Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s latest Facebook post has prompted yet another round of calls for him to ‘do a Mahathir’ and lead the opposition to victory at the next General Election.
Yesterday, Dr Tan posted a photo of himself seated at a busy food centre. Titling the post “LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE,” Dr Tan wrote: “Last weekend l was at Blk 726 West Coast Market and Food Centre. I was having breakfast with friends and sharing our views on current issues. There, I also enjoyed meeting and speaking to the many other people who were there at the Centre . Some of them were surprised to see me. The food centre was packed and doing well.”
The title of Dr Tan’s latest social media post is notable and many appear to have drawn links between Dr Tan’s post and what Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad did during the watershed 2018 Malaysian General Election – Dr Mahathir listened to the people and led the opposition coalition against his former party to victory.
The 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad not only soundly defeated the incumbent at the polls but he also ushered in Malaysia’s first transition of power since independence. Interestingly, it was Dr Mahathir himself who helped establish the ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition in power and served as Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister.
During the last General Election earlier this month, Dr Mahathir stepped out of retirement and left the ruling party to lead the opposition. Breaking the BN’s six-decade long monopoly, Dr Mahathir beat his one-time protégé Najib Razak and became the world’s oldest head of government.
Dr Tan congratulated Dr Mahathir for his historic win on Facebook after the Election. He wrote, in part: “You have shown that age has not prevented you from doing what u believe is right.”
Dr Mahathir’s win prompted many Singaporeans to draw parallels between the 92-year-old and Dr Tan. At 78, Dr Tan is 14 years junior to Mahathir. Much like Mahathir, Dr Tan was also with the ruling party previously and served as People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian for 26 years, between 1980 and 2006. He was also elected into the PAP’s Central Executive Committee in 1987 and remained a member until 1996.
Dr Tan’s latest post has renewed calls for him to unite the opposition to take on the ruling party at the next Election:
Interestingly, these calls come even as some Singaporeans urge Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong to also ‘do a Mahathir’ and perhaps even join forces with his close friend, Dr Tan, to achieve success against the ruling party at the next Election: