SDP chief on round-island walk

Dr Chee Soon Juan, dressed in a white T-shirt with the SDP's logo, started his four-day walk at Hong Lim Park yesterday.
Dr Chee Soon Juan, dressed in a white T-shirt with the SDP's logo, started his four-day walk at Hong Lim Park yesterday.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan began a four- day walk around the island yesterday morning at Hong Lim Park.

Titled Walk The Talk, the 140km walk aims to raise funds for the party and public awareness of it.

"We're trying to raise funds for the programmes we're implementing over the next four, five years in the run-up to the next general election," said Dr Chee, the SDP's secretary-general. "Training for our potential candidates and members, all these need funds."

The SDP won 31.23 per cent of votes in the 11 seats it contested in the 2015 General Election, the second-highest vote share among the opposition parties.

Since the GE, the party has been gathering feedback about its performance and planning for its future, said Dr Chee. He added that the walk showed that the party was active not just during the election season but between elections too.

The 53-year-old party chief covered about 30km yesterday from Hong Lim Park to Chua Chu Kang along a route through Tiong Bahru, Upper Bukit Timah Road and Bukit Panjang. Today, he will continue along northern Singapore and hit Punggol, before covering the eastern part of the island on Saturday.

He concludes the walk on Sunday with a rally at Speakers' Corner. SDP will post updates on Facebook.

At yesterday's flag-off at the park, he was joined by four supporters, including SDP central executive committee members Bryan Lim and Gerald Sng. The group posed for a picture before Dr Chee, carrying a duffel bag and sleeping bag, set off. He plans to sleep at night in a lorry loaned by a party supporter, and will be walking alone.

He told reporters that he did not call for members of the public to join him because their doing so would make the walk a public procession under the Public Order Act, which he does not have a permit for.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2015, with the headline 'SDP chief on round-island walk'. Print Edition | Subscribe