~by: Tan Jee Say~
My memories of close encounters with Dr Toh Chin Chye went back 50 years. My eldest sister was his Rochor PAP branch secretary. As a young boy, I used to follow my sister on some of her political activities particularly when the branch office in Queen Street was close to where we lived. I attended the PAP kindergarten there. Class was fun. Tuition fee was 50 cents per month, the same fee charged at a government clinic. I sat in the back row. There was no white horse policy then. I recalled seeing Dr Toh visiting the branch office often, giving pep talks to activists and showing concern to the residents. When my sister left the PAP, my activities at the branch also ceased and I did not get to meet Dr Toh in person from then onwards.
In later years, I read about his hardhitting criticism of Government policies when he became a backbencher. I was impressed and glad that he had the courage of his conviction. Quite a few PAP MPs followed suit in subsequent years. I heard that Dr Toh had also supported and encouraged like-minded Singaporeans to organise themselves as an opposition party. Which reminds me of another former PAP MP Government policy critic Dr Tan Cheng Bock who also encouraged the Holland-Bukit Timah team of Vincet Wijeysingha, Michelle Lee, Dr Ang Yong Guan and myself in the last GE.
I sincerely hope that more PAP MPs will soon see the light of day and speak up. It can only do Singapore good and Singaporeans proud. They will also find the ultimate peace of mind that they seek and like Dr Toh, will be able to leave this world in peace and with a clear conscience. Thank you Dr Toh.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Toh Chin Chye was cremated today at 11am at Mandai Crematorium. Dr Toh, one of the founding fathers of modern Singapore, made his final journey on a ceremonial gun carriage. The procession left from his home at Greenview Crescent, and travelled to Mandai via Dunearn Road, Lornie Road, Upper Thomson Road and Sembawang Road.
This article, first published in Mr Tan Jee Say's Facebook is republished here with his permission.