Despite a relationship that seemed to be fraught with political tension from the past year, Goh Chok Tong and Tan Cheng Bock met for dinner over the weekend.
On Friday (Feb 19), former Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh posted on social media about how he, and Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Tan, met with old RI classmates on Thursday (Feb 18) as part of their yearly Chinese New Year tradition.
Mr Goh wrote that his dinner with his former RI classmates, of which Dr Tan was part of, was on Thursday. He also shared a photo of the dinner where Dr Tan is seated on the left of Mr Goh, with Dr Tan’s wife Cecilia Lee beside him.
On Mr Goh’s right is his wife Tan Choo Leng.
“On Friday, had dinner with my golf kaki. We have been playing golf and/or tennis together for some 30 years now”, Mr Goh wrote.
He shared photos of both groups and added: “As true friends, we will always have each other’s best interest at heart”.
This was did not seem to always be the case. Last year, during the 2020 General Elections, in a social media post Mr Goh wrote, “PSP eyeing Marine Parade. ‘Et tu, Brute?” and shared images of PSP members and volunteers during the walkabout.
The phrase “Et tu, Brute?” is a Latin sentence meaning “Even you, Brutus?” from the Julius Caesar play by William Shakespeare. Caesar utters these words as he is being stabbed to death, having recognized his friend Brutus among the assassins.
Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Goh were classmates back in Raffles Institution, knowing each other for over 60 years.
Dr Tan was one of three visitors, apart from the immediate family who was allowed to visit the former PM when he underwent surgery for prostate cancer five years ago.
In his quote, Mr Goh is probably referring to himself as Caesar, and Dr Tan as Brutus, his friend turned assassin.
In an earlier Facebook post, Mr Goh wrote that Dr Tan Cheng Bock has “lost his way”.
He likened Dr Tan to “Don Quixote tilting at windmills,” which means wasting energy while attacking imaginary enemies, based on an expression in the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes.
Before the creation of Marine Parade GRC, Mr Goh had been the Member of Parliament for the Marine Parade single-member constituency since was first elected in 1976. /TISG
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