SDP announces campaign slogan for Bukit Batok by-election

Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan announcing his intention to contest the by-election on March 20, 2016.
Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan announcing his intention to contest the by-election on March 20, 2016.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) unveiled its campaign message on Saturday for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election, giving out campaign cards to voters in the constituency.

It will contest the polls under the slogan "Now is the time", which the party said conveys the importance of electing an alternative voice into Parliament.

In a press release on Saturday, the party called on Bukit Batok residents to send SDP chief Chee Soon Juan, 53, into Parliament, saying: "Now is the time to get even more alternative voices into Parliament. Adding one more People's Action Party MP to the existing 82 will not make any difference in any way."

It also said Dr Chee would "ask the tough questions to the right people at the right place and raise the quality of debate in Parliament".

The Bukit Batok seat became vacant after MP David Ong resigned on March 12 over an alleged affair.

Dr Chee, who stood in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC at last year's general election, was unveiled last Sunday as the opposition party's choice for the by-election.

 

A day later, the People's Action Party (PAP) introduced lawyer Murali Pillai as its candidate. Mr Murali had contested in Aljunied GRC in last year's General Election.

Both men have been walking the ground since the announcement of the by-election.

On Saturday, the SDP distributed campaign cards bearing its campaign message to residents, while Mr Murali went on house visits.

Asked about the SDP's campaign message, Mr Murali, who has been a grassroots volunteer in leader in Bukit Batok for 16 years, said: "My priority at this time is to ensure that residents continue to be well taken care of, and that those in need get the help they require."

At last year's polls, Mr Ong had won 73 per cent of the vote in a three-way fight against the SDP's Sadasivam Veriyah, who got 26.4 per cent, and independent candidate Samir Salim Neji, who got just 0.6 per cent and lost his election deposit.

A date has not been set for the by-election, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said immediately after Mr Ong's resignation that one will be called "in due course".

ziliang@sph.com.sg