The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has responded to a daughter’s claim that it continues deducting MediShield premiums from the CPF account of her long lost father, who went missing 23 years ago.
The authority has claimed that the man received more than the amount that was deducted from his CPF account, since he was presumed alive.
Last Sunday (4 Aug), Facebook user Yukimi Wu shared a photo of the police report her family filed 23 years ago, declaring her father missing, and wrote: “Today has marked the 23 years of my dad who went missing in 1996. Exactly 23 years! Accordingly to his friends, last seen was at Singapore Island Country Club.
“We suspected (sic) he has been murdered but his body hasn’t been found. There is no proper burial for him. We assumed (sic) he is still alive!
“Every year, CPF Board still deduct money from his account for MediShield, there is no way to stop it as we didn’t have his Death Cert yet. In the records, he still alive!”
In the comments section of her post, the daughter shared that her family used to live at a kampong in Bukit Brown under Cheng San GRC and that her father had been working as a caddy at Singapore Island Country Club.
Ten years ago, about 13 years since her father went missing, the family shared about her father’s disappearance to the press and television channels but did not receive any new information.
The daughter revealed: “During that time, we have (sic) seek MP for help. The MP has referred us to his lawyer friends but was charging us $3000 plus and to get a death certificate from High Court needs around $6K. After that we didn’t do it due to the money.”
She added that she was ineligible to apply for legal aid at the time since she and her mother were both working at the time and did not meet the income cap for legal aid.
The daughter also expressed concerns of high legal costs and the possibility that her mother might be forced out of her HDB flat if she applies for a death certificate for her father, since the flat is in both her parents’ names.
CPF Board has since responded to the case and has asserted that the family did not approach the authority for assistance on the continued premium deductions.
Clarifying that Yukimi Wu’s real name is Emily Boo and that her father’s name is Boo Meng Hock, CPF Board said: “You may have come across a Facebook post by Ms Emily Boo (also known on Facebook as “Ms Yukimi Wu”) lamenting that her father, Mr Boo Meng Hock, who has been missing for 23 years, continued to have his MediShield Life premiums deducted.
“We empathise with Ms Boo and the situation that her family is facing. Our record shows that neither Ms Boo nor any of Mr Boo’s family members have approached the CPF Board (CPFB) for assistance on the continued premium deduction. We have reached out to Ms Boo to explain the steps to declare her father as deceased.”
CPF Board added that it treats CPF members as alive until they’ve been registered as deceased with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), in line with “industry practice.”
The authority further asserted that Mr Boo received more in cash and CPF than the amount that was deducted for his MediShield premiums since he was presumed alive.
It said: “Regardless of whether the death certificate has been obtained, we note that in the past 23 years, Mr Boo received Pioneer Generation, GST Voucher and other government MediSave top-ups amounting to $7,000. Mr Boo also received GST Voucher and SG Bonus in cash totalling $4,600.
“Together with other government assistance schemes like GST credits (2007-2010), Growth Dividends (2008-2010), and the Grow and Share Package 2011, Mr Boo had received a total of about $15,000 in cash and CPF because he was deemed to be alive. This is more than the cumulative MediShield Life premium deductions of about $7,300.”
The authority urged Ms Boo to register her father as deceased with ICA. To do so, she must apply for a court order on the presumption of death and approach the ICA for the death registration.
Read CPF Board’s response in full here: