In yet another veiled Facebook post, Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong wrote that he resolved to never lose his way this new year.
Advising his Facebook followers, ESM wrote, “Resolved to watch with clarity, and never to lose my way. You too, should not take the wrong turn. Little pleasures keep me happy at this stage of my life, not political ambition”.
His post seemed to be rather pointed and directed at his former classmate and long-time friend Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
Last year (Aug 4), in his first public comment on Dr Tan since the latter’s Progress Singapore Party was formed, Mr Goh said: “Tan Cheng Bock was my classmate in Raffles Institution. I have known him close for over 60 years. It saddens me to see how he has ‘lost his way’.”
“He is like Don Quixote tilting at windmills,” ESM added, using an expression from the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes that means to attack imaginary enemies.
When Dr Tan recounted how Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew had asked him to join the PAP before and added that it was now his turn to ask Singaporeans to join him, Mr Goh responded saying: “Ouch! (Dr Tan) omits to say that I put his name up to LKY. Surely I deserve some credit – or rather, blame – for who he has become now? ‘For Country, For People’. He has conveniently left out ‘For Me’!”
Constantly critical about his friend’s “political ambition”, it is notable that Dr Tan who was one of three visitors Mr Goh allowed apart from immediate family when he underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2014.
After Dr Tan narrowly lost in the 2011 presidential election and announced his second bid for the elected presidency in March 2016 while a Constitutional Commission was reviewing the process, Mr Goh said Dr Tan’s decision was a “calculated political gambit” that could be seen as politicising the process. He also said: “We are still very good friends, still go out with each other, but I will not try to influence him… I will just wish him good luck.” /TISG