Written by former Straits Times news editor Peh Shing Huei, Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story won the first prize in the English (Adult) Category after being voted online by readers as the most popular non-fiction read of 2019.
After congratulating Peh for his award during POPULAR bookstore’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2019, Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong announced in a Facebook post that they were working on a second volume of his biography.
The first volume, Tall Order was about Mr Goh in his youth, his entry into politics and the highs and lows in his journey to become Singapore’s second prime minister. It also revealed deliberations and negotiations between Mr Goh and Mr Lee before Singapore’s maiden leadership transfer in 1990.
The first book has a foreword and afterword by Mr Goh, and a Q&A segment in each of the book’s 10 chapters.
In his foreword, Mr Goh says he had never intended to write his memoirs, but agreed to his story being told to achieve three objectives.
First, to encourage present and future generations of Singaporeans to consider political office, regardless of their background or upbringing. Second, to tell the story of Singapore’s second-generation leadership.
“Finally, my story of working with Lee Kuan Yew, and to a lesser extent Lee Hsien Loong, holds intriguing lessons too,” Mr Goh wrote.
ESM Goh also answered a question on veteran opposition figures, Singapore People’s Party leader Chiam See Tong and Workers’ Party MP Low Thia Khiang. He says he is friendly with both, and regards Mr Chiam as a friend.
The second volume, ESM Goh wrote in his post, “will provide a deeper understanding of Singapore’s political development through my eyes and Shing Huei’s pen”.
“I had to make many tough calls as PM. Shing Huei probed me on my thought processes and emotions during those moments where the buck stopped with me”, he added.
Volume two is due to be out in the second half of next year.