Goh Chok Tong: A courageous leader decades ahead of his time

The MOE should consider including little known facts in school textbooks, such as, our leaders’ courage and being decades ahead of their time.

Recently, Minister Ng Eng Hen lauded MP Charles Chong for being courageous: Charles was not afraid of voter backlash and had concealed his serious medical condition from them until he bo pian.

But the real hero is actually leaders like ESM Goh – his act of flooding Singapore with more than a million foreigners was many times more courageous than Charles. While Charles’ concealment concerned only one GRC, Goh’s policy affected all citizens living as far as Pulau Ubin. Despite his FT policy, Goh still enjoys tremendous support from Marine Paraders.

According to the 1991 URA Concept Plan, the PAP targeted a population of 4 million between 2031 to 2041. But by 2000 – after only 10 years in office – our population had hit 4.02 million. Lau Goh was 31 years ahead of his time.

Other KPIs which confirmed Goh’s leadership include a resident population target of 3.6 million in 2030 which was achieved by 2008. At close to 4 million today, our resident population has already exceeded the 2030 target, by miles.

But of course this was never an issue because figures could also be suka suka amended by our scholars. Our leaders also can’t be wrong and the target was subsequently upsized to 5.5 million in the 2001 Concept Plan. This minister in charge was none other than 6 ‘O’ Levels-distinctions-2-credits Mah Bow Tan.

Mah’s targeted population between 2041 to 2051 was achieved last year, 26 years ahead. But this credit should go to Goh’s successor and another courageous leader, Lee Hsien Loong.

Before the population target of 5.5 million was about to be breached, the PAP government rammed the PWP through Parliament and increased the target by 1.4 million to 6.9 million. Instead of a 5.5 million population between 2041 and 2051, Singaporeans were told we needed a 6.9 million population in 2030.

PAP was effectively almost doubling the population from 2000 to 2030. Social costs? No issue.

It was Goh who had the courage and encouraged his successor to look decades ahead. There was no fear of voter backlash and PAP was rewarded at GE 2015.

The takeaway from this is leaders should not be afraid to rewrite population targets so long as our GDP goes up, up and away. It doesn’t matter if costs are socialised as what matters most is the privatisation of profits.

As population targets kept being rewritten, increasing by about 1.5 million every decade, our population is likely to hit 8.5 million before 2050 and 10 million before 2065.

The PWP has nothing to do with arresting the declining TFR; its objectives are mainly to support real estate prices and drive economic growth.

It’s a waste for Goh to ride off into the sunset, unappreciated and lambasted by citizens. The Americans should have invited him to run for President and the US GDP could easily top US$100 trillion in about a decade or so. This could be achieved by growing their population, eventually overtaking China’s. Goh could become a foreign talent himself and help spur global growth.

The impossible has been achieved by Goh Chok Tong who is clearly a courageous leader way ahead of his time.

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2 Responses to Goh Chok Tong: A courageous leader decades ahead of his time

  1. Confused says:

    “A foreigner with a monthly levy of, say, $500 adds up to $6000 in yearly government revenue. Multiply this by 500,000 foreigners, PAP earns $3 billion yearly without generating any economic activity and at the stroke of a pen. Who really needs scholars to run Singapore when money drops from the sky?

    Monthly levy collection: $500
    Yearly levy collecion: $6000
    X 500,000 foreign workers: $3 billion
    X 1,000,000 foreign workers: $6 billion”

    You are spot on. it’s all about money nothing but money. If you look far and beyond this, you would see many more familiar settings. It’s easy monies. It’s actually a primary school maths but they have to tweak the formula to make things look very very complicated.

    If those GLCs are considered as private companies, I would presume that they are paying the same levies the true privates are paying, you would be right. Of course, one may argue this is illogical as the GLCs would have to bear this additional cost of levies, not unless because they are monopolised entity with fat and thick profit to begin with. In this case, it would then be logical to make both the books look good and healthy. In return, there will be a lot of grants to reduce the GLCs cost and ……..

  2. Phillip Ang says:

    Every tweak, policy, ‘public feedback’, etc has GLCs in mind. PAP makes it so easy for SMCs to get government funding like wage credit scheme, etc to the extent that it is abused. But when it comes to giving aid to the needy, it has put in place 1001 hurdles to ensure minimal help is given.

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