Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story

Shing Huei Peh

This 2019 book, the first of a two-volume authorized biography, is a political biography of Singapore’s second Prime minister.

The hybrid nature of the format chosen in my view brilliantly gives readers an outsider and an insider view at the same time.

Each chapter written by the author contains interviews with Panjang ‘s (Goh Chok Tong is 1.89m/ 6 feet 2 .4 in) childhood friends, teachers, and ex-colleagues in NOL and PAP. It ends with a Q and A where we hear the authentic voice of PM Goh. Reading it I can recall the booming voice of PM Goh in my mind!

The book ends with an Afterword whereby PM Goh comments on each chapter of the book. His comments are interesting as many of us do not know him as well as LKY.

After finishing this book, my admiration for him is enhanced. His childhood poverty (his dad died aged 36 when Goh was only 10, two friends of his dad paid for the funeral- a debt which was only repaid 13 years later from Goh’s first pay packet of Sgd 830. (p 7, 8, and 23) made Goh empathized with the poorer folks and their struggles in life.

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