Did he inevitably put his foot in his mouth?
Uh oh. Seems like we have another case of major foot-in-mouth moment for the PAP.
Ex-presidential candidate and former PAP all-white Tan Cheng Bock made a sensational but dubious claim in a Facebook post on Jan. 12.
The runner-up president essentially said that “all office holders (in parliament) were required to switch from pension to CPF in 1998″ and ” in 2008… the Pension component was re-introduced”.
But this, if snooping Facebook users are correct, is misleading, if not utterly and stupendously wrong.
Here is what the popularly regarded Super Moderate wrote on his Facebook:
“Annual Reporting of Ministerial Salaries. When I was in parliament (1980-2006) I was under the impression that Ministers did not get any Pension because all office holders were required to switch from pension to CPF in 1998. Imagine my surprise when I read in the newspaper (5 Jan 2012,ST) that in 2008, two years after l left parliament, the Pension component was re- introduced and this resulted in a further increase in salaries for Ministers. This Pension component, which caused a lot of anger, is now removed. I am glad that this is being done. However, such a trend of changing policies mid stream is not good. Singaporeans want more transparency. To be transparent, an annual report of ministerial salaries must be published.”
This post was later shared by TheOnlineCitizen’s FB page on Jan. 16 .
However, in a Facebook post reply on Jan. 16, YPAP wrote:
“Tan Cheng Bock is mistaken. There was never any requirement in 1998 for office holders to switch to CPF. The white paper on salaries was introduced In 1994 and it clearly stated the basis for ministerial and civil service salaries. The paper explicitly mentioned having pensions for office-holders. This policy has been maintained till now, with Gerard Ee’s committee recommending to do away with pensions. So there is no “midstream” change in policy as construed by TCB”.
So here’s the major beef:
1. What gave Cheng Bock The-Man-Who-Sought-And-Received-Free-Sunday-Parking-For-Mankind the idea that “all office holders were required to switch from pension to CPF in 1998″? Which Act was he referring to? Or more specifically, what is he smoking?
2. Since Cheng Bock The Kindhearted Doctor served from 1980 to 2006 – a total of 26 years – he is eligible for pension and should be receiving his pension now. So why is he under the impression that “all office holders were required to switch from pension to CPF in 1998″?
3. The Straits Times article on Jan. 5 that Cheng Bock cited is: “Ministerial salary (MR4) benchmark and actual salaries for past year“.
The footnote under the graph reads: “The percentages represent actual salaries as a percentage of benchmark. The Practice of taking into account the value of pension as part of a minister’s total pay when comparisons are made with the private sector benchmarks began only in 2008.”
Therefore, nowhere does it state what Cheng Bock said: “in 2008… the Pension component was re-introduced”.
4) Should Cheng Bock not clarify now if he was right in claiming that the pension component was re-introduced in 2008?
5) So, if he is eligible for pension and is receiving it, how can he not know? Too much ukulele?
6) Hey! Where the hell did that original Facebook post with Cheng Bock’s claim go to?
This matter was originally raised by Fabrications About The PAP. (Click on photo below for their penetrative questioning.)