Expenses for Bukit Batok by-election open for inspection

Voters at the polling station at Bukit Batok Secondary School on May 7.
Voters at the polling station at Bukit Batok Secondary School on May 7.PHOTO: ST FILE

The election expenses of the two candidates who contested the Bukit Batok by-election can be inspected at the Elections Department (ELD) from today.

The records, listing how much each candidate spent and what the money was used for, will be available for inspection for six months.

People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Murali Pillai and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan contested the May 7 by-election, which was triggered by the resignation of Bukit Batok MP David Ong in March.

Mr Murali was elected into Parliament with 61.23 per cent of the votes to Dr Chee's 38.77 per cent.

Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, the election agents of all candidates must submit a declaration and a return of election expenses to the returning officer within 31 days after the election results are published in the Government Gazette.

These returns are required to ensure accountability and transparency in the candidates' campaign finance, the ELD said.

There are 25,727 registered electors in Bukit Batok.

Parliamentary election candidates are allowed to spend $4 for each voter in the constituency they are contesting.

In last September's general election, both the PAP and SDP had contested in Bukit Batok, with the PAP spending $2.83 per voter, and the SDP spending $1.27.

Those who want to inspect the expenses of each candidate will have to pay a fee of $2 and will have to inform ELD at least one working day in advance. They can send an e-mail to ELD at contact@eld.gov.sg or call 1800-225-5353 to minimise the waiting time.

The returns can be viewed from Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Expenses for Bukit Batok by-election open for inspection'. Print Edition | Subscribe