Singapore—For former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, it must have been a homecoming of sorts.
After all, he served as a Member of Parliament for the consistency for 44 years, first at Marine Parade SMC (1976 – 1988), then at Marine Parade GRC, only stepping down last year, shortly before July’s General Election.
And while he has stepped down from being an MP, he is still an Adviser Emeritus to the Marine Parade Grassroots Organizations as well as an Emeritus Senior Minister.
“Good evening to all of you. I miss Marine Parade, and I miss all of you,” the 79-year-old Mr Goh said in the video he posted on Sunday night (Feb 21).
The former PM had joined Dr Tan See Leng at Marine Parade’s virtual Chinese New Year celebration earlier that night.
Mr Goh posted a short video wherein he did not only wish the residents and friends of Marine Parade a happy new year but a healthy one as well.
He recently underwent 20 radiation therapy sessions after a nodule had been found in his larynx, wherein cancerous squamous cells were discovered. Mr Goh has been open with his health issues, regularly posting updates on his MParader Facebook page to encourage others to avail of health screenings that could save their life.
A month before his radiation therapy sessions started, he was also hospitalised to have a kidney stone removed.
In the video, Mr Goh also talked about the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as his personal health challenges.
But now he is “totally all right. I’m perfectly all right,” he said, thanking everyone who had expressed their concern.
“Now I am enjoying my life, ready for walkabouts, walking through the forest trails, walking through botanic gardens, taking photographs, and back to my usual hobby of playing golf.
But health is not forever. We have to look after our health.”
He then announced that he is coming back to Marine Parade on Monday (Feb 22), to have his Covid-19 vaccine, as he belongs “to the category of elderly.”
He explained further that the reason why he put aside all the fears of side effects is that if, though “bad luck,” anyone in his age range would catch Covid, “the damage to our health would be very severe. And if we are very unlucky, we might not even survive it,” he added.
Millions of people have received the vaccination shots, he said, and “going by the record, it is very safe.”
He then encouraged everyone to come forward to have their vaccination shots.
“I trust experts all over the world. I trust science. I trust the Ministry of Health (MOH). I trust our doctors.”
Mr Goh also said that he trusts Dr Tan See Leng, a medical doctor and MP for Marine Parade, who had invited him to come for his shots.
Later this year, the former PM’s second book, the second part of his authorised biography, “Standing Tall,” is scheduled to be released.
He wrote in a Facebook post late last month that he intends to launch the book in late April or early May of this year, just in time for his 80th birthday.
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