Two elderly politicians, two different reception. Both WP MP Low Thia Khiang and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong announced their retirement from politics on the same day yesterday, but Singaporeans responded very differently.
Many Singaporeans like former NMP Zulkifli Baharudin said Low Thia Khiang’s departure is a huge loss to Singapore. Residents from Hougang even expressed sadness that their former MP is retiring. Well-wishes poured in from all corners of Singapore to Low Thia Khiang, thanking him for his contribution to Singapore.
Low Thia Khiang had a serious fall a few weeks earlier that landed him up in the ICU ward. The opposition leader knew that he may be unable to serve Singaporeans as well in his current physical state, and hence took the regrettable decision to retire.
As for Goh Chok Tong, the former Prime Minister said he is very healthy and he just want to throw in his resignation. No reason was given why, but his sudden resignation made three weeks before the July 10 election threw a hammer at Lee Hsien Loong’s plans.
Unlike Low Thia Khiang, Goh Chok Tong was given a cold treatment by Singaporeans, even supporters and members from PAP. In fact, the people are happy that Goh Chok Tong resigned. Many said he should have resigned 20 years ago when he stepped down from the PM role.
There is no love for Goh Chok Tong, despite his inflated stature and the pompous position “Emeritus Senior Minister” specially created for him.
Low Thia Khiang is going out in glory, and Goh Chok Tong walks with his head down. We do not need the elections to know who won the people.