PAP, SDP make first rally pitches to voters

Bukit Batok by-election candidates, PAP's Murali Pillai (left) and SDP's Chee Soon Juan, speaking during their rallies on April 29, 2016.
Bukit Batok by-election candidates, PAP's Murali Pillai (left) and SDP's Chee Soon Juan, speaking during their rallies on April 29, 2016. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

The first rallies in the Bukit Batok by-election kicked off last night, with both sides striving to show why they can do a better job in running the constituency's town council.

The People's Action Party (PAP) pointed to its trustworthy track record that has turned the once-rural area to a "beautiful housing estate'' with a close-knit community.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) spelt out a plan that aims to show that preparations are in place to take over the town council. Its candidate Chee Soon Juan told residents: "Running the town council will allow the SDP to shine and demonstrate its competence."

He also pledged greater transparency and governance in running the town council, adding: "We want to surpass them."

The character of PAP candidate Murali Pillai was a top focus of two speakers. Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said Mr Murali will be an effective voice for the residents, with independent views.

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu spoke of his sincere, humble and committed character and his 16 years of grassroots work, adding: "He will be able to deliver on promises."

She also warned residents to beware of anyone who "plays the racial card, asking Chinese residents to vote for Chinese only".

"I hope this is not the position taken by SDP and hope they will clarify this position," she said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2016, with the headline 'PAP, SDP make first rally pitches to voters'. Print Edition | Subscribe