Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at 4pm today that fellow People’s Action Party (PAP) member and elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok SMC, David Ong has tendered his resignation from his MP post as well as from the PAP, and the former has accepted it.
On his facebook page, Lee Hsien Loong also shared the exchange letter between Ong and himself. No details were given, however, in the letters, as to the “personal reasons” for Ong’s departure, to which Lee readily accepted, stating “I deeply regret that I must accept your resignation.”
Traditionally, by-elections have been known to be sweeter ground for the Opposition with the electorate not feeling the fear of a ‘change of government’ as could be realised if there was a nationwide swing against the PAP.
JB Jeyaretnam, former Workers’ Party sec-gen and bankrupt, won the first Opposition seat since independence in a by-election in Anson.
In 2012, the WP won the Hougang seat in a by-election even though it was the former WP member that had an affair and resigned. In 2013, Lee Li Lian also won the Punggol East seat from the hands of the PAP in a by-election held some time after Micheal Palmer’s resignation, to the surprise of many.
It is expected that the SDP would be contesting in such a by-election held in Bukit Batok SMC which it had contested in GE2015 and before.