Goh Meng Seng blogs at singaporealternatives. A politician turned self-styled political commentator, he gains a reputation not from the articles that he wrote or his political views which could be summarised in only one word; anti-government, but from what he has failed to achieve; acceptance into the political fraternity. Jumping from one political bandwagon to another, he is always seeking that one platform where he could be in the limelight. A maverick he is not. An opportunist he definitely is.
If you read his articles, you might be persuaded by his arguments. But if you delved deeper into them, you could see a common thread. And that is, populist hogwash without any substance or workable alternatives. An example would be this paragraph which we quoted from one of his articles.
“I am totally disgusted by such suggestion, especially from the ruling elites of PAP who have been paid obscene amount of salaries for the past decades and do not understand how it feels to be “forced” to sell off their “HOME” for retirement. Our HDB flat is our HOME, not an investment. PAP ruling elites don’t even understand this.”
Notice the number of populist words in just those two sentences?
So who is this Goh Meng Seng? A political thinker or a political stinker?
Goh joined the Workers’ Party in 2001 and contested in the 2006 election as part of the Aljuneid GRC Team with Sylvia Lim. They lost. But soon after, his lack of political acumen began to show when he engaged in an unsavoury `internet war’ with an online forum participant. WP hierarchy saw this as tarnishing the party’s reputation and Goh resigned from the party after accepting responsibility. Without him and his divisive politics, WP arguably managed to attract members of higher calibre into the Aljuneid GRC team, winning the next election, bringing down two Ministers in the process.
Without a platform to achieve his political ambition, Goh flirted with NSP who was then looking for a white knight to save their flagging party. Thinking that they had signed a political heavyweight, NSP quickly re-organised themselves around this illusion of a great politician and made him the SG. He led the party’s Tampines GRC Team against the highly unpopular Mah Bow Tan and lost. Infact, his team garnered less percentage of votes compared to the Marine Parade team led by the newbie Nicole Seah who was up against former PM Goh Chok Tong.
His tenure in the NSP lasted for only one term before party members realised that he was all NATO. They became disillusioned with his empty rhetoric, alienating potential supporters with his incoherent gobbledegook. Realising that he had lost the support of party members, he left the party giving the pathetic reason that he was going for a political sabbatical.
Soon, he saw an opportunity to be in the political limelight again by assisting Tan Kin Lian in his presidential election. Well the outcome was certain. Like a poison chalice to everything that he touched, Tan Kin Lian lost.
So where will he go from here? A man with a warped sense of self-importance cannot be believed when he says that he is on political sabbatical. Election is around the corner. And we can bet that he is already planning to manoeuvre himself into the limelight again.
And perhaps this quote from one of his articles can shed some light into his plans:
“It is with a deep sadden heart I am forced to reconsider the option of stepping back into active partisan politics. I am very reluctant to make such considerations because I am living a happy life ever since I went into political sabbatical in 2012. There have been quite a number of invites and persuasions by many people over the years, to ask me to return into active partisan political engagement but I resisted.”
Yes. He is coming back. That’s for sure. That quote is a plea, like a beggar pleading for some loose change. The only thing is to see which unsuspecting party is willing to accept him. And we relish him to come back like how we relish the return of the hungry ghost month just to be entertained by the over-the-top entertainment on the getai stage.