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Goh Chok Tong: Every day is a bonus

The former PM is suffering from radiation dermatitis from the treatment sessions that he finished last week




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Singapore—Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong noted over social media that “Every day is a bonus,” despite suffering from radiation dermatitis from the treatment sessions that he finished last week.

On early Friday morning (Jan 29), Mr Goh posted side-by-side photos from 2019 and the present day.

He captioned his post, “From radiance at our Bintan Branch Retreat in 2019 to radiation dermatitis less than two years later.”

Facebook screengrab: MParader

Radiation dermatitis, or radiation rash or burns, is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatment radiotherapy.

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It occurs when the outer layers of a person’s skin gets affected by radiation therapy.

Around 95 per cent of those who undergo radiation therapy experience a form of this kind of dermatitis, such as redness, skin dryness, or skin peeling.

Most of these symptoms can be treated at home with skin creams to soothe the affected areas.

And despite the dermatitis, the 79-year-old Mr Goh is keeping a positive outlook, adding that he will get the Covid vaccine when his turn comes in order to avoid getting infected.

One thing that the former longtime Parliamentarian certainly has to look forward to is the release of the second part of his authorised biography, “Standing Tall.”


On Jan 23, he posted on Facebook that he had received a galley copy of the book.

He added that the cover of the book is being designed, and the pictures for it are also being chosen.

Mr Goh is doing a final reading of the book as well, “to tie up loose ends,” he wrote.

He added that he intends to launch the book in late April or early May of this year, just in time for his 80th birthday.

The former Prime Minister also wrote that the book has been read by PM Lee Hsien Loong and another friend, who described it as “enjoyable.”

“Hope you will enjoy the book when it is out,” he wrote.

“Standing Tall” will carry the subtitle “The Goh Chok Tong Years.”

The first volume of his biography, ‘Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story’, was released late in 2019 and covered his life until he became Singapore’s second Prime Minister in 1990.

The second volume is expected to cover the years of his premiership from 1990 to 2004.

Mr Peh Shing Huei, a former Straits Times journalist, wrote the two books.

The description of Standing Tall on Amazon reads, “Some did not expect him to last long as Prime Minister. Few predicted he would succeed in the footsteps of Lee Kuan Yew.

When Goh Chok Tong took over as the second Prime Minister of Singapore in 1990, many — from within and without the country — wondered aloud if the young country would survive Lee Kuan Yew.

But Goh would confound the naysayers, leading Singapore for 14 years through recessions, terrorist attacks, electoral setbacks and even a mysterious virus.

Standing Tall captures the transformation of a political leader, evolving from a Prime Minister with a touch of naivety to a hard-nosed strategist.”


Read also: Goh Chok Tong finishes radiation therapy sessions

Goh Chok Tong finishes radiation therapy sessions

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