GE2020: Shots fired as Chee Soon Juan criticises Murali Pillai for delayed and incomplete projects in Bukit Batok

PHOTO: Facebook/Chee Soon Juan, Straits Times file

Amid political parties clashing in three-cornered fights and allegations against fielded candidates, trouble brews over at Bukit Batok.

Dr Chee Soon Juan, the secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party, took to Facebook on Thursday night (June 25) to fire a series of questions at Bukit Batok's Member of Parliament Murali Pillai, who is from the People's Action Party.

He previously faced Murali in the 2016 by-elections in Bukit Batok SMC, winning 38.8 per cent of the votes. Having announced his intention to contest in Bukit Batok SMC once more, the two are likely to engage in a rematch in the upcoming elections. 

This signboard is a Neighbourhood Renewal Programme notice informing residents of the upgrading work going on in the...

Posted by Chee Soon Juan 徐顺全 on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Dr Chee's post, accompanied with photos, showed a few incomplete upgrading works around the constituency that were allegedly delayed — two of which were delayed by three years.

"Is Mr Murali aware of this delay? If he is, has he told residents the reasons for the delay and why for such a long period? If he hasn't explained it, will he be doing it soon?" he asked.

He pointed out two of the photos, where uncompleted construction works located near residential areas were left unfenced and uncovered.

"[Mr Murali] should also quickly rectify the safety lapse of the area under construction," he continued. "It is not only an eyesore but, more important, also poses a safety hazard. It should be properly cordoned off."

In response to AsiaOne's queries, Murali clarified that he continues to be "fully involved in helping Built Batok residents with the issues that they face; particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic." 

A follow-up post today by Dr Chee showed that action had been taken to cordon off the construction site. 

And the transformation takes place. Four days a ago, I took this picture at BB and the site was a hazardous mess. Went...

Posted by Chee Soon Juan 徐顺全 on Friday, June 26, 2020

This isn't the first time Dr Chee has openly criticised issues within the constituency.

Last November, he called on Murali to account for two hose reels that could not be used during a fire, as there was no water supply and the cabinets holding the hose reels were padlocked. The fire resulted in three people injured. The latter apologised, telling residents that as their elected representative, he was accountable for the oversight.

He was criticised again in March after he attended a dinner held by the Bukit Batok Active Ageing Club. Dr Chee questioned Murali for allowing the participants to gather for the dinner, putting them at risk of contracting the coronavirus. The latter clarified that extra precautionary measures were in place. At that time, the daily Covid-19 community cases had just entered double digits.

rainercheung@asiaone.com