“An MP needs to go full time so that you can pay attention to the issues here,” said Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Dr Chee Soon Juan on Sunday (28 June) while speaking to reporters during a doorstep interview at Bukit Batok.
Dr Chee said this in response to his earlier Facebook post where he highlighted about a site that’s under construction which was left in a hazardous manner in Bukit Batok.
He said that a few days ago the site in Blk 154 of Bukit Batok was left with no proper barricade to cordon off people from entering the area. To make it worse, the site is in the most crowded spot in Bukit Batok with a wet market and hawker centre located around it.
Based on the picture Dr Chee uploaded along with his post, one can see that the site has only been half covered with blue cloth, while the ground was sprawled with stones. Thankfully, he said that things improved today as the area now has a proper barricade to ensure no one can enter the spot and the ground is properly cleaned with no dangerous materials laying around.
As such, during the doorstep interview on Sunday, the party chief asked MP of Bukit Batok, Mr Murali Pillai, on why the site was not better taken care of?
If that’s not all, Dr Chee also questioned on some of the overdue contracts in the constituency as well as expired permits.
“If you walk around, some of the contracts that you’ve seen have been overdue by three years. He needs to account to the people why all this is taking place,” he said.
Dr Chee added, “I’ve seen some at least one lift which the permit operation has expired already last year. There’s no renewal of a permit. I’m not sure if it’s being checked or not, but these are the things that fall squarely on the shoulders of the MP.”
He also stated that Mr Murali is not “speaking up for the people” in Parliament, reiterating the importance of having a full time MP.
Dr Chee explained that it’s difficult for an MP to work six to seven hours a day at another job and then make his way to the ward in the evening to spend time with his people.
Quality over quantity
When asked his take on fewer candidates being contested by alternative parties in next month’s GE, Dr Chee said he can’t speak about other parties but for SDP, it banks on “quality not quantity”.
“You can put up 100 candidates and if they cannot perform, they’re not dedicated to the issues in their town council in the estate in parliament, then there’s not use,” the party chief opined.
He also said that SDP candidates are carefully “vetted” in order to ensure they are all “committed to these issues and to be able to speak up for the people”.
As to when SDP will introduce members who will be contesting in GE2020, Dr Chee said official announcement will be made tomorrow (30 June) on Nomination Day.
“We will release some of the candidates before that but the official slate we will announce it on Tuesday during nomination,” Dr Chee said.
As of now, SDP has introduced two new candidates for the upcoming GE. They are businessman Alfred Tan, as well as marketing and communications specialist Min Cheong. This will be the first time both of them will be contesting in a GE.
On Sunday, the party also revealed three out of four candidates who will be contesting at Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
They are Bryan Lim Boon Heng, Damanhuri Abas, and James Gomez.
On 21 June, Dr Chee confirmed during his walkabout at Bukit Batok West Shopping centre that he will be contesting in Bukit Batok SMC.
Dr Chee last contested in Bukit Batok SMC in the 2016 by-election – which took place following the sudden resignation of People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) David Ong – where he lost to the PAP’s Murali Pillai, who won with 61.21 per cent of the vote.
Besides Bukit Batok SMC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, other constituencies that SDP will most likely be contesting in include Yuhua SMC, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, and Bukit Panjang SMC.