“In the event that Ian commits suicide, kills someone or is killed, I will hold all relevant persons and ministries accountable for failing to release my funds for his alternative medical treatments…”
The jobless mother of a mentally-ill son is furious that the CPF Board has refused her request to withdraw her CPF savings.
Carena Tan, who turned 55 years old in 2018, had asked to withdraw S$70,000 from her Retirement Account to pay for her family’s living expenses and treatment for her son, who she says has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
However, the request was rejected by the CPF Board.
The reason – it appears that Tan would not meet the requirement to set aside the full retirement sum of S$171,000 in her Retirement Account if she withdrew that S$70,000.
The CPF Board told Tan that she could “re-consider approaching the Social Service Office @ Bukit Panjang for financial assistance.”
However, Tan asked in response:
“Do you consider your recommendation to reconsider going to social welfare instead of using my own CPF funds an emphasis on moral decay and corruption?”
Tan said that her son is going through “mental and emotional upheaval”.
“The drug, Quetiapine, that was prescribed by IMH in replacement for Risperidone (almost killed Ian) is not working and in fact, is causing the very psychosis disorder that Ian is trying to come out of, namely, bipolar and schizophrenic disorders.”
Tan said that the inflexibility of the CPF Board and its decision to deny her the withdrawal of her CPF savings is causing her family much suffering.
“You have just added another layer to the already miserable circumstances that we are struggling with. You have topped in your obsession to blindly follow a set of protocols above and over humanity.”
Tan’s letter was first published on Transitioning.org, the website of a support group for the unemployed in Singapore.
This is the letter that was published on Transitioning, and the initial response from the CPF Board, reproduced in full.
Angry Mom’s Reply to the CPF Board Staff
Dear Ms Nur Baizurah Arshad,
Thank you for feeling sorry for my family’s circumstances and not lifting a finger to help. Your copied and pasted answer to my 2nd appeal is unbelievable, appalling, and unacceptable. Egomania is another surplus attitude, on top of the already overflowing mentally handicapped synonyms your reply exhibited.
My family circumstances are only possible due to PAP’s policies. You have just added another layer to the already miserable circumstances that we are struggling with. You have topped in your obsession to blindly follow a set of protocols above and over humanity.
I often find myself castigating my government, the PAP, perhaps in excessive, the reasons are the perversion of wisdom, the perversion of insights the “shirk and wash your hands off” smug attitudes of a person, like yourself, that most if not all of those working in these government institutions displayed.
My castigations are often in reaction to the unwarranted apotheosis of my government at the hands of fawning supporters. The supporters unstated claim to self-worth is inextricably linked to jumping onto the great bandwagon march towards leeching off our current parasite friendly system.
Below are some questions I would like you to answer:
1. Do you consider your recommendation to reconsider going to social welfare instead of using my own CPF funds an emphasis on moral decay and corruption?
2. Are you doing justice to the taxpayers’ money? Do you see a money crisis here?
3. Integrity is scarce in Singapore, today, perhaps, the scarcest. By extension, there is a surplus of incompetence, negligence, corruption, slackness, weakness, stupidity, immorality, indifference, carelessness, irresponsibility, ignorance and egomania to name just a few. Do you agree that these surpluses are DANGEROUS and DISASTROUS when dominant in places of Authority?
4. When you hold our funds beyond age 55 without our consent, is this purposive behaviour considered a violation of human rights? Are we a democratic society? Can we take part in policy making especially when it involves our retirement, after spending our prime years supporting the health of our nation’s GDP?
5. You reflected a trailhead character (oppressive high handed way) very typical of our various institutions when you sidestepped your duty, evading responsibilities with your “shirk and wash your hands off” attitude. When you directed me to the hospital and healthcare provider, not under mainstream, are you not aware that Medisave does not cover alternative medicine? What is your intent?
6. My current health state, chronic fatigue, besides being a punching bag for Ian’s frequent violent outbursts, is largely caused by frustration, resentment, anger, hatred and having to deal with people like you over and over again. Explaining my situation to the various institutions, with their high turnover rate is a nightmare. Do you not feel that we are being bullied? Muted?
7. There are 3 classes of people in society. One, those who can see. Two, those who can see when shown and Three, those who cannot see even when shown. Which class do you belong to?
At this point in writing, Ian, is going through mental and emotional upheaval. The drug, Quetiapine, that was prescribed by IMH in replacement for Risperidone (almost killed Ian) is not working and in fact, is causing the very psychosis disorder that Ian is trying to come out of, namely, bipolar and schizophrenic disorders.
I repeat and highlight in bold here.
In the event that Ian commits suicide, kills someone or is killed, I will hold all relevant persons and ministries accountable for failing to release my funds for his alternative medical treatments.
I WILL LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED IN MY QUEST FOR JUSTICE!
If I have to, I will spend the rest of my life doing only one thing. Seek justice for my son!
I WILL PROTECT IAN WITH MY LIFE!
Concurrently, I am taking up the compensation issues with SCDF for negligence. There is no one educated who is not ready to stand and defend integrity whenever it exists. For the safety of our boys, to prevent unnecessary death and recurrent family’s woes like ours, I have a moral duty to speak up.
Below are some of the options I have and your reply will determine which I should embark on:
1. Bring to light our family circumstances and appeal to the public for funds.
2. Publish a non-fiction book titled “Living In The Dark Side of Singapore” to generate income.
3. Start a National/International conversation regarding policies concerning NS and CPF in Singapore.
4. Join the late Lawrence Lau, add on the ever-increasing rate of suicide and make the void deck of Block 210 Petir Road, a hot spot for death by jumping, if all else failed.
Your immediate reply, from a person who is capable of critical thinking, is very much appreciated.
P/S your copied and pasted response to my 2nd appeal has added another dimension to my already filled to the brim documented correspondence from various institutions in Singapore. Thank you:-)
The Earlier Reply from the CPF Board
Dear Ms Tan,
We refer to your emails of 24 September and 15 October 2018, requesting to withdraw a lump sum of $70,000 from your Retirement Account (RA) now.
We are sorry to hear about your family’s circumstances.
Under the CPF Retirement Sum Scheme, members (like yourself) who turned 55 in 2018 are required to set aside a Full retirement sum (FRS) of $171,000 in their RA. As explained in our reply of 30 January 2018, members can apply to set aside the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) of $85,500, and withdraw the RA savings above the BRS (excluding interest earned, any government grants received and top-ups made under Retirement Sum Topping-up scheme) via sufficient charge/pledge if they own a property with more than 30 years of remaining lease, and it is not a short-lease 2-room Flexi or Lease Buyback Scheme flat.
If you currently do not own such a property, you will not be able to withdraw a lump sum from your RA.
You may wish to re-consider approaching the Social Service Office @ Bukit Panjang for financial assistance. They can be contacted at:
Address : Blk 232 Pending Road, #01-29 Singapore 670232
Tel no. : 1800-222-0000
Usage of MediSave
The main objective of MediSave is to help Singaporeans pay for their major in-patient hospitalisation expenses and selected outpatient treatments such as chemotherapy that are very expensive in nature. It can also be used for the treatment of selected chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. In addition, the Ministry of Health has also extended the use of MediSave to cover the cost of selected vaccinations, outpatient scans, and health screenings.
You can check with the hospital or healthcare provider if your son’s medical expenses are able to claim under the MediSave Scheme.
Nur Baizurah Arshad (Ms)
Retirement Schemes Department
Central Provident Fund Board