Singapore GE2020: New opposition face Sivakumaran Chellappa to take on PAP incumbent Lim Biow Chuan in Mountbatten

Peoples Voice candidate Sivakumaran Chellappa will contest the single seat of Mountbatten against People's Action Party incumbent Lim Biow Chuan. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN, KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Peoples Voice (PV) candidate Sivakumaran Chellappa is contesting the single seat of Mountbatten against People's Action Party incumbent Lim Biow Chuan, who has held the position for two terms since 2011.

They will be battling to win over 24,267 electors in the single-member constituency this year after having successfully submitted their nomination papers on Tuesday (June 30).

Mr Chellappa, 57, an educator, submitted his nomination paper in what was a surprising move, as financial adviser and blogger Leong Sze Hian, 66, was expected to contest the SMC.

In his thank you speech, Mr Chellappa said: "People get to represent their interests through the members of parliament... let's institute some changes today. Beyond Covid, there is a future for the country. Let's vote for that too."

In an interview later in the day, he said that he feels his party has "sufficiently" built rapport with Mountbatten residents through its outreach activities. Residents have told him that improvements are required, and that some problems, such as excessive population growth, are "screaming to be attended to".

Mr Lim said he did not know his opponent and only met him for the first time at the nomination centre on Tuesday.

"Whoever the opponent is, what we want to do is take them seriously. I do not doubt his sincerity in wanting to serve Singapore," said Mr Lim, who thanked Mountbatten residents for allowing him to be a part of their "family" for many years.

He said he will continue to work with the less privileged and ensure that they will not be disadvantaged.

"This coming election is not just about electing an MP. It's also about preparing for the future," he said, in his thank you speech. "Covid-19 has brought a lot of uncertainties in the lives of many of us. Let's vote for someone who can prepare and look after your future."

Mr Lim, 57, entered politics in 2006 as part of the team in Marine Parade group representation constituency. He subsequently stood on his own in 2011 when Mountbatten was hived out as an SMC.

In the previous two elections, Mr Lim had faced off against opposition politician Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, who had stood as a candidate first with the National Solidarity Party, and then with the Singapore People's Party.

At the 2015 General Election, Mr Lim had won 71.86 per cent (15,331) of the votes, while Ms Chong-Aruldoss took 28.14 per cent (6,004). She has since left politics.

Meanwhile, Mr Leong, 66, submitted his nomination papers to contest in Jalan Besar GRC.

He is involved in a defamation suit brought against him by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, which is set to be heard in the High Court from July 6 to 10.

PM Lee had filed the suit over a post shared by Mr Leong on his Facebook page on Nov 7, 2018, which contained a link to an article by Malaysian news site The Coverage.

The article alleged that former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak had signed "secret deals" with PM Lee in exchange for Singapore banks' help in laundering money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

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