PM Lee has called for by-election in Punggol East on Wednesday - a move that has taken Singaporeans and political observers by surprise. This means Singapore will have a second by-election in less than a year and it is also the fourth election in two years. Why now? And how will the timing affect the outcome of the polls?
Some commentators give their views.
- Baey Yam Keng, MP for Tampines GRC
"It's sooner than expected because prior to this, PM was saying he was still mulling over it as there were big items such as the national conversation, Budget debate and population paper on the national agenda. It's in the interests of the residents that it is being called now as they will have a member to represent them in Parliament."
- Former Nominated MP Siew Kum Hong
"Most people did not expect this. Speculation was that we will get through the serious issues before the by-election is called. PM has now decided to do it the other way round... I think it benefits the PAP more because they enjoy an incumbent advantage. The opposition is just beginning to get ready and may not have enough time to prepare properly."
- Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh:
"I think it is fair for the Punggol East residents to have a choice to select a representative for themselves in Parliament. It is good that the by-election is being held early, so that we can all focus on the national challenges ahead."