The Reform Party (RP) has promised to return Singaporeans’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings when they turn 55 years old and make CPF savings voluntary for all if its members are elected into Parliament, according to a leaflet the opposition party has been circulating in West Coast GRC – one of the wards it plans to contest in the next General Election (GE).
The Reform Party is a liberal-democratic political party founded by opposition veteran J.B. Jeyaretnam in 2008. Mr Jeyaretnam, who was formerly the secretary-general of the Workers’ Party, made history when he became the very first opposition politician to be elected into Parliament in post-independence Singapore.
Around three months after the party’s foundation, Mr Jeyaretnam passed away and his son, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, took over leadership of the party. The party has contested the 2011 and 2015 GEs, as well as the 2013 Punggol East by-election, but has yet to earn a seat in Parliament.
The RP leaflet, which lays out some of the pledges the party is making to voters, also reveals that the party will provide $300 a month per child as a “child benefit,” presumably as part of its goal to raise Singapore’s birth rate and provide better financial support for parents.
Asserting that it is being the change it wants to see in Singapore, RP commented on its pledge about CPF savings said on its Facebook page. The party said: “You should believe that you have the Ability to manage your own earnings which were accumulated over the years of harvesting. 55 years old is the day you should get your earnings.”
CPF savings is a hot button issue in Singapore. Earlier, Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Dr Tan Cheng Bock said that he wants to re-enter parliament to seek accountability about CPF savings.
Dr Tan, who is Singapore’s very first former ruling party politician to start his own opposition party, said earlier this year: “I go in because I want accountability. I want transparency. What’s happening to our reserves? Are our reserves all gone? Don’t know. What happened to our CPF?
“Now these things, we all can shout until the cows come home [but its] no use, if you’re not in the House.”