many were negative, wanting immediate fix by the public while the Ministers struggled to address many unanswered questions to contain the intensity of the issue.
At the end of the whole saga, blogger Roy Ngerng lost his job and was sued by Prime Minister or defamation (The online Citizen, 2014) – a typical ending when powerful forces were challenged by an unarmed common man. In the midst of it, CPF policies were blamed for the woes of many Singaporeans, especially the lower income group while the rich were perhaps not as badly affected by these policies. Singaporeans depend on the CPF money to pay for their HDB houses, hospital bills and retirement fund.
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But many Singaporeans obviously feel that they never get to withdraw their own savings or rather the policies set by the government limit them from doing so. From sociological imagination (Mills, C. W. , 1959), one an easily see that Roy Ngerng’s blog has unearthed public’s unhappiness over how their CPF money is being handled. The supporters of Roy Ngerng are not hot-blooded netizens, vying to strike out at the government at the first given chance but rather most of them were in 30s to 40s and senior citizens (The Online Citizen, 2014).
They were concerned about their future and frustrated over their savings being locked away by government when they have personal obligations and wishes to fulfill using that money. Even Members of Parliament were helpless when citizens approached them to release their Minimum Sum und. The government is tight-fisted on letting citizens use their own savings and controversially keeps on increasing the minimum sum at every possibility, leading to immense unhappiness among the senior citizens and those nearing the retirement age (The Online Citizen, 2014).
As we look into the gathering of more than 3500 people at the Hong Lim Park, we can ask ourselves from conflict perspective as to who benefits higher from the current CPF system, especially from the Minimum Sum policy. It is undeniably the wealthy and the higher income group who benefit and the lower income group are definitely at isadvantage. It is not fair to impose a fixed sum of money on all Singaporeans to be set aside as Minimum Sum when the lower income group salary is nowhere near to the higher income group.
According to an article, anyone earning less than $1500 in Singapore is struggling to make ends meet (Channel News Asia, 2013) As such; lower income group cannot accumulate the current minimum Sum of $155,000 at their retirement age (My CPF, 2014) while the higher income group can accumulate more than required Minimum Sum in their CPF account years before the retirement age. Minimum Sum policys objective is meaningless to the poor and the needy. Ironically , this policy creates more gaps between the rich and the poor.
The higher income people are able to withdraw their savings while the lower income people are caught in deadlock position. Eventually, the lower income people, unable to fall back on their own savings continue to work. The CPF system does not alleviate the needs of the poor and needy but rather worsens the inequality between the rich and the poor. On the other hand, as emphasized by the government time and again, the functionalist perspective of he CPF system is that it helps in retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement (Ministry of Manpower, 2014).
Government shows statistics that Singapore has one of the highest home ownership rates in the world and Medisave from CPF system assists many needy patients in their hospitalization bills. However, these benefits fail to outweigh the accusations put down by Blogger Roy Ngerng on Singapore government that it used citizens’ money to invest in firms like Temasek Holdings and GIC but kept the public in dark over these investments. The earnings from these investments were not returned to the public (Ngerng, R. 2014). Moreover, from a social action perspective, many Singaporeans see the government as failing to fulfill its promise to them and their ways of life being threatened from ever increasing housing prices and the government’s insistence on holding back their savings by revising up the Minimum Sum every year (The Online Citizen, 2014). At the end of final backlash against the government, blogger Roy Ngerng was sued by Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong.
But based on micro-sociological analysis on ow a huge sum of more than $90, 000 was raised to fund Roy Ngerngs legal fees, it can be understood that public did not perceive the defamation suit by prime Minister in a positive manner. But the worst hit for blogger Roy Ngerng was the termination of his employment from Tan Tock Seng Hospital as a patient coordinator with immediate effect (Today, 2014). Based on the quantitative analysis of figures reported in an article on the huge turn-up of crowd at the Hong Lim Park, it can be established that many were concerned about Roys legal suit and his termination from job (Today, 2014).
Going by both the analysis, t can be said that those who are concerned about CPF system and the way government handles the CPF money can be called as strong supporters of blogger Roy Ngerng. They do not think it is fair for the prime Minister to sue Roy Ngerng when all he did was demand answers for many unanswered questions surrounding public money in CPF system, though there seemed be mixed feelings about his termination as he had breached his employment contract by using his employer’s resources to write his blogs and in office hours. Question 1b Introduction In order to effectively and reliably provide the thoughts of average
Singaporean’s on the CPF issues, there needs to be a platform in place where any average Singaporean can go to take part in the gathering and be seen as a politically correct way to show one’s protest and unhappiness over public issues. One such platform is Singapore’s first privately owned park – Hong Lim Park A study that addresses the importance of how such platform benefits the public and bridge the gap between the government and the public so that a Singaporean referendum may take place in near future when the voices heard are seen as sending out strong message on a public issue to government .
Purpose of Study The purpose of this study is to explore and understand through interviews from key participants and participants from the public on exactly how they feel about the way government handles the CPF issue and governments treatment of its citizens. Qualitative research study The role of the researcher in this study is to identify the biases and assumptions at the inception of the study. Although every effort will be made to maintain objectivity of this study, the researcher’s personal bias and opinion may influence the data collected and their interpretations Participants
The participants will be selected from the gathering for a protest on CPF issUes at the Hong Lim Park. The participants will be purposefully selected such that they come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and age groups. Based on Facebook sign-ups of the participants, researcher Will conduct a pilot study using a pre-prepared set of interview questionnaires on Singapore political climate and the people’s expectation of a ruling party via email. Each participant will be contacted a day before the protest so that their participations can be determined and interviewed at the CPF protest in Hong Lim Park.
All the participants will be nterviewed with their given consent and their personal information will be asked to complete to deduce a comprehensive analysis on the data. Sample Purposeful Sampling is commonly used in qualitative research whereby the participants are selected to suit the needs of the study (Macionis, J. J. , Plummer, K. , 2012 ). The researcher will select the participants who are naturally articulate and bold in expressing their honest thoughts and who are well-versed in the local political climate with a good knowledge of CPF issues. Evaluation One of the common bias in qualitative research is the listening bias (Tema-Lyn,l. 999). Meaning, we listen for things that we agree with and do not pay attention to things that we do not agree with and thus this can cause this method of research to be unreliable. Secondly, this type of research is time-consuming and so the result may not be relevant at the time of publishing. However, qualitative research provides people with the opportunity to understand a local and small- scale social situation such as in this study without imposing secondary sources in a natural setting. Reference Central Provident Fund, My CPF – Reaching 55 .. Planning golden years, 2014.