Tan Cheng Bock retires from medicine, hints at return to politics in 2019

New year, new me.

Sulaiman Daud | January 1, 12:38 pm


Former PAP Member of Parliament and one-time Presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock made a surprise announcement as 2018 drew to a close.

Posting on Facebook on Dec. 31, 2018, Tan said that he would retire from his profession as a doctor.

After a fruitful 50 years as a doctor, I hang up my stethoscope today for good,” he said.

Memories of service

Tan reminisced about his past experiences in medicine, including his time as a doctor in rural Lim Chu Kang.

He also mentioned that he helped his patients in more than one way, by writing letters to government departments for assistance.

Several netizens left positive comments on Tan’s post, which had gained over 6,700 reactions and over 1,000 shares as of 12:00 pm on Jan. 1, 2019.

Some shared their own personal memories of Tan’s service as a doctor:

Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.
Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.
Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.

And even this guy, who took personal memories to a new level:

Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.

Return to politics?

However, Tan hinted that 2019 would be an eventful year for him.

He said that his former patients and well-wishers had asked him what he plans to do next.

Said Tan, “I tell them that retirement is not an option for me I am merely switching my role from serving patients to serving people. I always say that medicine is my love, but politics is my calling.”

Tan has previously signalled that he is considering going back into politics — but perhaps not as a member of the PAP.

In July 2018, the leaders of several opposition parties met at the headquarters of SDP for a working lunch.

Possible leader of opposition coalition

In a Facebook post, SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said that the parties discussed the possibility of working together to present a “unified front” at the next general election.

Chee also said that the SDP proposed Tan’s name as a potential leader of this potential coalition.

In his own Facebook post on July 29, 2018, Tan said that he “must help” the other parties, but had not yet decided his exact role.

He added, “I want to put my last years to good use. I want to pass all that I have acquired and learned in the political arena to the next generation. I would regret it if I had the chance to make a difference, but did nothing.”

In his New Year’s Eve post, Tan said, “I look forward to serving Singapore in a new way in this new season of life.”

If the comments on his Facebook post are any indication, he has some support if he decides to take the plunge:

Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.
Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.
Screen shot from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.

Related story:

S’pore opposition parties okay with ex-PAP MP Tan Cheng Bock as their leader

Top image adapted from Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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