NS Vouchers: Who Benefits?

When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared that 100 million of its taxpayers' money will be spent, no one batted an eyelid, let alone question the decision. Some even called it a 'nice gesture'. I am not talking about how much or how little money each NS personnel will receive. $50-$100 isn't a small sum of money to me. I question not the amount of money, but the motive behind the action. For one, it bears a sick resembling of electoral carrots. Never mind on that, let's move on.

The bigger question is: Who truly benefits from this $100 million bucks from our national coffers? Bear in mind these $100,000,000 of cash will be converted into vouchers before dissemination. Why the need to do this if the purpose is to reward Singaporean men who served their nation? With $50-$100 cash in hand, each Singaporean man can spend it any food of any joint of their choice which will pay the hawker's salary or that taxi driver, the kind who doesn't earn $7,000 per month, and so on. With $100,000 cash going around the economy, it ought to benefit more of the population.

Vouchers. I pray that we are talking about e-vouchers than physical vouchers here. If it isn't an e-copy, or something facilitated existing technologies, such as the scanning of our pink ICs, I would like to know which company is printing these vouchers and how fairly does this company wins the tender. Mind you, we are talking about 2 million copies of $50 vouchers here, not 200 vouchers. That contract value could be worth a year's of revenue for many SME printing companies. We can really do with killing more trees with unnecessary printing of vouchers as well.

Vouchers. So can I use the voucher to buy my groceries at Econ Minimart or use it to offset my Singapore Power bills? No, I can't do that. I can only spend it on SAFRA facilities and the SAF E-MART and a few other selected companies (not revealed at this time). I question why the restriction to spend it on very specific entities. We are spending tax-payers' money but heavily channeling the money into a selected few companies? Why?

You know, life provides ironic coincidences sometimes. Yesterday evening, I saw a TOLL van parked in my vicinity. I couldn't help but shrug helplessly. This morning I drove pass the same van. This time, the driver was on board and even gave me a 'thumbs up' gesture when I stopped to give way to him. You're welcome mate. I'm from Singapore. If only the driver knows that he'll be benefiting from the $100,000,000 spending from my government. He'll probably give me a hug.

After all, Toll Holdings Limited of Australia owns Toll Asia Pte Ltd (Toll Asia), which has a 100% owned subsidiary called ST Logistics Pte Ltd (STL), which runs and fully supplies the SAF EMART where much of our vouchers will be spent at.

I can't help but envy the directors and CEO of ST Logistics in their cushy seats, who can expect a large portion of the $100 million vouchers in revenue to boost up their financial statement in the coming work year. I'm sure SME owners wouldn't mind deals like that come knocking on the doors. Too bad for them this one probably isn't. My question is, why are we spending $100 million of taxpayers' money to benefit a selected few companies instead of paying out in cash, which can potentially benefit many more sectors?


  1. Thank you Nix, for writing what journalists (PTUI) should be writing about on that island.

    Singapore Prostitutes Holdings, eh? Lie back and think of Singapore, PTUI.

  2. You are spot on! Nobody questioned it so far. It's killing many birds with a one stone. Show their generosity and kindness. At the same time boosting up few select companies! Win win in all situations. Govt got the good image and few select companies benefit from this huge mother of all windfall by throwing $50 voucher in my NS boys! Ingenious right? They think we are daft all the time? It only happens here in Sg!