Everything you need to know about the Bukit Batok SMC by-election in 60 sec

Have you heard about the by-election to be held for Bukit Batok SMC in “due course”? Here’s everything you need to know about it – how it came about, why the sudden need, what to expect and who you’ll be seeing in the by-election. If you’ve not known about this issue, read the following to catch up on what’s happening at Bukit Batok SMC today.

Why the by-election?
It was only a couple of months since the last General Election back in 2015, and people probably weren’t expecting this to happen. PAP politician Mr David Ong is resigning from his post as MP of Bukit Batok SMC due to “personal indiscretions”.

What happened?
It was reported by Straits Times and Channel Newsasia that he is believed to have an extramarital affair with a grassroot activist in his ward. The affair was believed to have been ongoing for “six-months” and only came to light after her husband complained about it. Mr David Ong said he deeply regret his actions, and hope that his family will be left alone for his indiscretion.

Previous by-elections
The last time similar incidents happened was back in 2012, where a PAP and an opposition member left their seats, triggering a by-election in their respective wards. These resignations were also triggered by extramarital affairs.

What’s going to happen till the by-election
The PAP claimed that they were taken by surprise, and immediately made arrangements to ensure that the residents of Bukit Batok SMC are taken care of. Jurong GRC MP, Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development will be tasked to do so while fellow Jurong GRC MP Mr Ang Wei Neng will take over Mr Ong’s role as chairman of Jurong-Clementi Town Council. Both MPs pledged to do their best to ensure that the transition will be as seamless as possible, with Mr Lee saying he’ll get in touch with the community through house visits and Meet-The-People sessions and Mr Ang promising to do his utmost best to ensure that all three wards received the same level of service.

 

When will this by-election take place?
Secretary-General of PAP and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he will hold the by-elections “in due course”. Dr Chee of SDP is of the opinion that the by-elections will take place only after the Budget debate wrapped up sometime in Mid-April, and said that having the by-elections before that was “unrealistic”.

Who will you see in the by-election
Singapore Democratic Party is looking forward to a “1-on-1 battle” with the People Action Party, and SDP chief, Dr Chee Soon Juan, mentioned that they will be deciding on a candidate for the by-election “soon”, and he commented that there is a possibility that he might be the aforementioned candidate..

In GE2015, independent candidate Mr Samir Salim Neji has also commented that he might be joining the by-election as well even though he has lost his deposit of $14,500 last year. He said that serving the public has always been what he wants to do long-term.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chief Mr Benjamin Pwee has told Channel Newsasia that he intends to take part in the by-election. People’s Power Party’s (PPP) Mr Goh Meng Seng said they will consult with SDP first before deciding if they want to put forward a candidate for the seat.

The Reform Party, National Solidarity Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance commented that they will come to a decision at a later date closer to the by-election.

Top Image: todayonline.com

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