Interview with Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the PMO Putrajaya

Mahathir has given a new lease of life to the likes of Tan Cheng Bock and Goh Chok Tong

At 78, Dr Tan Cheng Bock has just formed a political party and is ready to get back into the thick of action.

Ordinarily, you would say that he is too old to make a successful comeback. But not anymore. Not ever since Dr Mahathir Mohamad set the gold standard as the oldest prime minister in the world at the grand old age of 93.

So Dr Tan is a spring chicken by comparison and if Dr Mahathir can, why not our good doctor from Ama Keng?

Love him or hate him, Dr Mahathir has done the likes of Dr Tan a favour. Because of him, no one, not even the People’s Action Party, can accuse Dr Tan of being too old for a political comeback.

The other oldie from the PAP, 77-year-old Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, also seems to have found his mojo and second wind since the Mahathir comeback.

Singapore’s 4G leadership team is not even at the helm yet and ESM Goh  has already talked about being around for the 5G team: “The last bit that I want to do is to make sure there is a strong 5G team to lead Singapore over the next 20, 30 years.”

So it looks like ESM Goh intends to be around for many more years.

But there is a big difference between the two men.

At his advanced age, Dr Tan is making a comeback because he realises the political party he used to belong to has lost touch: “We want to build a compassionate and truly democratic Singapore where good values and people matter. Freedom of choice and free speech without fear must be defended.”

On the other hand, ESM Goh wants to keep the same old thing going for as long as possible.

While Dr Tan is honourably striving to bring change to Singapore, ESM Goh is stubbornly sticking to preserving the status quo.