Hundreds of people gathered at a rally to protest against Central Provident Fund (CPF) and MediShield Life policies at Hong Lim Park yesterday.
There were eight speakers in all: former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian; social activist Vincent Wijeysingha; bloggers Leong Sze Hian, Ariffin Sha, Han Hui Hui and Roy Ngerng; Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam; and Singapore Democratic Party treasurer Chong Wai Fung.
The three-hour event, dubbed Return Our CPF, was organised by Ms Han. She did not take questions from the media and did not give an estimate on how many people attended.
Mr Tan criticised the recently approved MediShield Life universal health insurance scheme for not covering medicine for chronic diseases like diabetes, while Ms Chong proposed another way to finance the programme.
Mr Ngerng, who has been sued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation, for alleging that Mr Lee criminally misappropriated CPF monies, was the last speaker.
He called on the Government to be more transparent about how CPF monies were being invested, and questioned why interest rates were low. "The CPF is not a cheap source of funding," he said during his hour-long speech, adding: "We should take our money back." Also present at the rally were opposition politician Chee Soon Juan and lawyer M. Ravi, who is representing Mr Ngerng in the defamation suit.
A recurring theme among speakers yesterday was voting the People's Action Party (PAP) out to change policies.
"(The PAP) will never understand how it feels to be poor, to lose your job, or to have to fear for your lives, day in, day out. But I do. I have lost my job," said Mr Ngerng, referring to his former position as a patient coordinator at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
The first CPF rally took place on June 7. Another is planned for Aug 23, said Ms Han.
This article was first published on July 13, 2014.
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