In the interview with Mothership.sg, ESM Goh said,
“Chee is flawed. He tried so many times but people have sized him up. They would not want him. Chee flew all the way to Williams College to slam Singapore during my conferment.
On another occasion in the States, he went without an invitation to a by-invitation event where I was speaking. He entered the room midway through the forum and asked a question on Malays, how we treated the Malays. That is a troublemaker.
Francis Seow and Tang Liang Hong suffered more politically than Chee, but they were respectful and friendly. Chee Soon Juan, wherever he was, was my opponent.”
Perhaps, ESM has felt embarrassed by Dr. Chee when Dr. Chee flew to Williams College when ESM was being conferred an honorary degree by Williams College. It would be recalled that this conferment drew international press coverage with Dr. Chee receiving significant US support.
However does personal embarrassment on the part of ESM equate to Dr. Chee embarrassing Singapore? This is the line that we must be clear on.
While the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) currently forms the government, sovereignty and the PAP are two separate things. Surely, Dr. Chee is entitled to an opinion on ESM? At the end of the day, Dr. Chee’s criticisms were always leveled at the PAP government and not Singapore or Singaporeans. That is a distinction that has to be made.
ESM highlighted another occasion in the States when Dr. Chee went without an invitation to a by-invitation event where ESM was speaking. Dr. Chee allegedly entered the room midway through the forum and asked a question on how the PAP government treated the Malays. In ESM’s eyes, this has sealed Dr. Chee’s reputation as “a troublemaker”. However, is Dr. Chee a troublemaker to ESM’s reputation or is he a troublemaker for Singapore?
While ESM’s personal dislike of Dr. Chee is understandable, this must not be confused for Dr. Chee being an enemy of the state. Dr. Chee might be an enemy of the PAP government but that is not the same thing as being an enemy of the state of Singapore or of Singaporeans.
Dr. Chee has a set of beliefs and convictions as do the esteemed Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang. The only difference, however, would be the political styles in which the various politicians utilised. Dr. Chee was more combatant and perhaps this is where the PAP government took offence. However, it takes two to tango. May it not be argued that the way the PAP government dealt with Dr. Chee was more embarrassing than Dr. Chee’s initial conduct?
ESM may consider Mr Low Thia Khiang a friend but it is important to remember that the political party that ESM is closely connected to is linked to the court case that could potentially bankrupt Mr Low. Friend? Really?
I have nothing against ESM’s pronounced dislike for Dr. Chee. In fact, that is fair enough. However, to link his personal dislike with Dr. Chee being a troublemaker for Singapore is not totally accurate. In fact, that is rather subjective isn’t it?
In light of Land Transport Authority’s claim of “fake news” surrounding the complaints about delays caused by security checks at MRT stations, it makes one wonder if ESM’s opinions could also be considered “fake news”? Food for thought.