The fourth-generation (4G) ministers are in place to lead the Republic “in a few years’ time”, but they have to overcome big challenges ahead, both at home and on the global front, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Speaking at the Marine Parade National Day Dinner on Saturday, August 18, Mr Goh spoke about his diminishing role as the 4G leaders take over and said, “Thankfully, Singapore does not need a former PM to come to its rescue”.
Mr Goh’s comments were not only referring to himself as a former Prime Minister, but also to Malaysia’s current Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, who previously served as Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003.
However, Mr Goh also added that just like Dr Mahathir, it was difficult to let go of a country he has helped build. “I cannot stop being concerned for my country’s future. It is an occupational habit of former Prime Ministers.”
Referring to many Singaporeans’ comments for ESM Goh to return to serving as Prime Minister he said, “(Dr) Mahathir made his comeback at the age of 92. I am only 77. I can wait 15 years”.
He continued, “They even proposed Tan Cheng Bock to be my Anwar Ibrahim!”
Mr Goh also said, “We must prepare for the next season, find the right manager, seasoned coaches and the best players. With the right strategy and tactics, hard work and a cohesive team, we can achieve new success.”
Irate netizens were not convinced by ESM Goh’s speech, and many expressed that it was time for him to step aside.