Goh Chok Tong continues CNY tradition of dinner with old RI classmates, including Tan Cheng Bock

Goh and Tan were joined by their spouses.

Martino Tan | February 21, 2021, 03:13 PM

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It has been 61 years since Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong graduated from Raffles Institution.

And the distinguished alumnus of RI class of 1960 continued his tradition of having a Chinese New Year dinner with his old RI classmates last Thursday (Feb. 18).

Goh, 79, posted the photos on his Facebook on Feb. 20 saying that "as true friends, we will always have each other’s best interest at heart".

Goh flanked by wife and Tan Cheng Bock

Hence, it is no surprise to see our former Prime Minister Goh with his old friend and opposition party leader Tan Cheng Bock.

Tan is seated on the left of Goh, with Tan's wife Cecilia Lee beside him.

On Goh's right is his wife Tan Choo Leng.

In the photo, the RI alumni and their spouses are seen staying safe with eight persons, and complying with the requirement of wearing face masks during the tossing of yusheng.

While many of us are eating yusheng frequently during the fifteen days of Chinese New Year, yusheng is traditionally served on the 7th day of CNY.

This is known locally as renriRenri means “every man’s birthday” with people becoming a year older on this day.

This was what Goh, Tan and the rest of their friends did last Thursday, which is to choose the 7th day of CNY to enjoy their yusheng.


Both Goh and Tan go a long way back.

For instance, it was Goh who recommended Tan to the leaders of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), and introduced Tan as a PAP candidate in 1980.

After leaving the PAP, Tan stood for the 2011 presidential election and won the second highest number of votes, losing to winner and President Tony Tan.

In 2019, Tan founded the opposition party Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and became its first secretary-general.

He contested at West Coast GRC in the 2020 general election which contained his former ward of Ayer Rajah. His PSP team at West Coast lost to the PAP with 48.31 per cent of the vote.

Here are a few posts of Goh and Tan's friendship over the years.

Goh invited Tan to his 77th birthday party, and they shared a toast together too:

Tan also visited Goh in hospital, after Goh's successful surgery for prostate cancer. Goh spent a few days under observation at the Singapore General Hospital at the time.

In a Facebook post he shared about his visit, Tan ended his message with an endearing "Get well Chok":

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Top photo from MParader Facebook.