Bukit Batok by-election: Stage set for Nomination Day

PAP's candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election Mr Murali Pillai (left), and SDP's candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan.
PAP's candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election Mr Murali Pillai (left), and SDP's candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan. PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

On the eve of Nomination Day, which is today (April 27), People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai unveiled his manifesto while his main rival Singapore Democratic Party's Chee Soon Juan greeted rush-hour commuters.


PAP candidate Murali Pillai unveils plans


People's Action Party (PAP) candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election, Mr Murali Pillai, unveiling his manifesto. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A new healthcare cooperative and job placement programme were among the plans unveiled yesterday by Mr Murali Pillai, the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election.

His campaign manifesto came on the eve of Nomination Day - today - which will confirm the slate of candidates for the single-member constituency (SMC), whose 25,727 voters will go to the polls on May 7.

 

His main rival is set to be the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief, Dr Chee Soon Juan, who announced last Friday four social initiatives that target a broad swathe of residents, from the young to the elderly.

Mr Murali, speaking at a media conference that was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, highlighted three areas he would champion if elected: jobs for Singaporeans, ease healthcare costs of the elderly, and improve social mobility.

To help unemployed residents find jobs faster, he said he would tap his network of community volunteers, a move that goes a step further than the Government's job placement programmes.

READ MORE HERE

SDP candidate Chee Soon Juan meets and greets commuters at station

Dr Chee Soon Juan, SDP's candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election, greeting a resident near Bukit Batok MRT station. He spent the Nomination Day eve distributing fliers and greeting commuters at the station.
Dr Chee Soon Juan, SDP's candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election, greeting a resident near Bukit Batok MRT station. He spent the Nomination Day eve distributing fliers and greeting commuters at the station. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SDP

As has been his routine for some weeks now, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan spent the eve of Nomination Day distributing fliers and greeting rush-hour commuters at Bukit Batok MRT station.

"I'm beginning to feel like a permanent fixture here," he said in a Facebook post yesterday, which included pictures of him posing with commuters.

 

Dr Chee, 53, also had breakfast at one of the coffee shops in the constituency, where he is vying against People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Murali Pillai, and possibly others, in the May 7 by-election.

Both will know if the contest will be a straight fight when they turn up this morning to file their papers at Keming Primary School, the nomination centre for the election.

Social media has been a key tool for both men in their outreach to residents since the March 12 resignation of the PAP's MP for Bukit Batok, Mr David Ong, over an alleged affair.

READ MORE HERE