Gerakan stalwart and veteran politician Goh dies at age 76


GEORGE TOWN: Former Gerakan stalwart Datuk Dr Goh Cheng Teik has died at the age of 76.

The five-term Nibong Tebal MP (1974-1990, 1995-1999), one-term Sungai Bakap assemblyman (1990-1995) and former Transport Ministry deputy minister had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some time.

His former party comrade Datuk Dr Kang Chin Seng described Dr Goh as an articulate and principled person.

“He was a deputy minister before serving as a state exco.

“I used to seek advice from him when I was a state exco member with him,” he told reporters here yesterday.

When Dr Goh was Penang Local Government Committee chairman in the early 90s, reporters recalled that he used the library in City Hall as his office.

His table was located at the far end from the door and visitors had to walk through rows of books to get to him.

“He told everyone that since no one seemed to use the library at all and he loved reading, he decided to use it as his office when he had work to do in City Hall,” said The Star’s senior writer Arnold Loh yesterday.

Retired Penang Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow also fondly remembers the library office and said Dr Goh even added his substantial personal collection of books in the library.

“He was an advocate of top-level party elections because leaders could meet the grassroots, even in rural areas,” he said.

Dr Goh had challenged then Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik for the presidency in 1987 but lost.

In 1999, he also challenged former Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for the state party chief post but lost.

He then quit the party and from politics in 1999.

The Harvard-trained exco member had to face up with then opposition members in the state assembly who included the likes of Lim Kit Siang, Chow Kon Yeow and Phee Boon Poh, but Dr Goh still kept his tag as the “coolest” man in the house.

No matter what the opposition threw at him, Dr Goh would remain calm and civil, with nary an angry reply.

His wake will be held at 8pm today and tomorrow at Paul Miki Room, Church of St Francis Xavier, 135, Jalan Gasing, Seksyen 10, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

The requiem mass will be held at 2pm tomorrow at the main hall of the Church of St Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya.

The cortège will leave for the Nilai Memorial Park after mass.

Dr Goh is survived by his wife Datin Winnie Goh Yoon Lin@Ng Yoon Lin, three children and four grandchildren.

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Goh Cheng Teik