Mr Tan said he wished Mr Goh had not gone down to that personal level.
At a People’s Action Party rally for the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Mr Goh had pointed out that Mr Tan appeared to have benefited from his previous appointment, and he wanted to make known why Mr Tan had left the civil service.
Mr Goh had also said that Mr Tan, who was his principal private secretary in the 1980s, was not good enough to be a Permanent Secretary and that was why Mr Tan had resigned.
In response, Mr Tan said he had already intended to leave the civil service at the end of his government bond, but was persuaded to stay on in his position.
This was when Mr Goh was Deputy Prime Minister.
This morning, Mr Tan said it was never his mission in life to remain in public service and, after five years, he resigned with Mr Goh’s blessing.
He added that he was surprised by his former boss’ comments as Mr Goh had earlier stated he would not comment on any candidate outside of Marine Parade GRC.
Mr Tan is contesting in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC on the SDP ticket.
He was speaking to MediaCorp during a walkabout at Empress Road market, also attended by SDP candidates from his team this morning.
[My comment] I had thought that Goh CT, having promised a clean fight, would refrain from casting doubts on Tan JS in this way. However, PAP is apparently so rattled that GCT has to resort to this.
This episode is in line with a long PAP tradition. Remember that Chiam See Tong's five O Levels were used as PAP's ammunition. And it did not matter to the voters that Chiam was not brilliant at 16.
Neither would GCT's comment, true or not, matter to Singaporeans.