Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong is retiring from politics after 44 years of serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade.
Mr Goh, who is aged 79-year-old, conveyed his decision in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (24 June), noting that he had decided not to contest in the coming general election (GE) “after much thought and with a heavy heart”.
“Many have urged me to stand for another term. But I should not. I would not have the same energy when I cross into my 80s,” he wrote.
In his letter, Mr Goh recommended Dr Tan See Leng to take over his place in Marine Parade, adding that Dr Tan has been his understudy for nearly two years.
“See Leng connects well with residents, Branch members and grassroots leaders alike. He has held dialogues with residents and gone on house visits until Covid-19 put a stop to them,” he said.
Mr Goh also bids farewell to politics in a Facebook post earlier today (25 June), saying that he will “continue to contribute to Marine Parade and Singapore in other ways”.
“To all my Marine Parade GRC residents, thank you for your support all these years. I wish you good health, happiness and success,” Mr Goh asserted. “This is au revoir, not adieu.”
The exchange of letters was released by the Prime Minister’s Office on the same day Mr Goh handed his letter to the Prime Minister. PM Lee accepted his decision and expressed his gratitude to Mr Goh.
The Prime Minister also took to Facebook earlier today, saying that he is “forever indebted” to Mr Goh who brought him into politics.
“Ours was a fruitful comradeship that spanned the entirety of my years in politics and most of his — a close friendship between two prime ministers that would be the envy of many countries.
“I am glad Chok Tong has found a successor as Chairman of the PAP Marine Parade Branch — Dr Tan See Leng. I am also glad that he will maintain his links to Marine Parade, as Chairman Emeritus of Marine Parade Branch and Adviser Emeritus to Marine Parade GROs,” he wrote.