This is an interview with my dad on the topic of NS and CPF.
Me: What exactly is National Service?
Dad: Its a program that gets Singaporeans ready to defend the country when needed. It is part of Singapore’s total defence to protect sovereignty, harmony and stability of the nation. It is something that is necessary because we cannot rely on others to protect our country.
Me: Did NS change you in anyway as a person? And how?
Dad: Of course. It made me realise that I can do so much more and it taught me about teamwork, decision making as well as leading by example. It also made me more decisive and strong person, both physically and mentally.
Me: Alright. Last question, what is your opinion of women in NS?
Dad: We should encourage equality between men and women and there are definitely roles in NS that can be filled by women and already filled by women. And from what we can see, they can perform as good as men, or sometimes even surpasses what a man can perform.
Me: What is CPF?
Dad: CPF is a fund the aims to help you tie over your later years by ensuring that you have sufficient savings as well as sufficient medical coverage.
Me: How does it work?
Dad: Its a scheme where you will need to set aside certain amount of your income to be contributed into the fund. It has 3 main accounts – the ordinary account, special account and medisave account.
Me: What are the uses of the 3 accounts?
Dad: Ordinary account allows you to use the fund towards housing needs, certain kind of low risk investment as well as retirement planning. Special account is mainly for retirement planning as well as acting as a alternative to ordinary account. Medisave is purely for medical coverage and can be used towards paying medical and hospitalisation fees.
Me: Will Medisave encourage Singaporeans to lead a more unhealthy lifestyle and pay less attention to their health since it aids in medical coverage?
Dad: No. Medisave alone will not be sufficient to cover major illnesses hence it will not create such negative impact to Singaporeans’ mindset.
Me: Okay. Last question, so all in all do you think CPF is a good scheme?
Dad: Yes. Not everybody is disciplined to maintain sufficient savings for their later years and with an aging population, we cannot afford to have most Singaporeans having difficulties to live normally after retirement and to be able to pay for their medical fees.
I think that after my interview with my Dad, I am more aware and knowledgeable about NS and CPF. I think through this interview, I also learned about my Dad’s personal point of view and perspective on NS and CPF which will definitely influenced my understanding and views on NS and CPF as well. However, I am still in the process of learning about these topics thus I do not have a concrete opinion yet.