Has SM Goh Chok Tong lost it? He back tracked when he realised that his initial remarks about Ms Tin Pei Ling having to seek 'trauma specialist' Dr Fatimah Lateef's help for trauma suffered due to negative talk of her hadn't been stately as befits a senior Minister. But instead of saying 'I stand corrected...' as MM Lee Kuan Yew did when he back tracked on his remarks about Malays being a race apart in his book "Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going", SM Goh put it down to jesting (tongue-in-cheek was the word he used). And what is worst, the Straits Times are also convinced that he was merely joking and making people look like fools for taking him that seriously over the remark. Unfortunately, this remark, made on Facebook and went to Twitter on 2nd April, couldn't count for an April Fool's day joke. Otherwise, Mr Goh could have honestly explained it all away.
First, even if it was a joke, it was done in bad taste. Given how Ms Tin has reportedly suffered, the last thing SM Goh should have done is to pour oil over simmering coals. He did so. The PAP has always said that people who stand for national elections must be serious people, and here, you have have a senior minister jesting over one of its own deeply hurt comrade. Was it really intentional? It would appear that only the PAP and the Straits Times believe that it is.
Second, it would have been good if SM Goh were contrite about his ill-considered remark (also known as a boo-boo). I believe that what he was originally reported to have said, about Ms Tin having to seek medical (psychiatric) help, was true. Instead of coming clean, as PAP always demands of its opponents, he sidestepped the issue by trying to pull wool over the eyes of the rest of Singapore, claiming that he wasn't serious at all. Come on, Mr Goh, give Singaporeans more credit for being able to tell the difference between serious and foolish talk. That's what you would want them to do in the coming General Elections, right? Representatives of the PAP should do no less.
Apparently, SM Goh has still not learnt enough from the Master in the art of contrition, not that the Master is a particularly contrite man.
See Yahoo's report
* to be sung to the tune of ABBA's 'Loving me loving you".