SDP withdraws from Punggol East race in shock move

  • Express bus drivers say crashes not entirely their fault
    Express bus drivers say crashes not entirely their fault

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Swift enforcement and a proper monitoring system must be put in place as bus drivers and passengers shared their views over the Transport Ministry’s latest guidelines on... …

  • MH192’s number three main wheel burst during take off, says Hishammuddin – Bernama
    MH192’s number three main wheel burst during take off, says Hishammuddin – Bernama

    Preliminary investigation findings on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH192 incident has revealed that the number three main wheel of the aircraft had burst during take off. Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) said the aircraft was currently grounded at the MAS Engineering facility in Kuala Lumpur International... …

  • Bible banned from Pahang hotel rooms – Bernama

    The Pahang Islamic and Malay Customs Council (MAIP) has prohibited hotel proprietors in the state from placing religious reading materials of other religions other than Islam in their rooms. According to MAIP deputy president, Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan, a letter of prohibition on the matter had been sent to 147 hotels across the... …

  • Pre-lim report to ICAO not public, yet

    Malaysia has yet to decide on whether the preliminary report on the MH370 incident submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will be made public.   "We have issued the preliminary report. We've sent it to ICAO but we have not made a decision to release to media or the public," Department of Civil Aviation Chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.   Asked again on why it will not be released to public, although it is common practice, …

  • Take second job to tackle household debt, urges AKPK – Bernama
    Take second job to tackle household debt, urges AKPK – Bernama

    The Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) has urged Malaysians to take a second job to help them tackle the high rate of household debt. Chief executive officer Koid Swee Lian (pic) said those in the teaching line, for example, could give extra classes to earn more money. "Teachers could earn more money by giving tuition to... …

  • International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says
    International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Malaysia expects to finalise by next week the list of members on the independent team of experts commissioned by Putrajaya to carry out an extensive probe on the... …

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) are withdrawing from the race to contest the Punggol East by-election, a day ahead of Nomination Day.

In a surprise last-minute move announced on Tuesday, SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said, "Singaporeans have signalled clearly that they do not want a multi-corner fight in Punggol East which may dilute the votes and allow the PAP to win."

"We hear the voices and have heeded them. ... We note the genuine concern that the PAP may return if there is a split in the opposition support between the SDP and WP. For this reason, we are stepping aside," Chee said.

The decision was made this morning after consulting Central Executive Committee (CEC) members in the party on Monday evening.

Flanked by SDP supporters at a hastily arranged media conference at a rain shelter at Jalan Gelenggang, Chee said, "We were trying to see if we could avoid a three-corner fight and that turned out to be not possible. As nomination day drew closer, people's mind became more focused and we heard loud and clear that there was a distinct concern that we would split opposition vote."

SDP had been expected to field a candidate for the single-member constituency but had also approached  fellow opposition party Workers' Party last week to field a "joint" candidate so as not to dilute the share of opposition votes.

But several attempts at meeting with WP officials were rebuffed and brushed off.

Just last week, the SDP collected political donation certificate and nominations forms from the Elections Department and had also been active on the ground.

'Not a publicity show'

Lecturer and social activist Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, 42, or doctor Paul Tambyah, 47, had been expected to be named as SDP's candidate.

Recognising that "this isn't a publicity show", Chee said that "we went all the way and things started to develop" but eventually decided pulling out was the right move.

He added that the party had covered almost every blocks in the constituency and two sets of publicity posters and flyers were printed for both Tambyah and Wijeysingha.

"If we were an opportunist party, we would have gone into the by-election".

Acknowledging that Singapore Democratic Alliance's Desmond Lim has since officially announced his candidacy and with Reform Party also expected to contest in Punggol East, Chee said he could only speak for SDP and left the rest to make their own decisions about a multi-cornered fight.

Moving forward, both candidates have indicated they would contest the General Election in 2016.

"I'm disappointed that we're not running -- the opportunity to serve the people -- that's all we've ever asked for. People have shown us that they don't want a dilution of the votes and our supporters have told us to conserve our resources for 2016," Wijeysingha said.

Credibility in question

However, political observer Siew Kum Hong told Yahoo! Singapore said the whole episode has damaged SDP's standing.

"The SDP's decision to not contest is an 180-degree turn from their previous statements... Voters will only elect parties that are credible and predictable; the SDP's statements and actions over the past 2 weeks show them to be neither," he said.

"Some people seem to think that the SDP has brilliantly played out some grand strategy in all this. In my view, the patently unworkable proposal of a joint campaign with the WP strongly suggests that there was no grand strategy. The SDP's standing has been tremendously weakened by all this."



Related Articles:

SDA unveils candidate Desmond Lim
VIDEO: No 1 concern of Punggol East residents?
I don't need sympathy votes: PAP candidate
ST poll being probed by police: ELD
PAP names surgeon as Punggol East candidate
Multi-cornered by-election battle favours PAP: analysts

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • The Poop on Pooping: 5 Misconceptions Explained LiveScience.com

    Here is the truth behind five common misconceptions about defecating. Misconception No. 1: Daily pooping is normal, and optimal. …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …