SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party's (PAP) candidate Murali Pillai has won the Bukit Batok by-election with 61.2 per cent of the vote, or 14,428 votes.
His opponent, Dr Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), garnered 38.8 per cent of the vote, or 9,142 votes.
There were 622 rejected votes out of the 24,192 cast today (May 7), which made up 94.03 per cent of the total voter pool comprising 25,727 registered electors.
The result was announced at close to 11.30pm, following nine days of campaigning by Mr Murali and Dr Chee before the Cooling-off Day yesterday (May 6).
Dr Chee congratulated Mr Murali and thanked his supporters at Bukit Gombak Stadium, the official assembly centre for SDP members and supporters.
"I said during the rally that I want to win with honour and lose with grace. I want to bow but not in defeat, but bow with grace and to thank again everyone who worked so hard to make this situation a possibility," Dr Chee said.
Over at the PAP's Bukit Batok branch office, Mr Murali told reporters in a press conference that he was humbled and encouraged by the result.
He also thanked Dr Chee and the SDP, saying they ran a well-organised campaign.
Asked about his immediate plans for the Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC), Mr Murali replied: "I'll start work tomorrow."
He added that he will be attending his first Meet-the-People session on Monday (May 9), and that if the Speaker of Parliament permits, he would also like to attend the Parliament sitting on that day.
He said he is eager to build a team to make sure they are able to deliver on the "ambitious plans" he has outlined for the SMC, and invited those who would like to help to join him.
He would also like to work with a number of civic organisations on programmes such as job placement, healthcare cooperative, and mentoring of children from low-income families.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also secretary-general of the PAP, congratulated Mr Murali on his victory in a Facebook post shortly after the result was announced.
"Murali and his team have campaigned hard, but now their real work begins. He has served faithfully in Bukit Batok for many years, and with your support, will serve residents for many more," he wrote.
The seat for Bukit Batok SMC was vacated by the PAP's David Ong, who resigned on March 12 amid allegations of an extra-marital affair.
The PAP will be holding a thank you parade around Bukit Batok on Sunday (May 8) at 10.30am.