SDA to field Desmond Lim for Punggol East by-election

Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) said Tuesday it will field Desmond Lim Bak Chuan as its candidate for the upcoming Punggol East by-election, making it the second opposition party to join the fray.

The Workers' Party and the ruling People's Action Party earlier announced that sales trainer Lee Li Lian, 34, and medical doctor Koh Poh Koon, 40, would be their candidates, respectively.

The three parties were the same ones to contest the single-member ward in the general election in 2011. In that race, PAP candidate Michael Palmer defeated Lee with 54.5 per cent share of the votes against her 41 per cent. Lim, the third candidate, received 4.4 per cent of the votes, losing his $16,000 deposit as a result.

The by-election in Punggol was called after Palmer resigned as a member of the PAP and as Speaker of Parliament last month following his confession to an extra-marital affair.

Lim is "armed to make a difference and cause potential ripples on the grounds of Punggol East", SDA said in a statement.

His "never say die" attitude explains why Lim is unfazed by his defeat in the 2011 election and lost of his deposit, the party added.

"Ordinarily, another person in my shoes would throw in the towel after the forfeit, and swear off politics. But for me, that incident boosted my determination to come back bigger and better the next round," the opposition leader said.

SDA said Lim, its secretary-general, entered the political scene in 1992 as a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Singapore Justice Party and was a Town Councilor in Potong Pasir Constituency for 14 years.

The Singapore Justice Party and the Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS) make up SDA.

"I want residents in Punggol East to know that this election is not just about choices; it is about making an informed decision," said Lim.

"The recent political climate has been such that we have seen many prominent players bow out due to personal challenges and obstacles. This goes to show that carrying a party brand is not enough to make a candidate the best choice, voting in a person who can stick on and do the job is what will matter in the long run," he added.

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