Bukit Batok updates: Murali unveils $1.9 mln plan; Chee suffers endorsement setback

Murali says he will announce more plans for the constituency before the nomination day on 27 April.

People Action Party's Murali Pillai has unveiled a $1.9 million action plan for the Bukit Batok neighborhood with just days left for the election to the single-member parliament seat.

Murali's Neighborhood Renewal Programme envisions enhancing the precinct with more public amenities such as covered walkways, ramps, a jogging track and a three-generational park.

The programme focuses on Blocks 140 to 149, Bukit Batok West Avenue 4, where some 640 of the ward's 12,000 families live, the Straits Times reported.

"This plan we are presenting is a plan by the PAP Jurong-Clementi Town Council. So it's really up to our residents. We will have the mandate to carry on only if we are returned at the by-election," the candidate to the May 7 election said.

"If we don't have the mandate, then we won't have the ability to carry on because we will not form the town council. That's the rule," Murali added.

Murali added that he would announce more plans for the constituency before the nomination day on 27 April.

Opposition SDP candidate Chee Soon Juan, who is Murali's chief rival, has also unveiled a four-point action plan for his constituency. The plan revolves around the welfare of communities and targets mainly the young, the needy and the elderly.

Presenting his election manifesto at the Singapore Democratic Party headquarters Chee said certain sections of society have been left behind in a "big bureaucracy", adding that his plan accommodates everyone.

However, Chee suffered an unexpected hiccup in his campaign when a senior SDP fellow traveler refused to endorse him in Bukit Batok.

Lina Chiam, the wife of Chiam See Tong said in a Facebook post she and her husband did not endorse any candidate in the by-election in Bukit Batok.

"My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP's newsletter, The New Democrat," she said.

"We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam's image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election."

Meanwhile, Murali Pillai was accompanied in his Sunday walkaboout in the constituency by the widow of former Bukit Batok MP Ong Chit Chung, who represented the constituency for 20 years.

According to the elections department, there are 25,616 voters in the Bukit Batok single member constituency.

The Bukit Batok by-election was necessitated after People's Action Party (PAP) MP David Ong resigned in March after admitting to an extra marital relationship.