Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday (24 Feb) saying that it’s a privilege for him, a person in his 70s, to “enjoy nature and the simple pleasures of life”, unlike Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir who is in his 90s.
“We got our politics right and our planned political succession is proceeding smoothly,” the former Singapore Prime Minister added.
ESM Goh was referring to the present political turmoil swirling in Malaysia which saw Dr Mahathir, 94, resigned as prime minister yesterday, after two days of intense speculation that he would lead his political party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to exit the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) and form a new government with new coalition partners.
Speculation has been rife that the PH coalition would lose power even before it completes its first term due to a purported new coalition to be formed with Dr Mahathir’s political party PPBM. But in a surprise move, Dr Mahathir has also resigned as PPBM chairman.
The Malaysian King has appointed Dr Mahathir to be the interim prime minister until a new government can be formed.
Meanwhile in Singapore, DPM Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing are expected to take over as Singapore’s new leaders after the coming GE, assuming PAP wins. It’s not known if PM Lee would continue to stay on in the Cabinet like what former PMs Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong did when they stepped down as prime minister.
ESM Goh is currently on longer in the Cabinet but continues as an MP in Parliament. Indeed, the 79-year-old can afford to “enjoy nature and the simple pleasures of life” for he never prepares and posts any questions in Parliament on behalf of citizens.
According to a survey done by TOC last year, ESM Goh asked zero questions from Jan 2016 to May 2019 during the sessions of the present 13th Parliament.