14 January 2013 13:30 | By Ilsa Chan
Showdown at Punggol East

The SMC is expected to be hotly contested with as many as four parties expressing interest in contesting the by-election



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All eyes are on Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC) as Singapore gears up for its second by-election in a year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called a surprise snap by-election on January 9, less than a month after former MP Michael Palmer resigned over an extramarital affair.

Nomination Day is on January 16 and if there's a contest, Punggol East voters will go to the polls on January 26.

PM Lee said he decided to hold a by-election in Punggol East to give the residents their own MP, before Singapore focuses back on national issues.

"We have a busy national agenda this year. The White Paper on Population will soon be debated in Parliament. Budget 2013 is around the corner. The Our Singapore Conversation is translating the views of citizens into programmes to improve our lives," he said in a statement.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) has fielded surgeon Dr Koh Poh Koon as its candidate in the by-election, while the Workers’ Party's (WP) Ms Lee Li Lian and the Singapore Democratic Alliance’s (SDA) Desmond Lim will contest the Punggol East seat again.

On the eve of Nomination Day, the Reform Party (RP) announced Kenneth Jeyaretnam as its candidate while the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) decided to withdraw from the race.

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