Singapore GE2020: Last GE contest for PPP's Goh Meng Seng

Democratic Progress Party secretary-general Mohamad Hamim Aliyas (left) with People's Power Party secretary-general Goh Meng Seng during a walkabout at MacPherson Market and Food Centre on June 27, 2020.
Democratic Progress Party secretary-general Mohamad Hamim Aliyas (left) with People's Power Party secretary-general Goh Meng Seng during a walkabout at MacPherson Market and Food Centre on June 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

People's Power Party (PPP) secretary-general Goh Meng Seng said yesterday this will be his last contest in a general election.

Speaking to the media during a walkabout at MacPherson Market and Food Centre, the 50-year-old said he had initially planned to stay in politics for 15 years or three election cycles. But this will be his fourth, this time contesting the MacPherson SMC, where he is expected to face the People's Action Party's (PAP) Tin Pei Ling.

"When I first got involved in politics, I told my wife to give me 15 years. But now I might be crossing 20 years... My daughter, who wasn't even born then, has now grown up... I don't want to put my family through too much," said the opposition veteran, the principal consultant of market research and consultancy company Whiz Research and Consultancy.

Mr Goh made his debut as a candidate in 2006, when he contested Aljunied GRC with the Workers' Party. "Every election, we lose money. I even sold my flat to finance the second one," he added, referring to the 2011 General Election where he contested Tampines GRC on the National Solidarity Party ticket. Although he secured enough votes to get his election deposit back every time he contested, Mr Goh said there were other expenses such as the cost of setting up rallies, renting vehicles and producing posters.

In May 2015, months ahead of the general election that year, Mr Goh announced that he was setting up the PPP. He then led a group of candidates that contested Chua Chu Kang GRC and lost to the PAP team helmed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. PAP secured 76.89 per cent of the vote.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Goh provided his party's election manifesto. It includes upgrading the older Housing Board flats in MacPherson through various programmes and schemes; setting up a community hospital to cater to the elderly; and inviting charities to set up free traditional Chinese medicine clinics and soup kitchens.

Mr Goh called for a greater opposition presence in Parliament, even as he praised Ms Tin for her service to the residents in MacPherson.

He said: "She's part of the (ruling) party so how do you expect her to be more critical of her own party's policies. So as an opposition member, and with an economics and statistics background, I think I can contribute more in Parliament for the nation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 28, 2020, with the headline 'Last GE contest for PPP's Goh Meng Seng'. Print Edition | Subscribe