Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong has spoken about planning ahead for Singapore’s 100th National Day, even as rumours that he will be lifted out of his Marine Parade ward before the next General Election (GE) resound.
In a Facebook post published on Sunday (18 Aug), ESM Goh shared photos of himself at the Marine Parade National Day Dinner that took place on 17 Aug at Roland Restaurant.
He wrote: “Marine Parade celebrates our 54th National Day. Plan ahead to celebrate SG100 with good leaders, resilient people and a strong economy.”
A member of the People’s Action Party (PAP), Mr Goh became Singapore’s second Prime Minister on 28 November 1990, succeeding founding PM Lee Kuan Yew. He served in the role until 12 August 2004, when he stepped down and was succeeded by Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son.
Mr Goh subsequently served as Senior Minister until May 2011, and as Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Today, he holds the honorary title of “Emeritus Senior Minister” but does not receive a ministerial salary, despite the title.
ESM Goh continues to serve as a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) but there is speculation that he may be lifted out of the Marine Parade GRC team in the next election.
Last month, ESM Goh said that he is glad that he is “still mobile and healthy.” He has said that he is too busy to retire and that he wishes to “contribute while still alive but without getting in the way of the younger leaders.”
Earlier, in December 2018, ESM Goh asserted: “The last bit that I want to do is make sure that there is a strong 5G team to lead Singapore over the next 20, 30 years. After that, I won’t be around.”
While ESM Goh has maintained that he is too busy to retire, the Chinese daily reported, earlier this year: “There have been rumors that the 78-year-old Goh Chok Tong may have to retreat and not participate in the general election.”
The publication added that it is unclear whether ESM Goh will lead Marine Parade GRC in the next election or whether he will be lifted out of the constituency altogether. It reported: “What will be a matter of some curiosity is whether in the coming general election, will Goh still hold the base camp of the Marine Parade?”
Interestingly, rumours that 78-year-old Mr Goh will be phased out in the next election circulate in spite of the fact that Mr Goh’s predecessor, Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, remained an MP until his death at the age of 91. -/TISG