The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok single member constituency David Ong resigned from his elected position as well as from his political party on 12 March 2016. The MP cited personal indiscretion as his reason for resignation. Since the announcement of his resignation, there have been several reports of the MP’s extra-marital affair with one of his married grassroots leader.
The Prime Minister announced soon after Ong threw in the towel that he will be calling for a by-election in that constituency soon.
The battle for Bukit Batok looks set to be between two parties – the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
PAP has announced that Muralidharan Pillai will be its candidate in the coming by-election, while SDP has announced its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan will be its candidate. Both candidates have been aggressively working the ground to win the voters’ hearts.
The Election Department (ELD) in the meantime would have by the end of yesterday (14 Apr), completed the transfer voters’ names to the appropriate registers of electors. In their press release of Mar 28 ELD said that the register of voters will be updated based on the addresses on their identity cards as of March 16 this year.
The coming by-election will be the third by-election in 5 years. The two previous one were for the constituencies of Hougang in the year 2012, and for the constituency of Punggol East in 2013. The opposition won both by-elections.
The by-election in Hougang was called within 3 months of the Workers’ Party MP’s expulsion and the Punggol East one was held in just about a month after the PAP MP’s resignation. Polling Day for both by-election was on a Saturday.
Unlike polling day for General Elections, polling day for by-elections will not be declared as a public holiday.
Analysts have also speculated that the ruling People’s Action Party will not give the SDP a lot of time to canvass for votes and will call for the by-election soon after the conclusion of the Budget Debate. The Budget Debate concluded yesterday. The dates for the next sitting of Parliament has not been announced yet.
Under such circumstances, it is very likely that the writ of election for the by-election will be issued soon. Considering that May 1 (Sun) and May 2 are Labour Day public holidays, it is highly possible that Apr 30 (sat) will be the polling day for the Bukit Batok by-election.
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