Singapore– Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will not be running in the upcoming General Elections 2020.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (June 24), Goh stated that he had made the decision to retire as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade “after much thought and a heavy heart.”
In his letter, he stated that a “smooth and systematic leadership succession is key to Singapore’s political stability” and that he preferred to “retire as a Member of Parliament now whilst he is healthy and able to ease his successor’s transition into Marine Parade.”
“Marine Parade is my second home. I love the people. The (People’s Action Party) Branch activists and the grassroots leaders are my steadfast comrades and firm friends. Many have urged me to stand for another term. But I should not. I would not have the same energy when I cross into my 80s,” said Mr Goh.
Goh has been understudying his successor for two years
Mr Goh recommended Dr Tan See Leng take over from him in Marine Parade and mentioned that he has continually helped with meet-the-people sessions in Marine Parade as well as several social projects in the constituency.
He highlighted that Tan had connected “well” with residents, branch members and grassroots leaders, and has also gone on house visits as well as held dialogues with residents prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Goh has also voiced his support for the People’s Action Party (PAP) 4G leaders and that they had been tested and strengthened by the Covid-19 crisis under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.
PM Lee’s Response
PM Lee said that he accepts Mr Goh’s decision to retire from politics “with sadness” and credited him for his contributions after stepping down as Prime Minister, as well as the guidance he provided for younger MPs. PM Lee also thanked him for a “lifetime of distinguished service.”
“You have given your all and more in the service of your country and people. I wish you and Mrs Goh a long, healthy and happy retirement,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said he is glad that Mr Goh will maintain his links to Marine Parade, “as Chairman Emeritus of Marine Parade Branch and Adviser Emeritus to Marine Parade GROs”.
“Ours was a fruitful relationship that spanned the entirety of my years in politics and most of yours — a close relationship between two Prime Ministers that would be the envy of many countries,” said PM Lee. -/TISG