SDP's Chee Soon Juan confirms he will contest Bukit Batok by-election

SINGAPORE - Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has confirmed that he will contest in the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (March 20), Dr Chee, 53, said that if he won, his priority would be to "ensure the efficient and productive management of the Bukit Batok Town Council".

"The SDP's goal is to surpass current levels of performance of PAP-run town councils. We will set new standards for transparency and accountability in estate governance," he added.

[Admin]: My priority as MP of Bukit Batok (BB), should I be fortunate enough to be elected, will be to ensure the...

Posted by Chee Soon Juan 徐顺全 on Saturday, March 19, 2016

He also published a statement on the SDP website, outlining a "new model of town council management where residents are involved in the planning and running of their community".

This party would also employ qualified and experienced professionals to manage the town council, Dr Chee wrote, adding that he would "personally see to the effective running of the TC and to attend to the residents' concerns".

He also said that if he becomes elected, he would retain the bulk of the existing staff from the current Bukit Batok town council office.

SDP had fielded Sadasivam Veriyah for the Bukit Batok SMC seat in the 2015 General Election but lost it to PAP's candidate David Ong.

On March 12, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that a by-election would soon be held in Bukit Batok after Mr Ong suddenly resigned from the party. It has been alleged that Mr Ong, 54, had an extra-marital affair with a grassroots member in the same party.

According to The Straits Times, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told reporters that the People's Action Party candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election will also be announced very soon.

"We welcome the contest. We will be announcing our candidate very soon and we are confident we have someone who is known to residents, who works very hard, and is sincere at heart," he was quoted as saying.

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim said earlier this week that the party would not be fielding any candidates for the seat, while Channel NewsAsia reported that the Democratic Progressive Party, the People's Power Party, and the Singapore Democratic Alliance have also said they would not be contesting the by-election. Independent Samir Salim Neji said he would also not be running the race after gaining just 150 votes in the same SMC during GE2015.

GE2015: Bukit Batok SMC
Number of voters: 27,077

Number of votes: 18,204

Candidate: David Ong

Number of votes: 6,585

Candidate: Sadasivam Veriyah

Number of votes: 150

Candidate: Samir Salim Neji

ljessica@sph.com.sg