A few days ago, Lee Kuan Yew (not MM as he is without appointment in this period as parliament has dissolved) threatened that Aljunied voters would have to regret and repent if they let that GRC fall into WP hands. George Yeo, must have felt frustrated that the old man was more harm than help.
In the main battle of this GE, George Yeo’s political careeer is in jeopardy as he faces a tough tight WP team. The debate has been predictable, boths sides threatening voters that Aljunied might turn into a slum if they vote WP or Aljunied would be blamed for the loss of a good opposition leader if they vote PAP.
Then Goh Chok Tong suddenly pushed Wong Kan Seng to the front. The latest twist is that the former PM implied that Wong Kan Seng is not a core member in parliament and that he rather the former Home Affairs minister go than George Yeo. The pressure on George Yeo’s GRC would not be lessen by Goh’s observation. However, Wong Kan Seng would feel more pressure on his GRC from SPP. Rather than making things better for the PAP overall, Goh has made it worse. What the former PM has done is now open a new front in Bishan-Toa Payoh and gave SPP an extra edge.
Why did Goh say that? Probably because the PAP is a party that has internal factions, which is expected for an organisation so huge and so political. What we want to know who is standing with who within the PAP now.
George Yeo too important for Cabinet to lose: SM Goh
04:46 AM May 03, 2011
by Ian De Cotta
SINGAPORE – Foreign Minister George Yeo, who is facing a fierce challenge from the Workers’ Party in the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), has been described as “too important a person for the Cabinet to lose” by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Singling out Mr Yeo as one of three “very important” core members in the Cabinet – the others being Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean – Mr Goh said yesterday: “There are other core members but these are the three core members who will be very important … (Finance Minister) Tharman (Shanmugaratnam) is too new but will be developed into a core member.”
Speaking after a walkabout in Marine Parade GRC, Mr Goh said a member of the Prime Minister’s core team is picked not only based on the portfolio the minister heads but also his intelligence, competence, ability to deliver results and someone whose judgment can be trusted.
“I’ve run a Government and I know you need a core team. A core team is four or five people, other ministers are important, but you need a core team,” said Mr Goh. “If you lose George Yeo, I think it is a very big loss (for the Cabinet), and to Singapore.”
Elaborating, Mr Goh said the Foreign Minister has played a critical role in the Prime Minister’s team to formulate and implement policies, and will not be easily replaced in the short term if his team loses in the Aljunied GRC.
Said Mr Goh: “If one GRC is lost, as Minister Mentor (Lee Kuan Yew) said, we can accept the result – I agree with that. Sooner or later we are going to lose one. But my view if we lose Aljunied, that is a different matter.”
With Mr Yeo in the middle of negotiating “very delicate agreements” with Indonesia and Malaysia, the loss will even be more telling for Singapore.
Summing up, Mr Goh said: “What mistake has he made? You can take a minister and criticise him for not delivering on perhaps housing and transport.
“Like Wong Kan Seng you can say he let Mas Selamat escape. George Yeo, what has he done to deserve this? And he is a core member.”