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Punggol East by-election

Who's contesting in Punggol East?

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 5:47 PM Updated: Jan 19, 2013 12:44 AM

It is a four-cornered fight for the single-seat ward of Punggol East. Who's contesting, and what issues will they champion? Singapolitics looks at the candidates.

People's Action Party: Dr Koh Poh Koon

Age: 40
Occupation: Colorectal surgeon; owns a private practice at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre; part-time consultant at Changi General Hospital; an adjunct assistant professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School; and a clinical lecturer with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Marital status: Married to a doctor, with two daughters, aged nine and four.
Education: Attended the former MacRitchie Primary, Maris Stella High School and Hwa Chong Junior College; studied medicine at NUS and has a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medicine in Singapore.
Electoral history: None

Languages and dialects spoken: English, Mandarin and Teochew
What he will champion in Punggol East: Improve childcare facilities, get more resources for the community centre and tackle renovation problems caused by the delay in upgrading Rivervale Plaza shopping mall.

Singapore Democratic Alliance: Desmond Lim Bak Chuan

Age: 45
Occupation: Principal engineer with telco M1; secretary-general of Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).
Marital status: Wife is an insurance agent. Their son is aged one.
Education: Masters in engineering management (University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia).
Languages and dialects spoken: English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese
Electoral history: Active in politics since 1992. Stood on SDA ticket in Punggol East in 2011; got 4.45 per cent of the vote and lost his $16,000 election deposit. To avoid forfeiting his deposit, he needed to get at least 12.5 per cent of the votes cast.
What he will champion in Punggol East: Building a hawker centre or coffee shops; lobbying for more frequent bus services and more childcare centres; pledging to channel one-third of his MP allowance to set up an insurance scheme for Punggol East residents.

Workers' Party: Lee Li Lian

Age: 34
Occupation: Sales trainer. She is also the Workers’ Party’s deputy webmaster and legislative assistant to Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh
Marital status: Married to a telecommunications consultant; no children
Education: Degree in marketing from Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Languages and dialects spoken: English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew
Electoral history: Contested in Punggol East in the 2011 General Election. Joined WP in 2006.
What she will champion in Punggol East: “At the local level, residents have highlighted the traffic situation and the lack of facilities like childcare centres and coffee shops in the neighbourhood.
“At the national level, I am concerned about topics like our cost of living, cost of education, and marriage and parenthood issues.”
 

Reform Party: Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Age: 53
Occupation: Former hedge-fund manager, now a full-time democracy activist.
Marital status: Married to Amanda, and they have a 15-year-old son.
Education: BA (first class honours) and MA in economics from Cambridge University, England.
Languages spoken: English and Malay.
Electoral history: Contested in West Coast GRC in the 2011 General Election. Joined Reform Party in 2009.
What he will champion in Punggol East: At the local level, he will look into the delayed upgrading works at Rivervale Plaza, installation of lifts in multi-storey carparks and cleanliness of the estate.
At the national level, he wants to address issues of incomes falling behind prices. “Twenty years ago, PM Goh (Chok Tong) promised the Swiss standard of living within 10 years... I don’t think we are anywhere near that yet.”