Goh Chok Tong
Overview
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister
Senior Minister
Senior Minister is a political office in the political system of Singapore taken by a prime minister or senior cabinet minister when he or she retires from that office, but still has something to offer the government based on his or her long experience...

 of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

. He also served as the second Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

 of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

, the former Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of the Republic of Singapore.
Goh Chok Tong's father was from Yongchun
Yongchun
Yongchun may refer to:* Yongchun County, county of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China* Wing Chun, or Yongchun in pinyin, Chinese martial art that specializes in close-range combat...

 county of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, while he was born in Singapore and his family belongs to the Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 dialect group, now more commonly known as Minnan.
Encyclopedia
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister
Senior Minister
Senior Minister is a political office in the political system of Singapore taken by a prime minister or senior cabinet minister when he or she retires from that office, but still has something to offer the government based on his or her long experience...

 of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

. He also served as the second Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

 of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

, the former Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of the Republic of Singapore.

Early life

Goh Chok Tong's father was from Yongchun
Yongchun
Yongchun may refer to:* Yongchun County, county of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China* Wing Chun, or Yongchun in pinyin, Chinese martial art that specializes in close-range combat...

 county of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, while he was born in Singapore and his family belongs to the Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 dialect group, now more commonly known as Minnan. Goh studied at Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution , founded in 1823, is the oldest centre for pre-tertiary learning in Singapore. It is an independent school in Singapore providing secondary and pre-university education. RI consists of a boys-only secondary section , and a coeducational pre-university section...

 from 1955 to 1960. He was a very competitive swimmer in his younger days and was given the nickname Panjang (which means "Tall".

Goh earned a First Class Honours (Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

) in economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 from the National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

 (then known as the University of Singapore), a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in Development Economics from Williams College
Williams College
Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams. Originally a men's college, Williams became co-educational in 1970. Fraternities were also phased out during this...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1967. After his studies, Goh returned to Singapore to serve in the Administrative Service.

Career at Neptune Orient Lines, 1969 to 1977

In 1969, Goh was seconded to the Neptune Orient Lines
Neptune Orient Lines
Neptune Orient Lines Limited , is a Singapore-based global transport company with core businesses in container shipping and supply chain management...

 (NOL) as a 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 Captain Muhammad Jalaluddin Sayeed
Captain Muhammad Jalaluddin Sayeed
Captain Muhammad Jalaluddin Sayeed, is the founding director of Neptune Orient Lines , a Singapore based shipping company. He hold vast experience as a maritime sailor.-Early life:Sayeed was born in December 1920 in Hyderabad Deccan...

, with whom he maintained close ties.

Early political career

In the 1976 Singapore general election, at the age of thirty-five, Goh was elected as Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Marine Parade constituency, as a People's Action Party
People's Action Party
The People's Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore. It has been the city-state's ruling political party since 1959....

 (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
Tan Keng Yam Tony
Tony Tan Keng Yam is the seventh and current President of Singapore. Until 1 July 2011, he was Executive Director and Deputy Chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings Limited...

; however Goh was selected by the second generation of PAP leaders that included Tony Tan, Suppiah Dhanabalan, and Ong Teng Cheong
Ong Teng Cheong
Ong Teng Cheong was the first directly elected President of the Republic of Singapore. He was the nation's fifth President, and served a six-year term from 1 September 1993 to 31 August 1999.-Early life:...

, and Lee accepted their decision.

Prime Minister, 1990 to 2004

On 28 November 1990, Goh became the second Prime Minister of Singapore, taking over from Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

. Lee remained an influential member of his Cabinet, holding the post of Senior Minister
Senior Minister
Senior Minister is a political office in the political system of Singapore taken by a prime minister or senior cabinet minister when he or she retires from that office, but still has something to offer the government based on his or her long experience...

. In 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:
  • Medisave
    Central Provident Fund
    In Singapore, the Central Provident Fund is a compulsory comprehensive savings plan for working Singaporeans and permanent residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare and housing needs. It is administered by the Central Provident Fund Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of...

  • Non-Constituency Members of Parliament
    Non-Constituency Member of Parliament
    Non-Constituency Members of Parliament are members of the opposition parties who are appointed as members of the Parliament of Singapore even though they had lost in the parliamentary election....

  • Government Parliamentary Committees
  • Group representation constituency
    Group Representation Constituency
    A Group Representation Constituency is a type of electoral division or constituency in Singapore, the Members of Parliament of which are voted into Parliament as a group...

  • Nominated Members of Parliament
    Nominated Member of Parliament
    A Nominated Member of Parliament is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed instead of being elected into office by the people, and who does not belong to any political party or represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament...

  • Vehicle Quota Scheme
    Certificate of Entitlement
    The Certificate of Entitlement , instituted by the government of Singapore since May 1990, is a program designed to limit car ownership and hence the number of vehicles on the country's roads...

  • Elected President
    President of Singapore
    The President of the Republic of Singapore is Singapore's head of state. In a Westminster parliamentary system, as which Singapore governs itself, the prime minister is the head of the government while the position of president is largely ceremonial. Before 1993, the President of Singapore was...

  • Singapore 21


During the period under Goh's administration, Singapore experienced several crises, such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, threats of terrorism including the 2001 plot to bomb embassies
Singapore embassies attack plot
The Singapore embassies attack plot was a plan in 2001 by Jemaah Islamiyah to bomb the diplomatic missions and attack personnel of the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Israel based in Singapore. There were also several other targets. The plot was uncovered in December 2001 and as...

 in Singapore by Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiah , is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization dedicated to the establishment of a Daulah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei...

, 2001 to 2003 economic recession
Economy of Singapore
Singapore has a highly developed state capitalist mixed economy; the state owns stakes in firms that comprise perhaps 60% of the GDP through entities such as the sovereign wealth fund Temasek...

, and the 2003 SARS outbreak
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

.

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
Singapore general election, 2001
The Singapore parliamentary general elections of 2001 were held on 3 November. The People's Action Party, the incumbent ruling party, won 82 out of 84 seats in the election, including 55 walkovers...

, Goh indicated that he would step down as Prime Minister after leading the country out of the recession.

During an interview with Time Magazine 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.

Senior Minister, 2004 to 2011

On 12 August 2004, Goh stepped down as Prime Minister and began service as Senior Minister
Senior Minister
Senior Minister is a political office in the political system of Singapore taken by a prime minister or senior cabinet minister when he or she retires from that office, but still has something to offer the government based on his or her long experience...

 in Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Hsien Loong is the third and current Prime Minister of Singapore. He is married to Ho Ching, who is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings. He is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew....

's Cabinet. On 20 August 2004, Goh assumed the post of Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

. http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternationalOrganizations/wm1177.cfm
After a number of threats of Islamist terrorism in Singapore, Goh met local Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic religious leaders in 2004, and made a visit to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, where he met the Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

, and visited local mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s. The Straits Times
The Straits Times
The Straits Times is an English language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore currently owned by Singapore Press Holdings . It is the country's highest-selling paper, with a current daily circulation of nearly 400,000...

speculated that this was meant to develop relationships between Singapore and Iran.

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
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, and Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

.

On 1 February 2005, Goh was appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia
Order of Australia
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service"...

 (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour, "for eminent service to Australia/Singapore relations".

On 19 May 2005, Goh signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Israel's Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

 on his visit to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, 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. Goh also discussed for an agreement to recognise each other's certification standards, so as to ease the flow of goods between the two countries.

He currently is a patron for the Institute of Policy Studies
Institute of Policy Studies (Singapore)
The Institute of Policy Studies was established in 1988 as a think-tank dedicated to fostering good governance in Singapore through strategic policy research and discussion....

, a government think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

.

In the Singapore general election, 2006
Singapore general election, 2006
The 2006 Singapore parliamentary general election was held on 6 May 2006. 1.22 million out of the 2.16 million eligible Singaporeans voted for Members of Parliament and elected their next government. The People's Action Party , in its first election under Lee Hsien Loong, won 66.6% of the overall...

, Goh was tasked to help the PAP win back the two opposition wards of Hougang and Potong Pasir. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/198700/1/.html However, he was unsuccessful in this task, as Low Thia Khiang
Low Thia Khiang
Low Thia Khiang is a politician and businessman from Singapore. He is currently the leader of the opposition Workers' Party, and since 1991 has been a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Hougang until 2011 where he contested and won in Aljunied GRC. He is in charge of the Bedok...

 and Chiam See Tong
Chiam See Tong
Chiam See Tong is a politician and lawyer from Singapore. He is the country's longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament . Between 1984 and 2011, he represented the constituency of Potong Pasir in Singapore's Parliament....

 retained their respective wards.

In 2006, Goh was briefly considered for the job as United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

. The job eventually went to Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he...

 http://www.unsg.org/candidates.html http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternationalOrganizations/wm1177.cfm.

In 2008, Goh was invited to join the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government
InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government
The InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government is an independent international organization designed to bring together former world leaders to mobilize their energy, experience and international contacts in an effort to develop and encourage change around the world.Founded in 1983,...

, an independent international organisation of former world leaders.

On 24 January 2011, Goh indicated that he will continue to seek re-election in the next Singapore General Election. Two months later, Goh has also 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 Singapore General Elections 2011 in which the Opposition made unprecedented gains by winning a Group Representative Constituency, Goh announced that he has decided to leave the Cabinet for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team to have a fresh clean slate.

Emeritus Senior Minister, from 2011

On 14 May 2011, Minister Mentor
Minister Mentor
Minister Mentor is a Singapore cabinet position created in 2004 as part of a leadership transition.The newly appointed Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong , announced Lee Kuan Yew's new title together with the naming of his Cabinet on August 12, 2004...

 Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and he announced their retirement from the cabinet after a watershed General Elections 2011.

On 18 May 2011, PM Lee announced that Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong is now appointed as senior advisor to the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

 (MAS) and been given the title Emeritus Senior Minister.

On 24 June 2011, Goh was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the Rising Sun
The is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government, created on April 10, 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun...

 by the Japanese government.

Family

Goh is married to Tan Choo Leng
Tan Choo Leng
Tan Choo Leng is the wife of Goh Chok Tong, who was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from November 26, 1990 to August 12, 2004 and Senior Minister....

 and they have a twin son and daughter. Their son, Goh Jin Hian, is a medical doctor at Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Mount Elizabeth Hospital is a 373-bed private hospital in Singapore operated by Parkway Health. It was started in 1976 and officially opened in 8 December 1979....

 while their daughter, Goh Jin Theng, is in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 with her English husband, Lee Craven.

External links


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