SINGAPORE: The candidates from the Reform Party (RP) and Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) refused to be disheartened by their defeat in the Punggol East by—election.
Both candidates also lost their election deposit of S$14,500.
The Reform Party’s secretary—general Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam secured only 353 votes. And he said losing the election deposit is a small price to pay for democracy.
He said irrespective of the results, the party "has taken the first step in mending the (biggest) broken promise of all, which is the promise to build a democratic society.
"Our attack on the People’s Action Party (PAP) clearly resonated and resulted in many people voting tactically. We don’t care if we have lost our deposit tonight, it’s a small price to pay for democracy. We don’t care how many deposits we lose if we achieve that goal," he said.
Mr Jeyaretnam believes the debate on national issues will continue even after the excitement of the by—election dies down.
This is his second election defeat.
During the 2011 General Election, Mr Jeyaretnam led a team to contest the West Coast Group Representative Constituency, and lost to the PAP.
Singapore Democratic Alliance’s candidate, Mr Desmond Lim, fared worse in the Punggol East by—election. Securing 168 of valid votes, Mr Lim said he will not run away from defeat.
He said the party will work harder for the next General Election.
Mr Lim reiterated that he is not a "fly—by—night politician". "I’ve already done my best. It was a fast, but hard—ending race. I would say that I expected the race and challenges before I entered this contest, but however it’s important for SDA to contest, to keep the political flame alive. And we will be working harder, fight harder for the next GE, and I would like to thank the Punggol East residents nonetheless."
At the last General Election, Mr Lim contested the Punggol East ward in a three—cornered fight. He also lost his election deposit then, garnering only 4.5 per cent of valid votes.
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