In a tl;dr Facebook status update (which we do suggest you read in full), Temasek Executive Director Ho Ching who is on a sabbatical reminds us that saving for a rainy day isn't just a saying. She wrote that the first self Government of '59 inherited a budget in deficit, and thereafter, with prudence as the new black, "past reserves saved up by previous generations and governments before the most recent general elections are to be locked up".
We also learnt that the Government locks up proceeds from land sales as past reserves. Any spending from such past reserves would be subject to the approval of the Singapore President.
In case you ask why Singapore is so tight-fisted with our reserves, Ho Ching gives you a little help:
This is like grandpa saving in a long term savings and investment account and protecting the original amount and any interest for his grandchildren. And now the kids are deciding whether to also save all of the current interests earned and keep that for their own grandchildren yet unborn, or to spend part of the current year's interest earned, and use that for present spending for themselves and their parents or children each year.
Read her full post here:
p/s Just so you know, Ho Ching extended her part-time sabbatical to six months till Oct 2015.
Books in top photo courtesy of Goodstuph