The People’s Action Party (PAP) has unveiled Mr Murali Pilliai as its candidate for the upcoming by-election in Bukit Batok single member constituency, and a straight fight is looming between him and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s secretary-general Chee Soon Juan. But is Dr Chee Soon Juan only fighting the PAP candidate, or something much bigger than Mr Pillai?
On 19 March (Saturday), SDP announced that the political party would be announcing its candidate for the upcoming by-election the following day. By that time, it was widely anticipated that Dr Chee would be announced as the Party’s candidate. On 19 Mar, a resident of Bukit Batok said in his Facebook that a large banner of the late Mr lee Kuan Yew went up in front of the former MP David Ong’s office in the constituency.
On the same day, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s Institute of Public Policy Deputy Director, Gillian Koh, said,”in our surveys, this is the demographic that rallies around the People’s Action Party,” to suggest that Bukit Batok’s demographics – with 95 per cent living in public housing – may be favourable to Mr Pillai.
The same mainstream media report which announced the candidacy of Dr Chee also tracked down a voter of the constituency who asked, “Why must we choose someone who has already proven he cannot control his temper?” The newspaper claimed that the voter referred to “an incident during the 2001 General Election where Dr Chee defamed Mr Goh Chok Tong.”
Indeed Dr Chee himself acknowledged that the odds are stacked against him and the SDP.
Chee Soon Juan on his chances in the Bukit Batok SMC by-electi…Chee Soon Juan attacks the mainstream media in front of the mainstream media. He also explains why he is standing in Bukit Batok when he stood in Holland-Bukit Timah in GE2015:
Posted by Mothership.sg on Saturday, 19 March 2016
Despite the uneven battle field, Dr Chee is trying his best to win one vote at a time.
The PAP’s media team has written to TISG to make the following clarification:
“We (PAP media team) understand that the banner in question, was put up on Saturday, 19 March 2016. These banners, we were told, were to inform residents of the remembrance event for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Jurong Lake Park on 23 March 2016 and were placed all over Jurong area and not just in Bukit Batok.”
We had earlier indicated the banner was put-up on 20 Mar, the day Dr Chee’s candidacy was announced. We have since edited the article to reflect the correct date.