SDP looks forward to contesting Bukit Batok by-election after David Ong's resignation: Chee Soon Juan; other opposition parties also respond

SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan (centre) and the party's 2015 General Election Bukit Batok SMC candidate Sadasivam Veriyah (right).
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan (centre) and the party's 2015 General Election Bukit Batok SMC candidate Sadasivam Veriyah (right).PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has said it will be contesting an upcoming by-election in Bukit Batok SMC.

"The SDP looks forward to contesting the by-election that will be called in the constituency," said SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan in a statement on Saturday (March 12).

The by-election was triggered by Bukit Batok MP David Ong's sudden resignation as MP and from the People's Action Party (PAP).

Dr Chee added: "We will continue to push for the alternative policies that we advocated during the last GE and we look forward to be the people's voice in Parliament."

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that a by-election will be held for the single-seat ward.

 

In the meantime, Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development and MP for Jurong GRC, will look after Bukit Batok residents until the by-election.

Another Jurong GRC MP, Mr Ang Wei Neng, will take over Mr Ong's role as chairman of Jurong-Clementi Town Council, with immediate effect.

Mr Ong won the seat in the 2015 General Election with 73 per cent of the votes in a three-way contest against SDP's Sadasivam Veriyah and independent candidate Samir Salim Neji.

From 1997 to 2015, the seat had been part of various Group Representation Constituencies.

Other opposition parties have also responded.

The National Solidarity Party may also throw its hat in the ring, but said it is now undecided.

It said in a post on its Facebook page that it is “studying the situation carefully and will make an announcement in due course as to whether we will be contesting the by-election”.

People's Power Party’s (PPP) Goh Meng Seng said that he will first discuss with the SDP if the PPP will run for Bukit Batok SMC when the by-election takes place. 

“We respect SDP's decision first before we make any decision,” said Mr Goh, noting that Bukit Batok is next to Chua Chu Kang GRC, which PPP contested in 2015.