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Presidential aspirant George Goh dispels identity confusion in viral WhatsApp message

SINGAPORE — In an attempt to dispel misinformation propagated by a viral Whatsapp message, the campaign team of Mr George Goh, founder of Harvey Norman Ossia and a potential candidate for the upcoming Singapore presidential elections, issued a clarifying press statement on Wednesday (14 Jun).

The message falsely claimed Mr Goh as a grassroots leader from the People’s Association.

The content of the circulating Whatsapp message features a screenshot of a 2000 Singapore Government Media Release which shows a speech by Mr Mohamad Maidin Bin Packer Mohd at the inauguration of the upgraded Kampong Ubi Community Centre, referring to a “Mr George Goh” serving as Chairman of the Kampong Ubi Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC).

The campaign team clearly stated in their press release, “The George Goh referred to in the 2000 media release is Mr George Goh Tiong Yong, not our candidate Mr George Goh Ching Wah. Mr George Goh Ching Wah has never been a CCC member, let alone its chairman, and holds no political affiliations – past or present.”

Voters want an independent candidate, says Mr Goh

On 12 June, Mr Goh officially announced his intent to run for the presidency as an independent candidate, becoming the second person to do so after Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

“I have always been an entrepreneur, not a politician. I started my journey at 16, and today, I have businesses in 14 countries,” Mr Goh stated, highlighting his non-political background.

Speaking at the Elections Department at Novena after collecting the application form for the Certificate of Eligibility, Mr Goh addressed the importance of the electoral process, expressing his concerns over the recurrence of walkovers in past Presidential Elections.

“The people of Singapore deserve to vote for their President. I am stepping forward to give them that opportunity,” Mr Goh stated firmly.

With his focus set on the path ahead, Mr Goh voiced optimism about the upcoming election. “I believe those who have previously supported ‘non-establishment’ candidates will see this as a time for change. They will see this as a time to vote for an independent candidate,” he asserted.

Highlighting the importance of unity and collective action, he urged, “People want change. We must change. It’s not just me alone. I need everybody. I need you. Come with me, and we will stand together.”

He also touched upon the challenges of high cost of living faced by Singaporeans and the need to be the voice for younger generations.

Mr Goh said he will hold a press conference where he would share more details on the pressing issues he intends to address as part of his presidential campaign.

In response to questions regarding his eligibility to run for presidency, Mr Goh affirmed his belief in his eligibility and revealed the assembly of a professional team to scrutinize the requirements.

According to an earlier press release issued by Mr Goh, he has been involved with over 100 companies, including five listed on the Singapore and UK stock exchanges, and two other acquired public companies. Collectively, these companies have a market capitalisation value of S$3.15 billion.

Though none of his companies individually meet the S$500 million equity requirement for a candidate from the private sector, Mr Goh intends to submit records of all his associated companies to the Presidential Elections Committee.

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