Ex-NTUC Income CEO has clarified that he did not mean to mock Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, when he published a Facebook post last week making a tongue-in-cheek comment about Mr Goh having “lost his way”.
During the Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) recent media conference and official launch, party leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock – a former People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian – put forth the message that the ruling PAP has changed and has “lost its way.”
Mr Goh, a very good friend of Dr Tan, sniped on social media later: “Tan Cheng Bock says that Lee Kuan Yew invited him to join the PAP. Ouch! He 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?”
The former Prime Minister added: “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”
Using the same phrase Mr Goh used in a jibe against Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Mr Tan Kin Lian published a photo of a gathering of Raffles Institute alumni on Facebook last week and wrote: “This is a gathering of Old Rafflesians. Tan Cheng Bock is here. Goh CT should be here, but he is not. He must have lost his way.”
Mr Tan’s post quickly trended on social media and accumulated over 1,000 reactions and over 500 shares on Facebook.
In a follow-up Facebook post published on Saturday (10 Aug), Mr Tan clarified that he did not mean to belittle Mr Goh. Noting that one website that covered his initial post claimed that he “mocked” the former Prime Minister, Mr Tan wrote:
“I think that “mock” is the wrong word. It implied that I deliberately insulted and belittled Goh CT. It is not in my character and nature to belittle anyone.”
Mr Tan added that there is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to losing their way and said that he himself has lost his way in life at times. Pointing to the 2011 Presidential Election, which he contested in a four-corner fight and came in last place, Mr Tan wrote:
“There is also nothing wrong about a person who “lost his way”. During my lifetime, I lost my way many times. One notable occasion was in 2011 when I stood for the presidential election. Not only did I lost my way, I also lost my election deposit. Right? Hahaha.”
Interestingly, Mr Tan took the opportunity to make a jibe against current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the same clarification post. He wrote: “There is nothing embarrassing about being lost. One prime minister probably lost his way for three decades and still did not realise it.”
Mr Tan clarified: “So, if I said that somebody lost his way, I am not mocking him, ok?…I checked online for the meaning of “mock” to make sure that my understanding of this word is correct. Yes, it was. It meant to “ridicule” a person. So, mocking is not a fair word to describe my humor.”
Read his post in full HERE.