TL;DR – Joined SDP in 1992, declared bankrupt in 2006, annulled bankruptcy in 2012, contested in GE2015 and trying again now for the #BBSMCBE.
The signs were all there, I was just waiting for Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to throw his hat into the ring.
Walkabout started near-immediately, and they have been, as usual, quick with their media and online updates. The red-shirted team has been seen to be actively combing the Bukit Batok SMC..
This is great thinking on SDP’s part! Having Dr Chee donating blood during one of his walkabouts in Bukit Batok was not just a good way to show he cares, it also shows his willingness to participate in local activities and of course, it’s a fantastic photo opportunity, hehe!
During the past week, the SDP was still coy about whose name they would be putting up under the SDP banner, so specultations were largely amongst three possible candidates. One, Their GE2015 candidate, Sadasivam Veriyah, who had garned 26.4% in the three-cornered fight, two, Dr Paul Tambyah who has impressed many during the GE2015, and lastly, the SDP chief himself, Dr Chee Soon Juan.
But it had seemed obvious that Dr Chee was likely to run, given how he’s the leader of the party and presumably, the best to represent and be fielded. And of course his high visibility over the last week was just hard to miss.
The SDP has announced on Sunday (20th March) that it will, indeed, be fielding Dr Chee Soon Juan. Here’s what he had to say,
Mothership has done a summary of the points-you-should-not-miss here. (And oh, thanks Mothership, for the 3,030 referrals you’ve sent our way. Every visit counts for a baby site like us.)
If you want details, here’s what Dr Chee is promising the Bukit Batok residents if they vote him into Parliament,
19 MARCH 2016
My priority as MP of Bukit Batok (BB), should I be fortunate enough to be elected, will be to ensure the efficient and productive management of the BB Town Council. The SDP’s goal is to surpass current levels of performance of PAP-run town councils. We will set new standards for transparency and accountability in estate governance.
The SDP also looks forward to pioneering a new model of town council management where residents are involved in the planning and running of their community.
Our first objective is to ensure a seamless takeover of the town council management. To do this, we will establish a Transition Team within three working days following the election to handle the transfer.
The BBTC will not engage a managing agent. Instead, we will employ qualified and experienced professionals as part of the management team, and I will personally see to the effective running of the TC and to attend to the residents’ concerns.
The BBTC will retain the bulk of the existing staff from the current Jurong Town Council Bukit Batok Office. This will allow the new team to hit the ground running upon taking over the TC.
We have laid out detailed plans in our SDP Town Council Management Plan on how to effect a smooth takeover of the TC and its work, and we have specified our takeover plans in the first 30 days followed by the first 100 days. By the first 100 days, we will, among other goals, achieve the following:
– Submit a comprehensive report of the transition and handover processes,
- Establish a clear budgetary plan,
– File the first financial interim report,
– Produce the work-plan for the first 12 months of BBTC operations,
– Compile a set of effective maintenance strategies.
Our mission is not only to manage the BB estate well, we will also cultivate a successful town where residents develop a unique sense of belonging. It is a place where members of the community and the town managers put our minds together to make BB a real home – a home where neighbour greets neighbour, the better off lend a hand to help lift up those in need, and friends look out for one another.
I invite residents to track our performance of the BBTC under SDP management as well as the promises and commitments that we make.
I will also ensure that BB residents have an effective voice in Parliament. I will bring their hopes and aspirations as well as their hardship and concerns with me into the House. I will endeavour to raise the quality of Parliamentary debate and elevate the level of politics and governance in Singapore, and, by so doing, take our nation to a future full of hope and confidence.
In other words, I will be a competent, constructive and compassionate MP, one that BB voters will be proud of. With this pledge, I hereby announce my candidacy for the by-election in Bukit Batok SMC.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
Initial reading of the situation have raised some questions. Questions like this:
– Why did SDP not field Sadasivam Veriyah if he’s the one walking the ground all this time?
– Does having Dr Chee contest in this by-election mean SDP didn’t send its best candidates to Bukit Batok SMC in GE2015?
– Are people ready to forget Dr Chee’s colourful past and accept he is a changed man and can be their voice in Parliament?
– Would the largely-seen-to-be-conservative Bukit Batok SMC give this long-time fighter a chance?
– How big an influence is DPM Tharman in this by-election, given that Bukit Batok was a part of the Jurong GRC?
– How upset are the residents with the PAP over the David Ong episode?
To complicate matters further, there is also the by-election effect, which often swings in favour of the opposition party. Looks like an interesting by-election to watch. Meanwhile, read more about the responses from the the political parties here.