Speaking to Channel NewsAsia on Monday (26 Nov), Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong noted that Heng Swee Kiat “hasn’t quite been exposed to the mobilisation of people, working with the PAP, the NTUC, and working with the PA”.
“Chan Chun Sing has that,” He added. He thought both would complement each other.
Goh’s comments came days after Heng was appointed as PAP’s 1st assistant secretary-general with Chan Chun Sing appointed as the 2nd.
Goh also revealed that it was Heng who chose Chan as his deputy.
“Mr Heng, in my view, quite wisely chose (Chan) to complement himself,” he said.
In that respect, Heng may be luckier than Goh given that he is allowed to choose his own deputy making Chan the 2nd assistant secretary-general.
In Goh’s biography, “Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story”, it was revealed that during the PAP CEC election in 1980, LKY himself decided on who would become the 1st and 2nd assistant secretary-general.
Goh recalled, “LKY told me he wanted to make Tony the first assistant sec-gen, so I said okay.”
“It has always been my attitude: okay, no problem. The good thing is I never aimed for the top post,” he added.
Goh then became the 2nd assistant secretary-general.
As things turned out, Tony Tan did not become the PM but Goh did. And the reason – Tony Tan did not want the PM job. This was revealed by LKY during the 1988 National Day Rally.
In any case, it’s not known how or why Heng chose Chan to be his deputy instead of, say, Ong Ye Kung. Perhaps someone has appeared in his dream urging him to choose Chan?