Goh Chok Tong Thanks Mahathir For Making Time To Attend NDP

Some of you may have seen a picture of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong sitting next to Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir at the National Day Parade. Both appear as grumpy as 2 school children made to sit together against their will.

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Naturally, the picture spawned a couple of memes. This one featured below, comes from Facebook page Memedef.

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Another user imagined the two having a telepathic argument as they watched on. This is pretty much how couples quarrel.

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The picture also led to people concluding that both were unhappy to be there, or be seated next to each other.

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Another summoned the adage that a picture tells a thousand words.

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Goh was actually quite glad Mahathir attended

Unfortunately, and as with many other cases where no context is given, those speculations turned out to be untrue. ESM Goh was actually having a swell time with the Malaysian leader, at least according to his post-NDP account.

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In a short Facebook post, ESM Goh praised Dr Mahathir for attending the parade despite his busy schedule. In the days before, he had to fly to Japan to receive an award and then back to Malaysia to receive Indonesia president Joko Widodo, and finally, to Singapore and straight to the Padang for the parade.

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ESM Goh & Mahathir on good terms

Back when ESM Goh was still PM of Singapore and Dr Mahathir was in his first term, they often sparred with each other over national issues like sale of sand and the price of water.

But things seemed to have eased. In 2018, when Dr Mahathir won the election, ESM Goh praised the the now 94-year-old man for his “indomitable will and energy“. And then on Friday, he praised him again for his committement to honour Singapore’s independence.

Seeing the two leaders chatting and taking selfies is certainly heartening. Hopefully, the trend continues, and as ESM Goh mentions in his post, the ties between Singapore and Malaysia will “grow even stronger”.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.