Come Friday evening, he admitted he had contemplated retirement. But even the ex-prime minister was not captain of his own fate. A few days before on Wednesday, we are told he met with the standing prime minister and "We had a long chat." Obviously stepping aside for young blood was not on the menu, all the talk about transition to the fourth generation was grist for the mill. More likely, too many stalwarts have been jumping ship, and even an old goat going off the pasture will be saying volumes about someone's persuasive prowess. Especially when a ex-naval chief had dared to say no to his commanding officer.
Goh understood he was supposed to lead the team as an elder.
Next day, on the 15th, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin made it crystal clear that he will be the anchor minister at Marine Parade GRC. Tan said this means he will be “playing a leading role” within the team. As for Goh's personal perspective, “We will continue leveraging on his experience."
“One Mountain Cannot Contain Two Tigers” (一山不能藏二虎) literally means that in an area, there cannot be two very strong personalities vying for the leadership role. But Tan need not fret, in an open confrontation, Goh can be a real pussy cat. When the horrible person once described him as "wooden" and said that he might have to see a psychiatrist about it, Goh merely meowed:
"It did not hurt...I knew Mr Lee well. He's not a man to slam you for nothing. He was never personal. So I did not feel he wanted to insult me...He had his purpose in saying what he said. I think he was disappointed with me for my inability to mobilise the ground. So he wanted to get me to do something about it."
Goh added, "I knew myself. I was a block of wood. So? It was the truth."