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PM Goh's interview on CNN programme TALKASIA

Source: www.gov.sg 

Q: "Prime Minister, it's been 13 years since you've been Prime Minister. How would you describe your tenure thus far?"

Mr Goh: "I find it satisfying. My main mission when I became Prime Minister was to keep Singapore going and Singapore has been kept going. So, I'm happy with what I've done for Singapore."

Q: "What was the hardest part in terms of following the footsteps of somebody like Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew? I mean, he must have been a pretty tough act to follow?"

Mr Goh: "When I was sworn in as Prime Minister, I made it clear that I was not going to wear his pair of shoes. His shoe size is 13,14 or 15. Mine is only size nine. So, I wear my own pair of shoes and I walk comfortably."

Q: "How has your approach, though, been different from him?"

Mr Goh: "Basically, it's a personality difference. In terms of policies, no disagreements, generally. In terms of attitude, values; I don't see any differences. But in terms of style, that's where the difference is."

Q: "How so? Give me an example?"

Mr Goh: "I think his own character, his own historical experience makes him a very firm leader; that means a no-nonsense leader, who is very much top-down. He has an image of being very authoritarian. Whereas, my style is softer, I would say gentler and probably, more in keeping with the mood of the day."

Q: "You obviously grew, I wouldn't say grew up as such, but grew in politics as him as the sort of founding father. Did he not influence you in any way or?"

Mr Goh: "He influenced me tremendously. Just by working with him, one gets to know his thinking; the way he works. And you are bound to be influenced by him, consciously or unconsciously. I would say he makes a worrier out of me. As the Prime Minister, he worried a lot and, of course, he still worries a lot about Singapore. Having gone into the job, I now begin to worry everyday about Singapore."

Q: "You have said quite publicly that when the economy is stable, you will step aside. What do you mean by "stable"? Is Singapore stable now?"

Mr Goh: "Last year, we had a very bad patch. We almost went into a recession. For the whole year, we grew only by 0.8 per cent. This year, the expectation is three to five per cent. When I see signs of growth and the growth is sustained, that's the time for me to decide when to quit."

More.....

 

 

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Sunday
25 January 2004