Speaking as Prime Minister at the book launch of Goh Chok Tong’s biography yesterday (Nov 8), Lee Hsien Loong abused his premiership position to advertise for the former Prime Minister who handed over the number one position to him.
At the book launch, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong poured praises for Goh Chok Tong and even claimed that he read the 344-pages book “in one sitting”:
“Through this first volume, readers will discover the human being behind Mr Goh’s public persona and understand how the personal hardships he experienced shaped his world view and imbued him with a strong sense of duty. I am sure Singaporeans will enjoy the book as much as I did. I sat down and read it in one sitting. It has many captivating stories to tell, many life lessons to impart, and many insights into different aspects of our nation-building.”
Even with speed-reading ability at 2 minutes per page, the dictator notorious for fake news and exaggerated claims would had spent 11 hours to finish the book.
Minister Goh Chok Tong did not disclose how much royalties he would be expecting to get from the book sale, but he was quick to announce that there is going to be a second book.
The Emeritus Senior Minister played humble and told state media reporters that he insisted on not having a biography. Goh Chok Tong, who is known to be a poor writer, then said that he became convinced after he was told that he does not have to do the writing and that he simply only had to appoint someone to write the biography.
“Several friends had also asked me to write my memoir. Still, I said no. Then, five of my senior grassroots leaders suggested an authorised biography. The author would do the heavy lifting – the research, interviews and the writing. The idea of someone looking in from the outside, and unlocking my inner memory, appealed to me.”
The former PM then chose a former propaganda newspaper editor from Straits Times to write the biography for him:
“Several names were suggested as my possible biographers. I chose Peh Shing Huei. I like his easy-to-read, unpretentious, questions-and-answers style.”
Another Straits Times editor, Han Fook Kwang, was also roped in to make the PAP Minister look good in his biography.