Goh Chok Tong (born 20 May 1941; simplified Chinese: 吴作栋; traditional Chinese: 吳作棟; pinyin: Wú Zuòdòng, Wade–Giles: Wu2-tso4-tung4) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the People's Action Party (PAP), he became Singapore's second Prime Minister on 28 November 1990, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, and served in the role until 12 August 2004, when he stepped down and was succeeded by Lee Hsien Loong. He subsequently served as Senior Minister until May 2011, and as Chairman of the Monetary Authority Of Singapore (MAS). He continues to serve as a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency and holds the honorary title of "Emeritus Senior Minister". Recently, in November 2018, he released his autobiography, Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story which will be the first volume of a two-part biography.
Emeritus Senior Minister
Goh Chok Tong
|2nd Senior Minister of Singapore|
12 August 2004 – 21 May 2011
Serving with S. Jayakumar (2009–2011)
|Prime Minister||Lee Hsien Loong|
|Preceded by||Lee Kuan Yew|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|2nd Prime Minister of Singapore|
28 November 1990 – 12 August 2004
|Preceded by||Lee Kuan Yew|
|Succeeded by||Lee Hsien Loong|
|2nd Secretary-General of the People's Action Party|
1 November 1992 – 3 December 2004
|Preceded by||Lee Kuan Yew|
|Succeeded by||Lee Hsien Loong|
|Member of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Newly created |
Marine Parade SMC
|Constituency||Marine Parade GRC (Marine Parade)|
|Preceded by||Newly created|
|Succeeded by||Abolished |
Created Marine Parade GRC
|Constituency||Marine Parade SMC|
|Born||20 May 1941|
Singapore, Straits Settlements
|Political party||People's Action Party (1976–present)|
Tan Choo Leng (m. 1965)
|Alma mater||University of Singapore,|
Goh was born in Singapore in 1941 to Goh Kah Choon and Quah Kwee Hwa both hailing from the Fujian province of China. His family is Hokkien. Goh studied at Raffles Institution from 1955 to 1960. He was a very competitive swimmer in his younger days and was given the nickname "Bold".
Goh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class honours in economics from the University of Singapore (now National University of Singapore), and a Master of Arts in development economics from Williams College in 1967. After his studies, Goh returned to Singapore to serve in the Administrative Service. Goh's dream of getting a PhD was disrupted, as the government would not transfer his bursary bond to the university, where he had signed on as a research fellow after graduation. In 2015, Goh was awarded the highest recognition from his alma mater, NUS, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, which was presented to him for his contributions to Singapore in public service.
In 1969, Goh was seconded to the shipping company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) as the company's Planning and Projects Manager. His career advanced quickly and by 1973, he became the Managing Director and led NOL to achieve impressive financial results during his tenure. Here Goh worked under Muhammad Jalaluddin Sayeed, with whom he maintained close ties.
In the 1976 Singapore general election, at the age of 35, Goh was elected as Member of Parliament for Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency, as a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate. He was appointed a Senior Minister of State for Finance. In 1981, he was promoted to Minister for Trade and Industry and later served in other appointments including Minister for Health and Minister for Defence.
In 1985, Goh became the first Deputy Prime Minister and began to assume the responsibility of the government in a carefully managed leadership transition. According to Lee Kuan Yew, his preferred successor was Tony Tan; however Goh was selected by the second generation of PAP leaders that included Tony Tan, Suppiah Dhanabalan, and Ong Teng Cheong, and Lee accepted their decision.
On 28 November 1990, Goh became the second Prime Minister of Singapore, taking over from Lee Kuan Yew. Lee remained an influential member of his Cabinet, holding the post of Senior Minister. The 1991 general elections, the first electoral test for Goh, led to the party winning 61% of the popular vote. In 1992, Lee Kuan Yew handed over the post of Secretary General of People's Action Party to Goh, successfully completing the leadership transition.
As Prime Minister, Goh promised a more open-minded and consultative style of leadership than that of his predecessor. This greater openness extended also to the socio-economic spheres of life, for instance, in his support for the rise of "little bohemias" in Singapore, enclaves where more creativity and entrepreneurship could thrive.
His administration introduced several major policies and policy institutions, including:
During the period under Goh's administration, Singapore experienced several crises, such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, threats of terrorism including the 2001 Singapore embassies attack plot by Jemaah Islamiyah, the 2001-2003 economic recession, and the 2003 SARS outbreak.
As Secretary General, Goh led the PAP to three general election victories in 1991, 1997, and 2001, in which the party won 61%, 65% and 75% of the votes respectively. After the general election in 2001, Goh indicated that he would step down as Prime Minister after leading the country out of the recession.
During an interview with the magazine Time in July 2003, Goh surprised his nation by announcing that his government is now openly employing gays, even in sensitive jobs, despite homosexual acts remaining illegal under Section 377A of the Penal Code (Singapore). His announcement drew a strong backlash from conservatives of the island nation but nevertheless reinforced Goh's image as an open-minded leader.
On 12 August 2004, Goh stepped down as Prime Minister and began service as Senior Minister in Lee Hsien Loong's Cabinet. On 20 August 2004, Goh assumed the post of Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. After a number of threats of terrorism in Singapore, Goh met local Islamic religious leaders in 2004, and made a visit to Iran, where he met Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, and visited local mosques.
Goh subsequently visited other Middle-Eastern countries as Senior Minister, with a view to improving diplomatic relationships and thus gaining wider business opportunities for Singaporean businessmen, especially in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait.
On 19 May 2005, Goh signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Israel's Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit to Israel, superseding the agreement signed in 1971. Improvements in the agreement include enhancements to the withholding tax rate on interest income, which was reduced from 15% to 7%. This would benefit Singaporean businessmen with investments in Israel and vice versa, by ensuring they are not taxed twice.
In the 2006 Singapore general election, Goh was tasked to help the PAP win back the two opposition wards of Hougang and Potong Pasir. However, he was unsuccessful in this task, as Low Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong retained their respective wards.
In 2008, Goh was invited to join the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government, an independent international organisation of former world leaders.
On 24 January 2011, Goh announced that he would continue to seek re-election to Parliament at the 2011 general election. Over the following months, he progressively released snippets prior to the election on the importance of grooming a successor who could be part of the fourth generation PAP leadership to helm Marine Parade GRC in the long run.
After the 2011 general election, in which the opposition made unprecedented gains by winning a group representative constituency (Aljunied), Goh and Lee Kuan Yew announced that they were retiring from the Cabinet in order to give Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the rest of his team a clean slate from which they can make a fresh start in the new parliamentary term.
On 18 May 2011, Lee Hsien Loong announced that Goh was to be appointed a senior advisor to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and would be given the honorary title of "Emeritus Senior Minister".
On 2 August 2018, Goh stated that ministerial pay is not enough and it will adversely impact the ability to attract competent people to join the government in the future. He also dismissed the idea of reducing the minister's salary as a populist move, a move that sparked controversy and public disapproval 
Goh is married to Tan Choo Leng and they have a son and a daughter, who are twins. Their son, Goh Jin Hian, is a medical doctor and their daughter, Goh Jin Theng, lives in London with her husband, Lee Craven.
| Senior Minister of State for Finance
| Minister for Trade and Industry
Toh Chin Chye
| Minister for Health
Howe Yoon Chong
Howe Yoon Chong
| Minister for Defence
Yeo Ning Hong
Goh Keng Swee
| Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Kuan Yew
| Prime Minister of Singapore|
28 November 1990 – 12 August 2004
| Senior Minister
12 August 2004 – 2011
|Parliament of Singapore|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Marine Parade
| Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC
|Party political offices|
Lee Kuan Yew
| Secretary General of People's Action Party
Lee Hsien Loong
| Chairperson of ASEAN
A by-election for the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency in Singapore was held on 19 December 1992. The by-election was called after the resignation of all four MPs of the GRC from their seats, including then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. The nomination day was held on 9 December 1992.1997 Singaporean general election
General elections were held in Singapore on 2 January 1997. 765,332 out of the eligible 1.8 million voters voted and selected their next government. The election results was released in the late evening that day and the ruling People's Action Party won a total of 81 out of 83 seats as well as a tenth consecutive term in office under the then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. Other major political parties contesting in the election were the Workers' Party, Singapore Democratic Party, National Solidarity Party, Singapore People's Party and the Democratic Progressive Party.
After nomination day on 23 December 1996, the People's Action Party returned to power with a total of 47 out of the total 83 seats and could form a government on nomination day. On polling day, voters voted for the election for their members of parliament with all but two seats going to the PAP. In this election, Group Representation Constituencies were increased from four members to between four and six members. Housing issues were one of the issues raised during the election.7th Parliament of Singapore
The 7th Parliament of Singapore was a meeting of the Parliament of Singapore. Its first session commenced on 9 January 1989 and was prorogued on 21 April 1990. Its second session commenced on 7 June 1990 and was prorogued on 29 January 1991. It commenced its third session on 22 February 1991 and was dissolved on 14 August 1991.The members of the 7th Parliament were elected in the 1988 general election. Parliament was controlled by a People's Action Party majority, led by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who subsequently handed over to Goh Chok Tong. The Speaker was Tan Soo Khoon. The de facto Leader of the Opposition was Chiam See Tong of the Singapore Democratic Party.8th Parliament of Singapore
The 8th Parliament of Singapore was a meeting of the Parliament of Singapore. Its first session commenced on 6 January 1992 and was prorogued on 6 December 1993. It commenced its second session on 10 January 1994 and was dissolved on 16 December 1996.The members of the 8th Parliament were elected in the 1991 general election. Parliament was controlled by a People's Action Party majority, led by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and his cabinet. The Speaker was Tan Soo Khoon. The de facto Leader of the Opposition was Chiam See Tong until he resigned as secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party on 17 May 1993, and was replaced by Ling How Doong, chairman of his party.9th Parliament of Singapore
The 9th Parliament of Singapore was a meeting of the Parliament of Singapore. Its first session commenced on 26 May 1997 and was prorogued on 8 September 1999. It commenced its second session on 4 October 1999 and was dissolved on 18 October 2001.The members of the 9th Parliament were elected in the 1997 general election. Parliament was controlled by a People's Action Party majority, led by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and his cabinet. The Speaker was Tan Soo Khoon.Chong Ah Fatt
Chong Ah Fatt (17 January 1936 - 11 July 1987) was a former Chairman of the Marine Parade Citizen's Consultative Committee. He was the Polling Agent of former Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong during the latter's first election for MP of Marine Parade constituency in the 1976 election, which Goh has subsequently retained to date.
A holder of a Master's degree in Political Science, he joined the fledgling Foreign Ministry of Singapore in 1966 as one of just three members of the Political Section, which was headed by S.R Nathan (later and current President of Singapore).Chong also served in the Foreign Ministry of Singapore in various roles, including interpreter for former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, First Secretary of the Singapore High Commission in Australia and Protocol Chief of the Foreign Ministry. He later worked in NOL as the SEA Representative and Shipping Manager where he worked with Goh Chok Tong who was Managing Director.
He was the Marketing Manager of the Singapore office of Scandinavian container shipping firm Scandutch-Nedlloyd at the time of his death in 1987, leaving behind his wife, two daughters and a son.First Goh Chok Tong Cabinet
The first Goh Cabinet was formed after then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was sworn in after the previous Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, stepped down and handed over prime ministership to Goh on 28 November 1990.First Lee Hsien Loong Cabinet
The First Cabinet of Lee Hsien Loong of the Government of Singapore was sworn into office on 12 Aug 2004.
The swearing-in ceremony was held outdoors on the Istana grounds—instead of City Hall where his two predecessors Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong held their ceremonies— in order to accommodate 1,400 invited guests representing different demographics of the population. S. Jayakumar was elevated to Deputy Prime Minister, while Tony Tan retained his DPM position — a post he held since his return to Cabinet in 1995. Lee Hsien Loong retained his Finance Minister post held since 2001.Lee's immediate predecessor, Goh Chok Tong, was named Senior Minister, and ranked second in order of precedence. Goh's predecessor, Lee Kuan Yew, who was the nation's first prime minister and Lee Hsien Loong's father, was subsequently named Minister Mentor.
The names in bold are the surnames of Chinese persons, and the personal names of Indian and Malay persons (except for Vivian Balakrishnan and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, where they indicate surnames as well).Fourth Goh Chok Tong Cabinet
The Goh Chok Tong Cabinet, came in for the fourth from 2001 general elections to 2004.Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Hsien Loong (Chinese: 李显龙; Tamil: லீ சியன் லூங்; born 10 February 1952) is a Singaporean politician serving as the third and current Prime Minister of Singapore since 2004. He took over the leadership of the People's Action Party (PAP) when former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong stepped down from the position to become the new Senior Minister. Lee then led his party to victory in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 general elections. He began his current term on 15 January 2016 following the opening of Singapore's 13th Parliament. Lee is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
Lee graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, as Senior Wrangler in 1974 (gaining a Diploma in Computer Science with distinction as well) and later earned a Master of Public Administration at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. From 1971 to 1984, he served in the Singapore Armed Forces where he rose to the rank of brigadier general. He won his first election for Member of Parliament in 1984, contesting as a member of the People's Action Party. Under Singapore's second prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, Lee served as the Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister.Main Upgrading Programme
The Main Upgrading Programme, or MUP (Chinese: 主要翻新), was formally launched as the government’s pioneer upgrading programme in 1992, by then Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. Under the MUP, residents enjoyed an improved living environment without the need to move out from their familiar surroundings. The MUP has been brought to 128 precincts island-wide, benefitting 131,000 households.Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency
Not to be confused with the defunct and smaller Marine Parade Single Member Constituency (Marine Parade SMC) that existed from 1976 to 1984.Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (Chinese: 马林百列集选区; Malay: Kawasan Undi Perwakilan Berkumpulan Marine Parade; Tamil: மரீன் பரேட் குழுத்தொகுதி) is a five-member Group Representation Constituency (GRC) located in the central, eastern and north-eastern areas of Singapore. The constituency consists of a section of Bedok, Chai Chee, Geylang, Kaki Bukit, Kallang, Kembangan, Marine Parade, Mountbatten, Ubi, Serangoon, Toa Payoh and Hougang.
Marine Parade GRC is both led by then-prime minister and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and the Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan Jin.Marine Parade Single Member Constituency
Not to be confused with the present Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency which is way larger than this Marine Parade Single Member Constituency (Marine Parade SMC) by including its nearby towns such as Geylang Serai etc.Marine Parade Single Member Constituency (Traditional Chinese: 馬林百列單選區;Simplified Chinese: 马林百列单选区) is a former single-member constituency in Marine Parade, Singapore. It was formed in 1976 after the land reclamation works to build Marine Parade were completed, and absorbed into Marine Parade GRC in 1988. It was carved from Joo Chiat constituency.
This is the ward where the second Prime Minister of Singapore, Goh Chok Tong, made his debut since its inception and it had been his and the People's Action Party's stronghold.Minister Mentor
Minister Mentor (abbreviation: MM) was a position in the Cabinet of Singapore. It was created in 2004 as part of a transition in political leadership. Singapore's first Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew was the only person who has held this post, from 12 August 2004 to 21 May 2011.
In August 2004, Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong succeeded Goh Chok Tong and became Singapore's third Prime Minister. Lee Hsien Loong announced the position of Minister Mentor when he named his Cabinet on 12 August 2004. Before his appointment as Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew was Senior Minister from 1990 to 2004 in then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's Cabinet. Goh became Senior Minister in Lee Hsien Loong's first Cabinet.
On 14 May 2011, following the General Elections that took place seven days earlier, Singapore's former prime ministers, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong announced their retirement from the Cabinet.In Singapore, terms for Minister Mentor in the country's three other official languages are as follows:
Chinese (Mandarin): Nei ge zi zheng (simplified Chinese: 内阁资政; traditional Chinese: 內閣資政; pinyin: nèi gé zī zhèng; literally: "Political Adviser in the Cabinet")
Malay: Menteri Pembimbing
Tamil: அமைச்சர் அறிவுரையாளர் ('Ammaichar Arivuraiyaalar' in direct English transliteration)Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore (Malay: Perdana Menteri Republik Singapura; Chinese: 新加坡共和国总理, pinyin: Xīnjiāpō gònghéguó zǒnglǐ; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசின் பிரதமர், Ciṅkappūr kuṭiyaraciṉ piratamar) is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore, and the most powerful person in Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament (MP) who, in his or her opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs. In practice, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the majority party in the legislature.
Under the Constitution of Singapore, executive power is vested in the President. However, the Constitution also vests "general direction and control of the government" in the Cabinet. The President is almost always bound to act on the advice of the Cabinet or any minister acting under Cabinet authority. Thus, in practice, most of the actual work of governing is done by the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The office of Prime Minister dates back to 1959 and was appointed at first by the Governor of Singapore then the Yang di-Pertuan Negara (vice-regal head of state), when Singapore achieved self-governance as the State of Singapore within the British Empire. The title of Prime Minister remained unchanged after the merger with the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak and North Borneo, while Singapore was a state in the Federation of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965, and after independence in 1965.
The late Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. Lee was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong and was conferred the title of Senior Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. Goh retired on 12 August 2004 and was succeeded by Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong. Goh was appointed Senior Minister, and the elder Lee Minister Mentor. Lee and Goh resigned from the Cabinet in 2011 but remained as members of Parliament.Second Goh Chok Tong Cabinet
The Second Goh Chok Tong Cabinet was formed after the 1991 Singaporean general election and dissolved for the 1997 Singaporean general election. The new Cabinet was formed due to Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, calling a snap election, seeking a strong and fresh mandate after succeeding Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister.Senior Minister
The title "Senior Minister" was also a title used in Canada, before "Deputy Prime Minister" was introduced in 1977.Senior Minister (abbreviation: SM) is a political office in the Cabinet of Singapore. The holder of this office is typically a former Prime Minister or former Deputy Prime Minister.
S. Rajaratnam was one of the co-founders of the People’s Action Party. Upon Independence in 1965, he served as the country’s first Minister for Foreign Affairs before being appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1980. He then took on the newly created role of Senior Minister in 1985, before his retirement in 1988. Lee Kuan Yew was the country’s first Prime Minister. Upon his handover to Goh Chok Tong in 1990, he was appointed Senior Minister by his successor. He was ranked second in the order of precedence, superseding the country’s sitting Deputy PMs.Goh Chok Tong was appointed Senior Minister in 2004, upon his handover to the country’s third Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As SM, he was ranked second in the order of precedence, while Lee Kuan Yew, appointed Minister Mentor, was third in the order of precedence. Both Goh and Lee resigned from cabinet after the 2011 General Elections. They remained in Parliament as backbench MPs. S. Jayakumar relinquished his Deputy Prime Minister role in 2009 and was appointed Senior Minister. He retired in politics before the 2011 General Elections.Tan Choo Leng
Tan Choo Leng (simplified Chinese: 陈子玲; traditional Chinese: 陳子玲; pinyin: Chén Zǐlíng) is a Singaporean lawyer and the wife of Singapore's second prime minister Goh Chok Tong.Third Goh Chok Tong Cabinet
The Goh Chok Tong Cabinet, came in for the second from 1997 general elections to 2001.