The People's Action Party (PAP) has chosen lawyer Murali Pillai as its candidate for Bukit Batok Single member constituency.

Murali is the second minority candidate fielded by the PAP in a single seat, and observers have noted that the ratio of Chinese population in Bukit Batok area is higher than the national average.

Introducing Murali at a press conference on Monday, PAP second assistant secretary-general Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the candidate knows Bukit Batok "extremely well" and he is "totally dedicated to service".

"He's been serving here personally for over 16 years in various capacities ... He knows the volunteers, the residents, and they know him," Tharman said, according to TODAY.

Murali, whose full name is K. Muralidharan Pillai, is a long-time PAP activist and was the party's candidate in the multi seat Aljunied GRC candidate in 2015 general elections. He has also been the branch secretary of the party's Bukit Batok branch.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman said Murali is "humble and self-effacing"and that he understands the need of the elderly and the needy.

Murali said he has no apprehensions over facing Singapore Democratic Party's senior leader Chee Soon Juan in the by election.

"As far as I'm concerned, politics is really about serving residents and I consider myself seasoned because I have put in quite a bit of time in serving residents' needs and that's really the focus." Murali said.

Tharman said the party sees a tough fight on the cards as opposition parties normally do better in be elations but added t was certain to retain the seat by fielding Murali.

"We know what the competition will be, and we wanted to choose someone who will appeal to the residents," Tharman said.

Bukit Batok seat fell vacant when MP David Ong resigned after his extra marital affair had come out in the open.

Besides SDP's Chee, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Singaporeans First party have fielded candidates.

Independent candidate Samir Salim Neji, who got a measly 0.6% votes in the constituency in the last general election, has also said he will be in the fray this time.

However, the Workers' Party (WP) has said it will not field a candidate in the Bukit Batok by-election.

IBTimes UK