Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching, showed their support for new People’s Action Party (PAP) Minister Tan See Leng’s as he oversaw swab test operations at Marine Parade GRC over the weekend.
Outfitted in full personal protective equipment, Dr Tan participated in the mass swab test operations that were held for hawkers, stallholders, and Marine Parade Town Council frontliners, on Saturday (19 Sept). A photo he shared on Facebook that same day showed him posing with Mr Goh and Mdm Ho.
Mdm Ho was most likely there in her capacity as chief executive of Singapore sovereign wealth fund, Temasek. Temasek Foundation, the non-profit organisation under the Government investment arm, is one of the agencies that supported that mass swab-testing event which administered COVID-19 tests to close to 1,000 people.
Mr Goh was at the event in his capacity as Adviser Emeritus to Marine Parade’s ruling party-linked grassroots organisations (GROs). Although he retired from politics after a 44-year career ahead of the July election, the former Marine Parade MP still serves as Chairman Emeritus of the PAP’s Marine Parade Branch and Adviser Emeritus to the GROs.
He also serves as Senior Adviser to the People’s Association – a Government statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Mr Goh re-posted the photo Dr Tan shared on Facebook, showing the pair with Mdm Ho. In a post published a few hours after Dr Tan’s post went up, Mr Goh said that he is happy that his former constituents at Marine Parade are well taken care of by Dr Tan.
He wrote, in part: “Dr Tan updates me regularly as Adviser Emeritus on the work he is doing in Marine Parade. Heartened that our residents continue to be well looked after.”
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A medical doctor by training, Dr Tan co-founded Healthway Medical Group at the age of 27, in 1992. As co-founder and chairman of the company, he grew the group to become the second largest private primary care group in Singapore and successfully divested the group to British United Provident Association Healthcare, over a decade later in 2004.
That same year, Dr Tan joined Parkway Holdings. Over the next 15 years, he went on to serve in top management positions at Parkway and its subsidiaries. From 2010 to 2019, Dr Tan was the group CEO and Managing Director of Parkway Holdings and Parkway Pantai Limited. From 2014 to 2019, he was also the CEO and MD of IHH Healthcare BHD.
Dr Tan’s time at Parkway Holdings overlapped with the time Goh Jin Hian, the son of Mr Goh Chok Tong, spent at the company in senior executive positions between 1999 and 2011. Dr Goh had served as Gleneagles Hospital CEO, president of Singapore operations, and senior vice-president of growth, innovation and strategy, before he left the healthcare sector to join the oil and gas industry.
In 2019, Dr Tan retired from Parkway Holdings and its subsidiaries. He had been actively volunteering at Marine Parade, understudying Mr Goh, who personally mentored him for about two years.
Dr Tan took over Mr Goh’s role as Branch Chairman at Marine Parade GRC in late June 2020. Days later, he was fielded as a first-time PAP candidate in the 2020 general election, in which he was elected to Parliament.
Despite being a first-term MP, Dr Tan was made full minister in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s latest Cabinet line-up and serves as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.