A man was reportedly spotted in Singapore’s business district wearing a placard containing grouses about his money allegedly being taken by a bank and that his funds have “gone with the wind”.
In a photo published by the “Shut down TRS” Facebook page on Sunday, the middle-aged man in question, who could not be identified, was seen at the underground Raffles Xchange mall which is part of the Raffles Place MRT station.
The placard, which was worn over his body, said that he was a retiree from an oil company and that his wife was a retiree at the bank in question.
He was allegedly promised by his wife that S$250,000 (US$180,000) that belonged to him would grow if he placed it with the bank.
He then alleged that the money was “taken from my CPF” and his retirement fund now contains a paltry sum of a little over S$11,000 (US$8,100).
Saying that the rest of his money has “gone with the wind”, the placard ends by reading: “My loving wife is very, very sad. What should I do now?”
CPF, the Central Provident Fund, is a pension scheme for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents of the country where a portion of one’s salary would go to an individual savings account held by the government, and can only be unlocked by the person in old age.
Funds under a person’s CPF account can be used for other purposes while they are locked in, such as paying for housing loans and education bills from tertiary institutions.
The locked funds can also be used for investment purposes, which are administered by the various banks.
According to a report by Lianhe Zaobao, the incident was reported to have occurred early Friday morning in the Raffles Place area, but the reporter could not locate the man about an hour after the incident happened.
The last time a man was found carrying a placard in the Raffles Place area to voice disaffection, it was during last April when a man was sentenced to six-and-a-half months’ jail and a S$5,000 (US$3,600) fine for protesting without a permit.
That man was found to be carrying placards advocating for something political: calling for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Justice Chao Hick Tin to resign over a 2016 incident involving Singapore’s Terrex infantry carriers being detained in Hong Kong.
Under Section 16 of the Public Order Act, organizing a public assembly without a permit is an offense and the person could be liable to a fine up to S$5,000 (US$3,600).
In response to queries by Coconuts Singapore, a UOB spokesperson has assured that the bank met with the man today.
“We are aware of the incident and met with the gentleman today to understand his concerns. Please be assured the Bank deals with every complaint promptly and fairly.”
Editor’s Note: Article updated to include a statement by UOB.