Thanks in part to the lack of tangible success in controlling inflation, the target is now shifted forward by two years to 2015. CPF members who turn 55 between this July and June next year will also be required to have a new minimum sum of $139,000, up 6 per cent from $131,000 last year. Apparently all the MAS grandstand efforts at maintaining a strong SingDollar to combat imported inflation didn't amount to much help. Not when the domestic contributors of inflation are having a field day - electricity tariff, housing and transportation costs, etc, etc.
To quote the PM, it's no fun being poor in Singapore. The more fortunate have a different set of worries. Take the financial expectations of one politician who "retired" in 1990:
"I can understand a person wanting to have, in today's Singapore, a house, a car. Projecting myself back as a young man, I would probably need about $10 million - $5 million to buy a house, the things that would go with the house and education for the children. So if I have another three, four million in the bank and income from it, and three, four hundred thousand dollars annual income, that's the kind of life that I as a non-politician would probably aspire to if I were in my 30s."
That was what Lee Kuan Yew told Warren Fernanadez in an interview for a book published in 1998 ("LKY: The Man And His Ideas", pg 235), telling the future editor of the Straits Times that money has not been a determining factor in his life. However, he did add, "If you ask me to live today in an HDB three room flat, and I had to eat at a hawker centre every day, that would a problem," saying his digestion capability at that age will not be able to cope.
Sigh, the lower income group will just have to have a stronger stomach to cope. For them, any meal would be welcomed respite, be it from a hawker centre, food court or restaurant.