SDP eyes Bukit Batok, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC

SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan (centre) leading party members and activists on a walkabout in Bukit Batok yesterday. The party is also contesting areas where it stood in the 2011 General Election.
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan (centre) leading party members and activists on a walkabout in Bukit Batok yesterday. The party is also contesting areas where it stood in the 2011 General Election.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) plans to contest the Bukit Batok single seat and is looking at fielding "a very good candidate" there, its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan said yesterday.

The SDP is also eyeing the newly formed Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, in addition to contesting in areas it stood in during the 2011 General Election: Bukit Panjang SMC, Yuhua SMC, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Sembawang GRC.

"In a way, we are coming home," he told reporters after a walkabout in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency, carved out of Jurong GRC by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, whose report was released on Friday.

Dr Chee said his party had done well in Bukit Batok when it contested the area before it was redrawn ahead of the 1997 general election.

In the 1988 General Election, SDP candidate Kwan Yue Keng got 44 per cent of the vote in Bukit Batok against Dr Ong Chit Chung of the People's Action Party (PAP), and in 1991, got 48 per cent of the vote, losing to Dr Ong by 858 votes.

In 1991, then SDP candidate Ling How Doong won the Bukit Gombak SMC with 51 per cent of the vote, defeating then Acting Minister Seet Ai Mee. But he lost the seat in 1997.

Yesterday, Dr Chee led more than 30 party members on a walkabout in Bukit Batok Central. He noted that SDP had been contesting in north-western Singapore, and "geographically, it makes a lot of sense - in terms of resources, in terms of campaigning - for us to be here".

Dr Chee also plans to contest the coming election. He could not do so in 2006 and 2011, as he had been declared bankrupt after failing to pay $500,000 in damages for defaming then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong during the 2001 elections. He was cleared of bankruptcy in 2012.

He said he had not decided where to stand. But the SDP will run a "constructive campaign" on the basis of its alternative policies, he added.

It will focus its campaign on issues like the rising cost of living, wage stagnation, the Central Provident Fund and high percentage of foreign workers here, he added.

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'SDP eyes Bukit Batok, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC'. Print Edition | Subscribe