ESM Goh Chok Tong Has “No Plans To Do A Mahathir”

Mr Goh Chok Tong, our Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM), has sought to debunk “public perception” that he’s paid a “ministerial salary”.

This comes in the wake of government website Factually’s recent article about “online falsehoods” concerning ministerial pay.

Mr Goh cheekily referenced Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s famous quote about “get(ting) up from my grave when things go wrong” and confirmed that he had “no plans to do a Mahathir” in the near future.

Here’s his post in full, we summarise it after the jump.


ESM is a title “with no pay”

Mr Goh confirmed that he did not draw a salary from his position as ESM, unlike current political office-holders.

He’s also been “retired from Cabinet since 2011”, and has dedicated himself to working for Singapore in other capacities.

According to him, these include raising awareness and funds for “different groups of disadvantaged Singaporeans”.

Won’t get up from the grave

Referencing the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s famous quote, Mr Goh brought his own spin to it.

Instead of “threatening to get up” from his grave when “things go wrong”, Mr Goh preferred to,

I prefer to contribute while still alive but without getting in the way of the younger leaders.

As seen from an earlier round of banter with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about “watch(ing) things happen”, it does seem that Mr Goh’s very different from his predecessor.

Not doing a Mahathir

Finally, he clarified that at age 77, he wasn’t planning to “do a Mahathir” any time soon.

Moreover, I have no plans to do a Mahathir! — gct🙂

This probably refers to running a successful election campaign with an opposition party — a feat that 92-year-old Dr Mahathir succeeded in pulling off this year.

A blissful retirement

We’re happy that Mr Goh seems to be enjoying his retirement years, having represented Marine Parade since 1976.


For a highlight reel of Mr Goh’s sassy clapbacks, read our compilation below.

12 Times Goh Chok Tong Revealed His Inner Sass, From Clapbacks To Outright Shade

Featured image from Mr Goh Chok Tong on Facebook.