Updated: 01/17/2013 03:45

Four-way contest for Punggol East SMC



Four-way contest for Punggol East SMC

It is a four-way contest for the single member constituency of Punggol East. 

Candidates of the People's Action Party, Worker's Party, Singapore Democratic Alliance and Reform Party will be competing for the seat, which was vacated last month by former MP Michael Palmer. 

This will be Singapore's second by-election since the 2011 General Election. 

"Koh Poh Koon of the People's Action Party, Kenneth Andrew Jeyaratnam of the Reform Party, Lim Bak Chuan Desmond of the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Lee Li Lian of the Workers' Party." 

This is the longest list of contenders for a parliamentary seat since 1997. 

Four candidates will be campaigning hard over the next nine days to capture votes from some 31, 600 residents of Punggol East. 

And on January 26, these residents will go to the polls to pick one of four to represent them in Parliament. 

The incumbent party, PAP, has sent in a fresh face - colorectal surgeon Dr Koh Poh Koon. 

The 40 year old, who's dubbed himself the son of Punggol, has already outlined areas of concern he plans to focus on - namely ensuring renovations to Rivervale Plaza stay on track and improving childcare amenities for the constituency.

And despite being flanked by party leaders at the nomination centre, Dr Koh says he's his own man and will run his own campaign. 

"My supporters, voters of Punggol East let us work together to make a better Punggol East." 

Many believe Dr Koh's biggest opponent will be the Workers' Party's Lee Li Lian. 

She is no stranger to residents in Punggol East having contested there in the 2011 General Election. 

Then, Ms Lee was also former MP Michael Palmer's closest contender and garnered 41% of valid votes. 

"I will serve you whole heartedly and I will continue and constantly stand up for your rights. On 26th of January, vote for the Workers' Party and send me into Parliament." 

Also back to make another bid for the Punggol East seat, SDA's Secretary-General Desmond Lim. 

He, too contested in this constituency at the 2011 General Election but lost his election deposit when he garnered just 4.5% of valid votes. 

Undeterred, Mr Lim says he is determined to serve the residents, having been active in the area since 2005. 

"Dearest residents of Punggol East, Desmond Lim is back. Dedicated and more determined to serve you and your family in Punggol East." 

Rounding up the four candidates is Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaratnam. 

This is the second electoral fight for the son of former Workers' Party chief JB Jeyaratnam. 

He contested as part of a team in West Coast GRC in 2011. 

"This election, we are determined to bring a real choice to the voters of Punggol East. This is your chance to decide how you want to be represented." 

Earlier, at the nomination centre, familiar election faces in the form of retired acupuncturist Zeng Guoyuan and private tutor Ooi Boon Ewe showed up. 

But both left without filing their election papers.

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