Goh Meng Seng once tarnished WP's reputation by embroiling in Internet "brawl"

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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

Secretary-General of the People’s Power Party, Goh Meng Seng, made a Facebook post asking Dr Chee to relinquish his leadership in SDP after the recent by-election loss by SDP in Bt Batok (http://theindependent.sg/ppp-head-goh-meng-seng-says-chee-should-go).

Dr Chee garnered 38.8% of the votes, up from 26.4% in Bt Batok from the last GE. He managed to help SDP close the gap with PAP from 11,646 to 5,286 votes in a constituency of 26,000 residents.

In his post, Goh Meng Seng said, “We have to come to terms that Chee isn’t going to go anywhere further than the current result due to many reasons and factors. Whether we like it or not, the Chiam baggage will always be on his shoulder if he didn’t want to clear it off with sincerity.”

He also added that Dr Chee is “tainted beyond hope” and is “just unelectable”.

He further opined that SDP members are wasting their efforts supporting Dr Chee.

“As I have said, SDP has a fantastic support team behind but as long as Chee is leading SDP, all their effort may just come to nothing,” Goh Meng Seng said. “It is time for him to take a back seat and allow others to take SDP to greater heights.”

Is Goh Meng Seng himself electable?

If Goh Meng Seng is not a politician, then like anyone else, he can express his views, whether positive or negative, about Dr Chee and SDP without much consequences. But since he is a player himself, the comments he made about other politicians can easily boomerang back to himself.

As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

So, is Goh Meng Seng himself “tainted” and “unelectable”? Let’s examine his political career over the last many years.

Goh Meng Seng first joined politics through WP in 2001. He later became a CEC member of WP.

He first contested in GE2006 in Aljunied GRC. He was part of WP’s “A team”, contesting together with Chairman Sylvia Lim. The team garnered 43.9% of the votes, finished as one of the top performers among the oppositions. Ms Lim became an NCMP as a result.

Shortly after GE2006, Goh was embroiled in an Internet forum “brawl”, with mudslinging and name-calling aplenty (‘Workers’ Party netiquette comes under fire’, TODAY, 25 Oct 2006).

A netizen subsequently sent a complaint letter to WP chairman Sylvia Lim and secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, citing what he thought to be unacceptable online conduct by Goh Meng Seng. The netizen commented that Goh was narrow-minded to have called a forum participant “scheming” and “lacking in integrity” after “losing an argument”.

He also thought Goh had threatened to sue another forum participant for implying that Mr Goh visited the www.sggirls.com forum.

Goh Meng Seng, in response to TODAY’s enquiry, defended his actions, “What I said could have been harsh but you have to look at it in context. People who argue with me will find me argumentative. But since his agenda is questionable, I am not going to engage him in discussions any more.”

Goh Meng Seng resigned from WP

Following the fracas over the Internet, Goh Meng Seng then quit WP for tarnishing WP’s reputation (‘Senior WP member quits over Net fracas’, ST, 8 Nov 2006).

He told ST reporter, “I need to be accountable for it.”

However, sources also said that he was unhappy with the impending party guidelines from WP to curtail members’ postings on the Internet, a claim which he later denied.

“I have no regrets,” he said repeatedly, adding in Mandarin: “Tian xia mei you bu san zhi yan xi.” The Chinese proverb he quoted states that there is no banquet in this world that lasts forever.

Goh Meng Seng joined and quit NSP

Prior to GE2011, he jumped to NSP and became its Secretary-General.

He contested in 2011 in Tampines GRC but still lost to the then unpopular PAP Minister Mah Bow Tan.

Goh stepped down from his post as Secretary-General of NSP after GE2011 “for a breather and to take stock of his future”. He later left NSP and went to help Presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian in his bid for presidency.

Goh Meng Seng starts PPP

He at first, said he would be happy to “sit back and relax or just play a secondary role” in GE2015 but in May 2015, he suddenly announced that he was setting-up a new political party called the People’s Power Party, barely a few months before GE2015.

His party contested in GE2015, garnering 23.1% in Chua Chu Kang GRC.

Despite being a veteran politician, he and his team was one of the worst performing candidates in the election. He returned to continue to live with his family in Hong Kong after GE2015.

Goh Meng Seng happy in Hong Kong

In an interview with asianthinkers.com, he said he likes Hong Kong “because the air smells differently”.  He said that Hong Kong’s democratic core values are very much similar to those he embrace.

“I met up with Albert Ho from the Democratic Party recently. It is a big party in relative terms. The civic party is more to my taste. I believe in building up the third party. There is however a problem language wise as I can’t speak Cantonese that is important for political engagement. I can’t rule out what I would do in the future,” Goh said.

He even got his daughter to study in Hong Kong. “The Chinese education system is much more advanced that in Singapore. I am happy here,” he said.

So, perhaps before Goh Meng Seng starts asking if other politicians are “electable”, he might want to self-examine himself first to see if he is still “electable”.

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