Parties move swiftly to win over Bukit Batok residents

A resident walking past a banner featuring former Bukit Batok MP David Ong.
A resident walking past a banner featuring former Bukit Batok MP David Ong. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The People's Action Party moved quickly to replace its Bukit Batok MP David Ong, soon after learning about his affair with a party activist.

It did so to uphold the standards that people expect of the ruling party and to ensure residents continue to be well served in the ward.

This was disclosed by PAP party Whip Chan Chun Sing yesterday, who was commenting on the shock resignation by Mr Ong on Saturday, after he admitted to a "personal indiscretion".

"We have taken very decisive action from the time we knew of this very unfortunate incident," Mr Chan said. "At this point, our focus is on the residents of Bukit Batok - to make sure we continue to serve the residents and maintain the high standards that residents and Singaporeans have come to expect from the PAP."

Also moving without delay was the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), which went on a walkabout in the single-seat ward yesterday morning. As party members and activists visited the coffee shops at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, they told residents there would be a by-election there.

Though Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said he will call a by-election, a date has not been set.

SDP chief Chee Soon Juan told reporters that his party would definitely contest, and that he had not ruled himself out.

Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said the Prime Minister will set a by- election date "in good time".

He added that Mr Lee will take into account national priorities such as challenges facing Singapore's economy and security.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Parties move swiftly to win over Bukit Batok residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe