Bt Batok by-election

SDP forms team for town council handover in case party wins

From left: Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr John Tan, Mr Wong Hong Koon and Mr Yeo Yue Yong.
From left: Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr John Tan, Mr Wong Hong Koon and Mr Yeo Yue Yong.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has assembled a team to prepare for the handover of town council matters, ahead of the upcoming by-election in Bukit Batok.

At the party's headquarters in Ang Mo Kio, SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, 53, said the four-man team will help the party "ensure that the handover process from the PAP-run town council will be uneventful and smooth".

He said the party is making preparations "well in advance so we do not waste a single minute" in the event it wins at the polls and has to take over the town council.

Bukit Batok is now managed by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council.

The single seat was vacated after former People's Action Party (PAP) MP David Ong resigned last month over an alleged extramarital affair with a fellow party member.

Dr Chee, who stood in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in last year's general election, has said he will contest the by-election. Lawyer Murali Pillai, 48, who was part of the team that contested in the opposition-held Aljunied GRC last year, will defend the seat for the PAP.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he will call the by-election in due time.

Introducing the four people in the team yesterday, Dr Chee said: "This is important because we want to be able to assure residents of Bukit Batok that we are prepared."

Among the four are lawyer Peter Low, 65, who will provide legal advice, and accountant Wong Hong Koon, 75, who will oversee financial issues. The others are Mr Yeo Yeu Yong, 67, who will be in charge of estate management, and Mr K. Siva Sankaran, 60, who will help with the handover of projects.

Mr Wong, who was also at the press conference, said his former company was in charge of estate management for several town councils, including Bishan-Toa Payoh and Marine Parade, in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Yeo said he had served in the Citizens' Consultative Committee and Residents' Committee in Ayer Rajah and Marine Parade.

Dr Chee said the team would not be involved in the day-to-day running of the town council, and the SDP would hire full-time staff for that. The team would instead act as a resource panel to advise the party on town council issues in the first 100 days, if the SDP succeeds in its bid for Bukit Batok.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2016, with the headline 'SDP forms team for town council handover in case party wins'. Print Edition | Subscribe