It was reported that Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong posted a message on his Facebook page on Monday (24 Feb) sniping at Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir saying it’s a privilege for Goh in his 70s, to “enjoy nature and the simple pleasures of life”, unlike 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.
Goh was referring to the present political turmoil swirling in Malaysia which saw Dr Mahathir, 94, resigned as prime minister on Monday 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.
The Malaysian King has appointed Dr Mahathir to be the interim prime minister until a new government can be formed.
Goh is on longer in the Cabinet but continues as an MP in Parliament. In 1984, then a Deputy Prime Minister, Goh promised Singaporeans that they would achieve a “Swiss standard of living” by 1999.
Working to survive
Meanwhile, more than 20 years have passed since 1999 and many elderly Singaporeans continue to struggle everyday working to survive.
According to a Reuters’ report last year, many elderly Singaporeans look for jobs after retirement because the Singapore’s CPF retirement saving scheme does not provide enough money for them to survive.
“If I don’t work, where will my income come from?” said 71 year-old Mdm Mary Lim, one of many elderly cleaners earning a meager wage clearing up to 400 plates a day at a foodstall in Singapore’s Chinatown.
“If I stop my work, how will I survive?”
Mdm Lim said her “biggest fear” was that one day she won’t “have strength left” to do her job.
In any case, according to a survey done by TOC last year, Goh as an MP earning $16,000 a month, did not pose any questions in Parliament on behalf of citizens from Jan 2016 to May 2019, during the sittings of the present 13th Parliament.