Workers' Party potential candidate Daniel Goh denies allegations of extra-marital affair

Workers' Party potential candidate Daniel Goh has denied allegations of having had an affair with a student, in the wake of an e-mail to the press.
Workers' Party potential candidate Daniel Goh has denied allegations of having had an affair with a student, in the wake of an e-mail to the press.PHOTO: WORKERS' PARTY

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party (WP) potential candidate, National University of Singapore sociologist Daniel Goh, has denied allegations that he had an extra-marital affair with a former student, in the wake of an e-mail to the press.

Dr Goh issued a denial in a text message to The Straits Times on Thursday night, which was followed by a posting on his Facebook page.

He wrote: "Someone wrote a poison pen letter to WP and to the media to smear me with the allegation that I had an affair with a former student of mine whom I supervised for her thesis.

"And the media is going to run the story online and in print. The timing is sensational. I categorically refute the baseless allegations and I question the timing of the poison pen letter coming immediately after the candidate introduction.

"I have been in the public eye, involved with WP, for over two years, and if the intention is to alert the party to alleged moral failings, it would have been done earlier and directly to the party leaders.

"I have always maintained a professional relationship with my students. This is very hurtful and unfair to my family."

Dr Goh, 42, is married to a full-time time housewife, 39. They have a three-year-old son.

A letter sent by a "Max Chan" to several newsrooms on Thursday night alleged that Dr Goh had an affair in 2008 with a post-graduate student from his department.

The writer questioned Dr Goh's character and morals. He also claimed that the woman's boyfriend, whom he referred to only as J, had found out about the alleged affair through her phone messages.

The e-mail was also sent to the opposition party's secretary-general Low Thia Khiang and chairman Sylvia Lim.

Dr Goh said he was advising the female student in her master's thesis from 2007 to 2009.

After she graduated, the student left Singapore to get a PhD. She had returned to Singapore to be a teaching assistant but was said to have left this post in 2012.

Dr Goh told The Straits Times that they still keep in contact "because she respects me a lot as I advised her on the PhD studies in the US".

When asked if he knows who may have written the letter, he replied: "I have no idea! I don't even know who is Max or J!"

Dr Goh was officially introduced as the WP's potential candidate on Wednesday. He has been spotted walking the ground in East Coast and is expected to be part of the party's team in the group representation constituency.

yuenc@sph.com.sg