Friday, August 17, 2012

杜进才与公积金,Dr Toh Chin Chye and CPF (1 of 2)

过去的新加坡国会,最针锋相对的是1980年代PAP李光耀与WP惹耶勒南(JB Jeyaretnam)之争。惹耶勒南凭1981年安顺区(Anson)补选成为国会议员,以斗牛士的身份进入国会。


李光耀对惹耶勒南有许多负面评价:

Put it this way. As long as Jeyaretnam (Workers' Party leader) stands for what he stands for -- a thoroughly destructive force -- we will knock him. There are two ways of playing this. One, you attack the policies; two, you attack the system. Jeyaretnam was attacking the system, he brought the Chief Justice into it. If I want to fix you, do I need the Chief Justice to fix you? Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac. That's the way I had to survive in the past. That's the way the communists tackled me. He brought the Chief Justice into the political arena. Han Fook Kwang, Warren Fernandez, Sumiko Tan. Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas. Singapore: Times, 1998.

当时国会只有惹耶勒南一个反对党员。事隔多年,新一届新加坡国会(2011-)多了八个反对党席位,国会辩论是否创出新纪元或许还言之过早,但至少有两张新面孔,分别代表两个截然不同的个人魅力:一个是学术风范的陈硕茂,另一个是把英国国会的辩论方式带入新加坡的维凯(Vikram Nair)。

2012年国会辩论财政预算案,三巴旺集选区议员34岁的律师维凯针对工人党议员陈硕茂对改善财政预算案的提议,和“尼日利亚骗局”作比较,以半戏弄的语气挖苦对方一番:

One of the very early experiences that I had with a good investment was an e-mail I received while I was a student, and it came from a person who claimed to be the second son of the President of Nigeria. And in this e-mail, he claimed that if I was to give him $10,000 by tomorrow, in order that he can take delivery of a multi-million dollar shipment of oil, he would be able to pay me back a million dollars the next week. I was a student. I did not have $10,000 at that time so I never took part in that investment. But I subsequently learnt that this was a scam. You know, imagine my hurt. ”(Parliamentary report 29 Feb 2012

人过五十而知天命,准备打人生下半场的陈硕茂沉着应变,轻描淡写地说对维凯的演讲没有澄清或提问的必要。维凯反省后承认:嘲讽意味太重、太过火了,感到非常过意不去。

火爆味强烈的还包括李显龙总理当年还是贸工部政务部长(Minister of State for Trade and Industry)的时候在国会维护公积金政策的一番激辩,当时以为赢了杜进才(Toh Chin Chye),将近一年后才知道其实是输了一战。

(当年刚踏入政坛的贸工部政务部长李显龙,王鼎昌和林金山。NAS 1985

时光倒流28年。1984年对像我这样的打工仔是个好年头,配合着“第二次工业革命(新加坡版)”,新加坡的制造业急速转型,从劳工密集工业到技术密集工业,薪水大幅度调高。当时公积金缴交率提高至50%:雇主25%,雇员25%。虽然看得到(数目字)却摸不着(钞票),不过由于个人生计不受影响,又在有财有势的MNC工作,所以能够以兴奋的心情向过去穷困的日子告别,迷恋着节节飙升的公积金存款。

当年根据政府的公积金养老大计,盘算着55岁退休后的黄金年华。日后的法定退休年龄经过数次修订,依次提高到60岁及62岁,接着可能6567岁。虽然法定退休年龄跟实际退休年龄没一定的挂钩,但眼看着被冠为乐龄的老人家并没有享受黄金年华的乐趣,而是在食阁、咖啡店、高尔夫球场俱乐部等公共场所劳劳碌碌,赚钱养老,是公积金计划出了问题,社会出了问题,还是当事人本身不懂得理财?

2012年,当CPF再度成为公众焦点,海峡时报访问公积金局(CPF Board)CEO Yee Ping Yi,总结公积金局的解释,撇开政治语言,简而言之是过去三十余年的社会变迁,制造了大量的中产阶层,而公积金制度并没有很好地为这群人提供保护网。

“The CPF scheme would run into problems if it sought to provide for the full retirement needs of everyone, rich or poor, the man in charge of running it has said. As it now stands, the Central Provident Fund scheme 'fully meets the retirement needs of the people who are below middle income', the fund's chief executive, Mr Yee Ping Yi, said in an interview with The Straits Times. That means the bottom 40 per cent of wage earners. It also 'substantially meets' the needs of middle-income earners, which means its retirement coverage extends to about 60 per cent of wage earners.” (The Straits Times, 29 Mar 2012)

1985年有关公积金的辩论曾经撮合了在1981年退出内阁的PAP元老杜进才和刚踏入国会的詹时中(Chiam See TongDAP)。杜进才是人民行动党的创党元勋,新加坡自治到独立初期的副总理(1959-1968),后来接连“降级”,成为科学与工艺部长(1968-1975),卫生部长(1975-1981)。当时除了强而有力的为小型企业请命,阐明过高的公积金对运作成本的直接打击外,杜进才也对政府从优生学的角度来鼓励大专毕业的妇女结婚生育,给予特惠的税务回扣而大感不满,严厉批评这种把人阶级化,开历史倒车的政策。

Everybody is a tax payer, everybody is doing national service. Do they not expect whoever is the government to govern the whole island, not part of it? All constituents are citizens. It’s a complete reversal. How can I remain a dumb cow?(The Straits Times 26 Aug 1984)


(The Straits Times 26 August 1984)

杜进才强硬的措辞与对多项国家政策的基本考量深感不满,甚至使寻常百姓揣测他会不会脱离PAP,加入反对党阵营。不过没有,1984年大选,杜进才依旧代表PAP参选梧槽区(Rochor),他多年来在梧槽参选的欢喜冤家李绍祖没有上阵,在无对手下蝉联,1988年在政坛引退。



(1972年大选,梧槽区杜进才胜了老对手李绍祖,在Rochor Road答谢选民,背景是Selegie十八层楼,当时新加坡最高的组屋。NAS 1972)

1960年代和1970年代,外婆住在马尼拉街的SIT组屋(Manila Street off Victoria Street),属于梧槽区。大选期间,最热闹的莫过于应该选杜进才还是李绍祖,这边厢说杜进才好,另一边厢说李绍祖好,机会似乎是50-50,两人都已深入寻常百姓家。大选过后年少的我不晓得投票的神圣性与隐密性,还天真地问外婆等人到底将票投了给谁,他们跟那个年代的其他选民一样,对选票上的列号有恐惧感,再加上两派的支持者都来势汹汹,所以都默不吭声。虽然李绍祖已于十年前仙游,杜进才也在今年初往生,哑葫芦还一直闷到现在。


民主是一个进程,虽然白色恐惧还活在许多人心中,但有更多人走入电脑社交平台,公开本身的立场。四五十年间的变化就像一股洪流,挡也挡不住。


(王永元,杜进才,李绍祖。殊途未必同归,此情只待长追忆。The Straits Times 3 August 1959)

1 comment:

Gintai_昇泰 said...

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