SINGAPORE: Voting has started in the Punggol East by—election.
A steady stream of voters headed for the polling stations when they opened at 8am on Saturday.
The Elections Department said 45 per cent of the eligible voters have cast their votes by noon.
About 31,600 voters in Singapore and 59 voters overseas will cast their votes in a four—cornered fight for the single member constituency (SMC).
The Punggol East SMC seat fell vacant in December 2012 when former Speaker of Parliament and MP for the ward Michael Palmer resigned over an extramarital affair.
Many residents started the weekend by heading straight for the ballot box.
"I’ve got a meeting at 10am, so I’ve got to rush," said Mr Mike Woon, who runs a beauty salon with his wife.
For Mr Anthony Samy, it was about beating the crowd. "I have something to do later, so if I don’t finish it now, by the time I come back, there might be a bigger crowd," he said.
Voting has also become a family affair for Janet, Jerard and Joshua Ramalingam.
"We will have family time after this. I’m a shift worker, so normally we try to bond together. So basically that’s the reason why we’re here earlier," said Mr Jerard Ramalingam.
His son, Joshua added: "It’s me (doing) my part for this country so it’s my vote that counts. My parents had their time to vote numerous times, so I think now it’s really my time to really think about it and make the right choice."
The four candidates were also present at various polling stations.
Dr Koh Poh Koon from the ruling People’s Action Party, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam from the Reform Party, Mr Desmond Lim from the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Ms Lee Li Lian from the Workers’ Party moved from station to station to observe the voting process.
This is the second by—election in the country in the last eight months.
Voting will end at 8pm and the results are expected to come in just after 10pm on Saturday.
A special by—election programme will be aired on Channel NewsAsia from 9pm Singapore/Hong Kong time.
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