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Bukit Batok to vote for new MP on May 7

ABOUT 25,600 eligible residents in Bukit Batok will vote for their new Member of Parliament (MP) in a by-election on May 7, nearly two months after the shock resignation of former People's Action Party (PAP) lawmaker David Ong.

On Wednesday afternoon, President Tony Tan Keng Yam issued a writ of election, announcing April 27 as Nomination Day.

After nine days of campaigning and a mandatory cooling-off day on May 6, polling stations will open the next day for residents to cast their votes. The Elections Department said that Polling Day for this by-election will not be a public holiday.

The by-election is likely to be a straight fight between the PAP's Murali Pillai, a 48-year-old commercial litigation lawyer, and the Singapore Democratic Party's 53-year-old secretary-general Chee Soon Juan.

Both prospective candidates have been busy combing the ground in the single-seat ward in the past month, in a bid to reach out to as many residents as possible.

Mr Ong, the ex-Bukit Batok MP who won 73.9 per cent of the votes at last September's General Election, resigned from his seat and the PAP on March 12, after reports emerged that he allegedly had an extra-marital affair with a married woman.