SINGAPORE: Bukit Batok residents headed to the ballot box again on Saturday (May 7), barely eight months after the General Election, to select a new Member of Parliament (MP) for their constituency.
As of 5pm, 21,566 Singaporeans – 83 per cent of the 25,727 registered electors – have turned up to cast their vote, the Elections Department said. Earlier at 12pm, 12,303, or 47 per cent, had voted.
The Bukit Batok single seat was vacated after People’s Action Party (PAP) representative David Ong resigned over an alleged extramarital affair with a grassroots activist.
The by-election is being contested by SDP chief Dr Chee Soon Juan and PAP’s candidate, lawyer Murali Pillai.
PAP's Murali Pillai at the polling station at Block 105A Bukit Batok Central. (Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY)
SDP's Chee Soon Juan at a polling station at Bukit Batok Secondary School. (Photo: Ray Yeh)
In the General Election last September, Mr Ong won the Bukit Batok seat with 73 per cent of the votes. Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) Sadasivam Veriyah took 26.4 per cent, while independent candidate Samir Salim Neji garnered 0.6 per cent.
Nearly 26,000 eligible voters will cast their ballots at nine polling stations from 8am until 8pm on Saturday.
The voting process went quickly and smoothly, according to voters leaving the polling stations.
Bukit Batok resident Vanessa Sim, who was at the polling station at Block 105 Bukit Batok Central, got off to an early start together with her parents. "I just wanted to beat the queue, and finish with it as soon as possible. We just went for the regular queue (not the priority), and it didn't take us more than 10 minutes."
Mr Timothy Koh, 27, also said he queued for about 10 minutes. "I think it was quite efficient, and the queue moved quite fast. It's unlikely that the wait will be more than 15 minutes."
Bukit Gombak Stadium will be the official assembly centre for SDP members and supporters after polls close at 8pm, the police announced on Friday.
PAP members and supporters are expected to gather at the PAP branch office at Block 148 Bukit Batok West Ave 6.