ESM Goh shares sad moment on Facebook

ESM Goh shares sad moment on Facebook
POIGNANT: (Middle, from left) Mr Goh, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Dr Tan's wife Mary during the funeral procession in the Istana yesterday. "I could not restrain my tears...Farewell, Mr Lee," wrote Mr Goh.

Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong could not contain his tears yesterday morning, when the gun carriage with Lee Kuan Yew's hearse stopped at the Ceremonial Plaza at the Istana.

"It was a sad, poignant moment...A lone bag-piper played Auld Lang Syne. We, the staff who work in Istana, bowed our heads.

"Images of Mr Lee in the Istana floated through my mind," he wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

"I could not restrain my tears. The funeral procession resumed and proceeded to Parliament House for the lying-in-state.

"The hearse turned the corner and became out of sight. Farewell, Mr Lee."

In another Facebook post, he wrote about what he thought was the most memorable speech Mr Lee had made in Parliament - a four-hour long speech.

"I recall vividly his many speeches in Parliament. The most awesome was the one he made in February 1977 at the old Parliament House," Mr Goh wrote.

"I had just been elected an MP. He was speaking on the debate on the President's Address. He spoke for nearly 4 hours, from 3.45pm to 7.30pm. I sat spellbound in the back row. No one moved."

He added: "He ended his speech with a rider on psephology. He asked why Marine Parade as a new HDB (Housing Board) estate with more five-room and four-room flats than Buona Vista, another new estate, did worse electorally.

"Marine Parade won with 76 per cent of the votes cast as compared with 81 per cent for Buona Vista.

"Was it because the candidate in Marine Parade was new while Ang Kok Peng was known, being a second-term MP shifted from Crawford?"

Mr Goh said Mr Lee did not provide the answer.

"He added that whoever could solve the riddle would have one of the qualifications to succeed him but only one," he wrote.

"After his speech ended, there was a rush to the washroom. My bladder was about to burst. There was no time to think of the answer."


This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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