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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why Dhana left Cabinet in 1992

Former National Development Minister S Dhanabalan left the Cabinet in September 1992. His reason for quitting, as he put it some 12 years later, was one of conviction.

'My philosophy is one where I need to have complete conviction about some key policies and if I have differences, it doesn't mean that I'm against the group. I still want to make sure the group succeeds, but I have to try and live with myself if I have some disagreements on some things,' he said.

He had different views on some government policies and although 'they were not so sharp that I wanted to leave immediately... I could see for myself it could pose problems in the future for the group and me'.

Then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong did not wish to go into the specifics, but in his interviews for this book, he revealed for the first time that Mr Dhanabalan was not comfortable with the way the PAP government had dealt with the Marxist group in 1987.

'At that time, given the information, he was not fully comfortable with the action which we took... His make-up is that of a very strong Christian so he felt uncomfortable and thought there could be more of such episodes in future. So he thought since he was uncomfortable, he'd better leave the Cabinet. I respected him for his view,' Mr Goh said.

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