I just read a letter in ST’s forum, titled “Hassle to claim late grandma’s CPF money“. The letter writer, Ms Chan Jee May, revealed the insane bureaucratic hoops that CPF board made her family jump through in order for them to get her grandma’s CPF money.
Ms Chan’s grandmother passed last year at the age of 93. 93… That’s a pretty ripe old age. It also means that the grandma lived in an era where documents were that well… well… documented. The grandma and her husband didn’t have a marriage certificate and the closest thing they had was a grant of probate from 1978 to prove the relationship between the grandma and Ms Chan’s family. But that was rejected.
So the family decided to let the grandma’s brother claim the CPF money. CPF asked for a birth certificate. Which the family couldn’t provide, cause… you know. There was this thing called World War II where Singapore was quite chaotic…
So… what does CPF want? I suppose the grandma has been cremated. So not possible to do any DNA testing to show family ties. What then? Get a medium to conduct a seance so that the spirit of the grandma can confirm that Ms Chan is really her granddaughter? Or does CPF expect the family to travel back in time to ensure that the ah ma and ah gong get proper 21st century standard marriage certificate?
What could possibly be the principle considerations that CPF Board have that so completely tie their hands in red tape in this particular case? Are they afraid that this family is trying to cheat them? Be that as it may, I wonder whether CPF Board staff are actively suggestions of how the family can successfully navigate the nightmare of a bureaucratic maze so that they can successfully claim the ah ma’s CPF money. Or are the CPF staff just saying, “No… this cannot. No… that also cannot. Come back when you can give us what we want. Oh… don’t have ah? Then… er… Sorry, we regret to inform you that your application to claim your grandmother’s CPF money.”
So maybe the family would just have to forfeit the grandma’s CPF money. Take it as the government fining them for their grandma’s inability to keep proper records of her relationship with them. You know… Singapore. Fine city.
Oh, the best part is, Ms Chan’s grandma apparently had a will, which presumably left instructions about her CPF money. But no. Will cannot be accepted. Cause CPF money is not considered part of the deceased’s estate. Er… so wait. Is CPF money really our money? If it is, then why is it not considered part of our estate when we pass away? What’s the rationale of not allowing us to include our CPF money in our estate and will it to whoever we want? Scared dirty old men will it to succubi from other countries and leave their families destitute?
I hope CPF Board will explain why they have all these bureaucratic hoops and these many reams of red tape. Otherwise, this will just go on to be used by some people to justify what they think of CPF – money in our CPF account is not our money, but a scam by the government to cheat us of our money.
[Featured image: from SDP’s website]