Bukit Batok by-election: SDP's Chee Soon Juan joins fray as hopes of alliance fade

SDP will "surpass" the current standards set in town council management under the PAP dispensation, Chee says.

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has confirmed he will fight by-election in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency.

Announcing his candidacy, Chee said his priority as an MP will be the town council management and that SDP will "surpass" the current standards set in town council management under the PAP dispensation.

"My priority as MP of Bukit Batok (BB), should I be fortunate enough to be elected, will be to ensure the productive management of the BB Town Council. The SDP's goal is to surpass current levels of performance of PAP-run town councils," said Chee, 53.

Chee and party members rolled out the campaign with a walkabout in Bukit Batok on Saturday.

Bukit Batok MP and People's Action Party (PAP) leader David Ong resigned last week after details of his extramarital affair with a fellow PAP member emerged in public. The disgraced MP also quit the ruling PAP.

Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao revealed Ong's affair with the 41-year-old woman, a grassroots PAP member and a logistics firm employee. The daily said the husband of the woman allegedly lodged a complaint over the affair.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Benjamin Pwee has confirmed he will be contesting in the election for the Bukit Batok seat.

SDP's candidate lost the election to David Ong by a wide margin in the last election.

Chee last week said SDP is open about forging an electoral alliance with smaller parties as it takes on PAP, who are favourites to win the election.

"We do hope for a 1-to-1 contest with the PAP. We cannot stop anyone from contesting, this being an open system whereby any opposition party that wants to come in can do so, (but) Our hopes is that there will be a one-to-one contest with the PAP," Chee said last week.

The People's Power Party's (PPP) has said it will hold talks with the SDP before deciding whether to filed a candidate in Bukit Batok.

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 as well.

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

The Singaporeans First party also clarified they will not have a candidate in the upcoming election.

PAP leader and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the party will nominate a strong candidate in Bukit Batok.

"When we finally announce the candidate, I can assure you it will be someone committed to the interest of Bukit Batok residents, and who will be able to also speak for them and Singaporeans in Parliament."