SINGAPORE – Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong says that at his age (77), he was not preoccupied by being popular.
Instead, he is more interested in what works for Singapore.
Speaking at the annual Marine Parade National Day dinner on Saturday (August 18), the former prime minister became his role as a second generation (2G) leader at a time when the country is in the middle of the transition to a fourth generation (4G )) leadership.
He said that criticism is political follow-up, the progress of a nation also depends on all its people. "Every member of every generation must do their part to keep Singapore safe, stable, harmonious and prosperous."
The remarkable comeback of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad commented when he led the Pakistani Harapan coalition to victory in the general election in May Mr. Goh said that some have suggested that he could do the same.
"They even proposed Tan Cheng Bock (former People's Party Partner) to be my Anwar Ibrahim," he said.
"(Dr. Mahathir) made his comeback at the age of 92. I am only 77. I can wait 15 years," he joked, laughing and applauding the audience of 1,000 residents and volunteers at Orchard Hotel .
"If the 5G leaders are not doing well, I will look forward."
Mr. Goh said that like Dr Mahathir he could not stop being concerned about the future of his country. "It is a professional practice of former prime ministers," he added. "It is difficult to let go of the land that you have helped build."
But Singapore does not need a former prime minister to help, he said.
He noted that the Republic "has not done too badly" on international indices in the areas of health, education, housing, social welfare, economic competitiveness and per capita income.
The sovereign wealth funds of the country are held up by the journal Economist for the way they are administered, he
And despite its small size, Singapore has the 37th largest economy in the world, he added.
Mr. Goh mentioned two important factors for the success of Singapore – a good government and the unity of the Singaporean.
like a team in a top football league, Singapore can not squat, he said.
"We have to prepare for the next season, the right manager, seasoned coaches and find the best players., Hard work and a close team, we can reach new s uccess."
Leadership was also a theme that he quoted in a previous speech in Mandarin.
"We have carefully planned our political succession with little drama or in-fighting, and political stability and predictability are good for economic growth and benefit your family," he said.
"The 4G ministers are there to lead Singapore in a few years."
But the next generation of leaders will need to face complex regional and geopolitical challenges, he said.
In the interior they also have to struggle with challenges, ranging from an aging population to income inequality.
Mr. Goh also praised the Singaporeans for their cooperation in building the country over the years.
"Countries where people are divided, whether by race, religion or social status, waste precious energy and resources fighting each other," he added. "United, we will do well as a nation Let's stay together and remain faithful to each other."
In conclusion, he called on the next generation of Singaporeans to face the challenge and advance the country.
"The future is for you, the younger, for form, instead of for my generation," he said.