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PAP to field top lawyer for Bukit Batok by-election

THE People's Action Party (PAP) will field prominent lawyer K Muralidharan Pillai as its candidate for the upcoming by-election in Bukit Batok.

The party made the announcement at a press conference on Monday, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and PAP second assistant secretary-general Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Mr Murali was part of the five-member PAP team that narrowly lost to the Workers' Party in Aljunied GRC at last September's general election.

The 48-year-old, the head of Rajah & Tann's Commercial Litigation Practice, was a former branch secretary at the PAP's Bukit Batok branch.

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The PAP also announced on Monday that he has been appointed as the new branch chairman in Bukit Batok.

Mr Murali's main opponent in the by-election will be Singapore Democratic Party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, who officially announced his candidacy on Sunday.

The by-election was triggered by the shock resignation of Bukit Batok's MP David Ong on March 12. Mr Ong's decision is believed to be linked to an extra-marital affair he had with a fellow PAP member.