Now retired, and talking about his health, Goh Chok Tong indicated that he plans to try to live till at least 93 years of age, much like his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Jan 6), the former Emeritus Senior Minister wrote about the former chairman of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Mahmud Awang who died on Monday (Jan 4) at the age of 93.
Mr Mahmud was a founding member of NTUC, serving as caretaker president and the union’s first chairman.
Mr Goh wrote: “I always made it a point to say hello to him (Mr Mahmud) whenever I saw him at NTUC’s May Day celebrations”.
“When asked how he kept so slim and fit, he explained he “curi makan”. He meant eating sparingly, even for food which he liked”, Mr Goh added.
“From now on, I will have to “curi makan” to increase my odds of living till 93 like him”, Mr Goh quipped.
Age and health have always been popular topics amongst Mr Goh’s Facebook posts.
“Need to stay fit and healthy for the next Leap Year. By then, I would be an octogenarian”, wrote then-Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in a Facebook post on leap year day last year, in March.
Making a reference to his Malaysian counterpart Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister, in a previous Facebook post remarked that “It is a privilege for a septuagenarian to be able to enjoy nature and the simple pleasures of life, unlike nonagenarian Mahathir”.
Commenting again on his age, he said that he declined handshakes during an early morning walk at East Coast Park and Marine Parade Estate.
ESM wrote: “But no hand-shakes please. Need to stay fit and healthy for the next Leap Year”.
Similarly in 2018, Mr Goh’s Facebook post caused Singaporeans to express their desire to see the former head of government stand against the ruling party in the next election, the same way Malaysian leader Dr Mahathir left his party to unite the opposition across the causeway and topple the government.
This, after ESM Goh posted photos from his 77th birthday bash. Sharing a photo with veteran politician Dr Tan Cheng Bock who attended his exclusive party, Goh alluded to Mahathir’s stunning election victory and said: “Age is just a number, as Mahathir has proven. But it is family and friends who make that number light, meaningful and memorable. Thanks, all my friends out there.”
Breaking the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s six-decade long monopoly, Dr Mahathir beat his one-time protégé Najib Razak and became the world’s oldest head of government in May 2018. /TISG