Straight fight in Bukit Batok for PAP’s Murali Pillai and SDP’s Chee Soon Juan

People’s Action Party (PAP)’s Murali Pillai, 48 and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s Chee Soon Juan, 53 will contest in a straight fight in the Bukit Batok SMC by-election. They were the only two who filed to contest and submitted their Nomination Forms by the deadline of 12 noon on 27 April 2016.

After, the election’s Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong announced the two candidates at 12.30 pm, Mr Murali began his speech, addressing the crowd in both Malay and English.

“Together, let’s make Bukit Batok a beautiful place for all of us. Vote for PAP, vote for a better home, vote for a brighter future!” he said. If elected, he sought to serve the residents of Bukit Batok as part of the Jurong family.

Taking to the stage next was the SDP’s Dr Chee, who spoke in Chinese and English.

“If I am so fortunate to be elected your MP, I will serve this constituency on a full-time basis,” he assured the audience. “I want to make Bukit Batok the envy of Singapore and foster this wonderful community that we have before us,” he said.

While the candidates for the by-election are only Mr Murali and Dr Chee, two others were present earlier at Keming Primary School to submit their nomination papers, although both did not do so in the end.

Private-hire car driver for Uber Shirwin Eu, 32, failed to obtain any registered voters from Bukit Batok SMC to back his candidacy. He required a proposer, seconder and at least four assentors, which he hoped to find at the Nomination Centre. He left without submitting his papers after being unable to do so.

Former SDP and current People’s Power Party (PPP) member Kwan Yue Keng, 68, was also present at the Nomination Centre. The plan was of him to submit his nomination papers should the SDP’s Dr Chee be disqualified to ensure an opposition candidate in the running against the PAP.

PPP chief Goh Meng Seng said later on in a Facebook post that PPP had stood down its candidate after Dr Chee seemed to have secured a place as a candidate. “We have always believed that PAP should not get it easy by walkover,” Mr Goh said, wishing the SDP all the best.

The Elections Department stated that election officials had explained to Mr Eu and Mr Kwan the requirements and procedure under the law for nomination as an election candidate, and that subsequently, both did not file any nomination papers.

Following the announcement of Mr Murali and Dr Chee as candidates, both parties have moved swiftly to campaign posters and banners around the constituency. Polling Day for the by-election is slated to be on 7 May.