In comments that came after the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Party Ordinary Conference, former Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong advised Singaporeans not to “swap horses while crossing the river”.
Mr Goh referred to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech on Sunday (Nov 8), where he said that he would see the nation through the Covid-19 crisis before he handed over the leadership reins to the next batch of leaders.
In a Facebook post a day after the speech, on Monday (Nov 9), Mr Goh wrote: “That reminds me of the proverb, “Don’t change horses in mid-stream””.
“Its origin is attributed to Abraham Lincoln who, when nominated for a second term as President by his Party, said, “I do not allow myself to suppose that…(they) have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or best man in America, but rather they have concluded that it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river …””, Mr Goh added.
He also shared another quote where a supporter of Lincoln observed: “Thoughtful men believed that it would be suicidal to change our chief ruler while the war (American civil war) continued”.
“For us, stay strong together to reach the bank safely – with sturdy, fresh horses waiting”, Mr Goh urged Singaporeans.
Speaking at the virtual conference held by the PAP on Sunday (Nov 8) that was broadcast live, PM Lee added that he was “not surprised” when the election results fell short of their expectations, even though commentators said it would be “a crisis election, so there would be a flight to safety”.
He also said that he never believed that GE 2020 would be “a landslide victory” for the PAP. -/TISG